May 28, 2019

Republican Justin Amash accuses Barr of misrepresenting Mueller report

Justin Amash. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Tuesday accused Attorney General Bill Barr of intentionally misrepresenting the Mueller report to help further Trump's "false narrative" about the special counsel's investigation.

Why it matters: The Michigan congressman, the only Republican in Congress to support impeachment, isn't backing down from his controversial position — even as big Republican donors like the DeVos family begin to pull their support.

What he's saying: In a 25-tweet thread, Amash alleges that Barr's March 24 letter summarizing Mueller's principal conclusions "selectively quotes and summarizes points in Mueller’s report in misleading ways."

  • The congressman says that Mueller didn't decide whether Trump broke the law because of the official DOJ opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted. He claims that Barr's letter did not mention those issues, and overlooks the "considerable evidence" of Trump's obstructive behavior.
  • He also notes that Barr's use of the phrase "no collusion" differs from what Mueller wrote in his report, and that the attorney general has implied the investigation was baseless: "[W]hether there's enough evidence for a conviction of a specific crime which Mueller thought was appropriate to charge is a different and much higher standard than whether the people whom Mueller investigated had done anything worthy of investigation."
  • Amash goes on to claim that Barr's subsequent testimonies to Congress were misleading about his knowledge of Mueller's concerns about how the report was being construed.

Amash's bottom line: "Barr has so far successfully used his position to sell the president’s false narrative to the American people. This will continue if those who have read the report do not start pushing back on his misrepresentations and share the truth."

Go deeper: Amash outlines his 6 reasons for impeaching Trump

Go deeper

Inside hackers' pivot to medical espionage

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A wave of cyber-spying around COVID-19 medical research is once more demonstrating the perils of treating cybersecurity as a separate, walled-off realm.

Driving the news: U.S. officials recently announced an uptick in Chinese-government affiliated hackers targeting medical research and other facilities in the United States for data on a potential COVID-19 cure or effective treatments to combat the virus. Additionally, “more than a dozen countries have redeployed military and intelligence hackers to glean whatever they can about other nations’ virus responses,” reports the New York Times.

The downsides of remote work

Data: Reproduced from Prudential/Morning Consult "Pulse of the American Worker Survey"; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a large-scale experiment in working from home. It has gone well enough that many companies are expanding their remote work expectations for the foreseeable future, and remote employees want to continue to work that way.

Yes, but: The downsides of remote work — less casual interaction with colleagues, an over-reliance on Zoom, lack of in-person collaboration and longer hours — could over time diminish the short-term gains.

Hong Kong's economic future hangs in the balance

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Beijing forces a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong, the once semi-autonomous city's status as one of Asia's largest financial hubs is at risk.

Why it matters: Political freedoms and strong rule of law helped make Hong Kong a thriving center for international banking and finance. But China's leaders may be betting that top firms in Hong Kong will trade some political freedoms for the economic prosperity Beijing can offer.