Could what happened here be more obvious? Mueller received fawning press for two years on the expectation that he would slay Trump. Then, on March 24, Democrats and the media learned not only that there was no collusion case (which was no surprise) but that Mueller had been derelict, failing to render a judgment on the only question he was arguably needed to resolve: Was there enough evidence to charge obstruction? Journalists proceeded to turn on their erstwhile hero. This sent him reeling, and it brought to full boil the anger of Mueller staffers, who wanted to charge Trump with obstruction based on the creative (i.e., wayward) theory they had been pursuing — namely, that a president can be indicted for obstruction based on the exercise of his constitutional prerogatives if prosecutors (including prosecutors who are active supporters of the president’s political opposition) decide he had corrupt intent. The staffers put their pique in a letter that could be leaked, and Mueller was sufficiently irked by the bad press that he signed it. And now Democrats are using the letter as the launch-pad for The Big Lie that Barr lied, calculating that if they say it enough times, and their media collaborators uncritically broadcast these declarations, no one will notice that they never actually refer to the transcript of what they claim is the false testimony.
Democrats are unnerved. Attorney General Barr is pursuing an inquiry into the Obama administration’s decision to conduct a foreign counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign. The time is now, they figure, to reprise the Ken Starr treatment: the ad hominem withering of an accomplished, highly capable official — in this instance, one who is daring to press questions that would have been answered two years ago if an incumbent Republican administration had spied on — er, monitored — a Democratic presidential campaign.