Even before William Barr's appearance at the Justice Department this morning, he had been utterly vilified—for the sin of showing up to answer reporters’ questions.
By making his public appearance before the Mueller report was released, the attorney general appeared to be engaging in a partisan maneuver.
Sure, it would have been better to release the report first and make Barr available second.
More concerning is a New York Times report that Justice Department officials had “numerous conversations with White House lawyers” about Mueller’s conclusions in recent days, helping the president’s legal team prepare its rebuttal report.
The net effect is that after the deputy attorney general named Robert Mueller to lead an independent investigation insulated from politics, the matter is back in the hands of Trump political appointees—in part because Mueller punted on deciding obstruction of justice charges, leaving the matter to Barr.