Thursday, May 2, 2019

Russiagate - It's Barr's Cross to Bear

He has come to testify.... Some music to read by:

I intended to watch as much of the proceedings as possible, but life got in the way again. I heard some Fox commenter say that it was really two hearings in one; Democrats complaining about Barr's four page summary (like we don't already have the report) and how it created a false narrative, and quizzing him about Mueller letter, and Republicans asking questions about whether he will investigate the origins of the Russia collusion story in the DOJ.

Here, try my 30 day code to beat the WaPoo paywall. --Nona
Barr puts Trump’s actions in best light, despite ‘substantial evidence’ of obstruction cited by MuellerBarr denies accusations of deceptionWith Mueller silent, Barr speaks for him — and defends the presidentMr. Barr’s torched reputation, Editorial Board
William Barr’s toxic harvest - Dana Milbank
We must hear directly from Robert Mueller - Karen Tumulty
Jennifer Rubin: William Barr and his horrible hearingPaul Waldman: William Barr’s congressional testimony was shameful
Vox, AG William Barr’s opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Reuters, Barr defends clearing Trump on obstruction, chides 'snitty' Mueller letter
Trump had been unfairly smeared, Barr said, by suspicions he had collaborated with Russia in the election. “Two years of his administration have been dominated by the allegations that have now been proven false. To listen to some of the rhetoric, you would think that the Mueller report had found the opposite,” Barr said.

Nice Deb, writing at AmGreat, Sen. Mazie Hirono Calls AG Barr a ‘Liar’ Who Covered Up for ‘Grifter and Liar’ Trump, to which Lindsey Graham took exception.

Sundance at CTH, Democrats and Media Continue Playing Political Games Targeting AG Bill Barr…. It's all they have. PJ Media, Don't Believe the Headlines: Mueller Said Barr Memo Was Accurate. Well, you could just stop before the colon, and the title works about as well. AllahPundit whines that Barr said How Could Trump Have Formed A Corrupt Intent To Obstruct Mueller’s Probe If He Knew He’d Been Falsely Accused?
He’s referring here specifically to the allegation that Trump wanted Mueller fired at one point. There are three problems with accusing Trump of obstruction over that, Barr told Dianne Feinstein. One: As president, he has the constitutional power to fire the special counsel. The act itself wouldn’t be unlawful. Two: Even if Trump could be prosecuted for obstruction, under federal law the DOJ would need to prove he had a “corrupt intent” in firing Mueller. And if it’s true that Trump wanted him out because he thought Mueller had conflicts of interest, that wouldn’t be “corrupt” intent. Conflicts of interest — removal “for cause” — are a legitimate reason to remove the special counsel and replace him with someone else.

Three: It matters that there wasn’t probable cause to believe Trump was guilty of the underlying crime of conspiracy, i.e. collusion, with Russia. If there was then we might reasonably view Trump’s attempts to remove Mueller as a corrupt attempt to protect himself from criminal liability. But if there wasn’t, if he knew he was innocent, then what was the alleged “corrupt intent” driving Trump’s interest in removing Mueller? He had every reason to believe he’d be vindicated in the end. There was no criminal liability he was trying to spare himself from.

Rich Lowry at NRO, No, Bill Barr Didn’t Lie or Mislead, Breitbart, Mueller Objected to Barr’s Report Rollout But Did Not Say It Was Inaccurate

AllahPundit, Harris To Barr: Has Anyone At The White House Asked You To Open An Investigation On Someone? And if they did, good on them!
Normally the answer to a question like this by the Attorney General is a simple “Of course not and I’m offended on the president’s behalf that you’d ask. The DOJ isn’t a political weapon for the White House.” Barr ends up having to resort to a Clintonism to wriggle out of it: Clearly some unnamed person (ahem) has raised the idea with him of siccing the DOJ on some other unnamed person but it seems the idea wasn’t pressed so insistently that Barr would say it amounted to a “suggestion.”
Ed Morrissey, Schiff: Barr Must Step Down And Mueller’s Testimony Won’t Mean Much

Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media, AG Barr: 'We Have Multiple Criminal Leak Investigations Underway' After Russia Probe. Yes! Ace, Barr: Yes, I'm Investigating the Possibility of Clinton/DNC Collusion with Russia. Yes! John Sexton at Hot Air, AG Barr: It’s Not ‘Entirely Speculative’ That The Steele Dossier Was Part Of A Russian Disinformation Campaign. and Rep. Meadows Is Considering A Criminal Referral Of Nellie Ohr For False Testimony. Yes!

