Third, why did Barr decide the obstruction question himself? His letter states that Mueller’s decision to reach no conclusion “leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime.” Why? Doesn’t it defeat the entire purpose of having a special counsel to have the presidentially appointed attorney general make the ultimate decision? The whole point of appointing a special counsel is to insulate the decision-maker from the executive branch chain of command so that the public can have confidence that his decision is free from political considerations. If Barr was just going to make the decision, we could have dispensed with a special counsel altogether. The decision as to whether obstruction of justice occurred could credibly have been made by Mueller or Congress, but why Barr?
Fourth, what is the legal standard that Barr was applying? If a sitting president cannot be indicted, then why is he applying the standards that are used to charge a defendant in a criminal case?