More rich, buttery Barr goodness.
Barr is the new Dick Cheney: a stocky, bespectacled, confrontational, blunt, intelligent, unapologetically conservative, experienced, and high-powered official who believes in and fights for the office of the president. Just as Democrats loathed Cheney as a bugaboo manipulating President George W. Bush to further the interests of Halliburton, they attack Barr as a dishonest factotum of President Trump’s. The qualities that drove Democrats batty over Cheney—his inscrutability, his cleverness, his asperity, and above all his success—make them incensed about Barr. These happen to be qualities Republicans find appealing.
What’s behind conservative support for Cheney and Barr is their lack of embarrassment. Most Washingtonians, no matter their party, find it important to be held in esteem by the city’s tastemakers, who are overwhelmingly liberal. Not these two. The classic Cheney moment was his 2004 exchange with Pat Leahy on the Senate floor. Cheney complained that Leahy had called him a war profiteer. Leahy responded that Cheney had said he was a bad Catholic. So Cheney ended the conversation by telling Leahy to perform a physically impossible four-letter act. “You’d be surprised at how many people liked that,” Cheney recollected in a 2010 interview. “It’s sort of the best thing I ever did.” He’s selling himself short.
Republican fans of Barr circulated clips of his Senate appearance Wednesday even as media coverage of his testimony was uniformly negative. No Democrats are held in less esteem by conservatives than the ones on the Judiciary Committee. They will never live down their treatment of Brett Kavanaugh. Trump supporters nodded in agreement when Barr said the controversy over his March 24 description of the Mueller report is “mind-bendingly bizarre.” They chuckled when he said Mueller’s March 27 letter to him was “a bit snitty and I think it was probably written by one of his staff members.” They guffawed when Barr described the verb “spying” as “a good English word.” They cheered when Richard Blumenthal asked for notes Barr had taken of his phone conversation with Mueller and Barr told him no. “Why should you have them?”
Where his predecessor was genial and deferential to Congress and the press, Barr is disdainful and combative. At his April 18 press conference before the publication of the Mueller report, a CBS reporter asked Barr if his use of the word “unprecedented” to describe the circumstances of the Russia investigation was “quite generous to the president and his feelings and emotions.” Barr replied, “Is there another precedent for it?” “No,” the reporter acknowledged sheepishly. Another reporter wondered, “Is it an impropriety for you to come out and sort of spin the report before people are able to read it?” Barr said, “No,” and left the room. Lib owned.
Some out there are reminding us of something we all already know: that the chances of top-level malefactors like HILLARY!™ and Ogabe ever facing justice remain slim, and I can’t disagree. Nor do I anticipate meaningful reform of dangerously powerful and corrupt federal bureacracies from Barr’s efforts. Nonetheless, it sure is enjoyable to watch Barr roughly manhandle the Democrat-Socialists, making them squirm like a salted slug on a hot sidewalk. Elsewhere, Lindsay V2.0 scores a stinging, smarting hit himself, calling Mr Integrity out for his weaselly manipulation.
I am filing this story in the “put up or shut up” category of invitations. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham Friday morning sent a letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller inviting him to testify about the phone call he had with A.G. Barr following the letter Mueller sent to Barr about the summary of findings the A.G. issued, pending release of the full report. That letter, purportedly meant to be private, nonetheless was leaked right before Barr testified before Graham’s committee and was used by Democrat members to criticize the A.G.
Mueller knows that Barr had him on a speakerphone, with witnesses present and taking notes. (Incidentally, what does that tell you about the actual regard in which Barr holds Mueller — a man he has known for decades?) Reportedly, during the conversation, Barr asked Mueller if there were any inaccuracies and was told by Mueller, no.
Meanwhile, the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee is negotiating with Mueller over possible testimony. Just a guess: They are not demanding that staff members be given a half-hour to question Mueller.
The last line in Graham’s beautifully direct request to get all the cards on the table: “Please inform the Committee if you would like to provide testimony regarding any misrepresentation by the Attorney General.” Time to fish or cut bait, Slippery Bob.
Update! Gerard posts a Solzhenitsyn quote made all the more poignant by current events.
In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.
We are also dishonoring our own integrity and posterity, thereby sowing the seeds of bloody strife, upheaval, and misery for those new generations sooner or later, as faith in the system and justice itself crumbles into ruin.
Obstruction update! Via Insty: “Barr is investigating Democrats. Democrats call for Barr to resign. According to Nadler, that’s obstruction of justice!” But it’s more than just that. It’s also this:
Don’t fool yourself. This latest assault on Attorney General Barr is a coordinated hit job cooked up between the media, the special counsel, and their allies in Congress. And it has only one purpose, to stop or slow Barr’s inquiry into the gross abuses leading up to the effort to spy on the Trump campaign.
I explained exactly why Mueller defied Barr here: “By salting the report with grand jury information that required redaction, Mueller guarantees the president remains subject to the innuendo and suspicion that comes with unnecessary secrecy.” In other words, it was a dirty trick. Open your eyes, Mr. Attorney General, because they’re coming for you now.
Oh, he seems like a smart enough fella. I’m pretty sure he already knows.
Coordinating with their allies in the media and the Senate, Mueller has attempted to set-up the attorney general. Barr was asked whether he knew why Mueller’s team was upset with the attorney general’s summary. He said he did not know what their concerns were. That was a truthful statement. But Sen. Patrick Leahy has attempted to use Mueller’s leaked letter to argue that the attorney general lied to Congress when he said he didn’t know what was of concern to Mueller’s team. The attorney general gave a factual and able explanation for the ginned up discrepancy.
What is Mueller’s endgame here? Impeachment? Don’t be ridiculous.
To answer that question, go back and look at where the Mueller people were standing on the night that Donald Trump shocked the world by upsetting Hillary Clinton. Robert Mueller left a $3.4 million partner job with WilmerHale, the same law firm that had just won a lawsuit for the Clinton Foundation, keeping Clinton emails secret. The Mueller probe provided former Clinton Foundation attorney Jeannie Rhee with the opportunity once again to protect Clinton by making sure the word “Fusion” never appeared in the Mueller report and by steering the Papadopoulos prosecution to help obscure the role of the Clinton-financed dossier in the hoax. The end-game is to continue to protect the coup plotters and deep-state bad actors who have used surveillance of Americans in much the same way the Soviets used it in Eastern Germany.
This is high stakes stuff. If the elites can continue using intelligence and law enforcement to interfere in American elections, they will eventually get good at it and we will lose our republic. The deep state allies are fighting like the “Unsullied” protecting the gates of Winterfell to cover for the bad actors still fumbling for their golden parachutes. Bottom line, the report, these new leaks, they’re just desperate attempts to delay the reckoning. The attorney general is now subject of a campaign of smear and intimidation and he must be protected so he can hold these villains to account.
Seeing as how the Clintons are up to their necks in this, Barr needs more than merely political protection; he should consider putting some serious private security on the payroll, lest he be found on a DC park bench after having committed suicide by shooting himself in the back of the head seventeen times.