Ed Morrissey, Graham: You’d Better Believe We’ll Investigate The Whole FISA Warrant Process. I Like Lindsey 2.0.

Ace "Hi, Honey:" 339 Pages of Nellie Ohr's Emails Released Via FOIA RequestHi Darling Husband, would you please take a look at this partisan opposition research I'm being paid to infiltrate into the government bureaucracy you work for?

Meanwhile, Barr denied efforts to get him to testify to the House today, due to Fat Jerry's demands that he be questioned by staff lawyers in addition to Congresscritters. WaPoo, As Barr rebuffs House committee, Democrats prepare contempt citation, Politico, Barr won't testify before House panel Thursday. Ace, AG Barr to Nadler: Have Fun Interviewing Each Other, Assholes

WaFreeBee, Prosecutor In Charge of Clinton Email Probe Criticizes Mueller
"I can't substitute my judgement for that of Mueller's team," he said. "And I had to hand off my chapter of that [investigation] early on and so I'm not going to stand here and tell you whether I think the evidence does or doesn't warrant actual charges. But I do think it was wrong of the special counsel's office not to make the charging decision on obstruction—up or down."
EBL, So What Is Bob Mueller Whinging About Now? Nice Deb at PJ Media, GOP Congressman: Mueller Undermined the Public's Confidence When He Hired Trump-Haters for His Team, but it made the eventual clearing of the collusion stronger. But they did what they thought they could with obstruction, which was to come up with a novel theory that acts considered but never carried out could maybe called obstruction, which Democrats are desperately trying to fluff up into something.
"Bob Barr invited Mueller to review the four-page notice that he sent to Congress, but Mueller said, 'no thanks,'" Ratcliff pointed out.

"Then after the letter became public, Bob Mueller apparently had a problem with it. The reason he has a problem with it is he's afraid it will undermine the 'full public confidence' of the public in his conclusions," the congressman continued.

"Memo to Bob," Ratcliffe added, cutting to the chase: "when he put Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Andrew Weissmann on the special counsel team and he staffed the special counsel team with folks that had supported only the Democrats,and when he himself agreed to investigate Donald Trump as the special counsel two days after he interviewed to work for Donald Trump as FBI Director and didn't get the job -- when he did all of those things -- he killed any chance that there was going to be for full confidence in his conclusions."
Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Andy Weissman weren't chosen by Mueller; they were already on the team; they helped choose him.

Rueters, Agreement reached to have Mueller testify on Russia probe - lawmaker sometime in May.  but Mueller’s Willing to Testify, Trump DOJ Is Holding It Up: Dems, I'd love to see him get his turn in the barrel. First question, why did you hire Strzok and Page?

AP, Trump depicted in Mueller report feared being called a fraud. As they say, even paranoid Presidents have real enemies, and the AP is one of them.

John Sexton at Hot Air, Comey: President Trump Eats People’s Souls In Small Bites. Has there ever been a bigger drama queen than James Comey?
He’s telling us his own story and it’s a story of someone who privately thinks himself too smart and too good to quit, someone who will compromise to hang on. It’s not an appealing picture Comey is painting of himself. That’s too bad because, as I said, he once seemed able to make up his own mind and buck the president where necessary.
And quite the harvest at the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 05.01.19, American Greatness: Senator Hirono Calls AG Barr A Liar, Don Surber: Lawyer Up, Jim Comey, Power Line: Mueller’s Moan, also, The Barr Testimony – Democrats Gone Wild, Victory Girls: WaPo Twists And Spins Mueller Note To Barr, and Weasel Zippers: AG Barr Confirms Multiple Criminal Leak Investigations Underway.

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