Bill Barr Glad To Testify For Congress This Week, Long As He Doesn't Have To Answer Questions
Attorney General Bill Barr has decided to help again! First he stonewalled as long as he could on releasing the redacted Mueller Report. Then he took a brief turn running interference as Donald Trump's defense attorney, publicly clearing the president of all crimes related to the Russia investigation and obstruction of that probe, in order to distract from how disastrous the report was for Trump. Now, we have reached the next phase. That's right, it's time for Barr to sit his ass down in front of Congress, to answer questions like "What the absolute hell, dude?" and "You are really shitty at cover-ups, did you know that?"
And Barr is glad to oblige! Just as long as Congress doesn't try any funny business, like making him answer hard questions, or making it difficult for him to refuse to answer questions, or putting him on the spot in a closed session where he can't pretend the answer to whatever they're asking is classified and therefore refuse to answer it. Of course, that's precisely what the Democrats want out of Barr, so now he says maybe he's going to be busy that day.
House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler is PISSED.
"The witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period," Nadler, a New York Democrat, said.
Asked what he would do if Barr doesn't comply, Nadler said: "Then we will have to subpoena him, and we will have to use whatever means we can to enforce the subpoena."
And if Barr doesn't like that, then he shouldn't have picked this particular game of chicken.
Barr is supposed to be at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, and then the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. But he says he just may have to skip leg day on Thursday, because the Democrats have suggested they might ask questions in a way that doesn't please him. Specifically, they might have committee counsel lead the questioning for part of the hearing, which makes it a lot easier to get real answers, as opposed to just having members of Congress go in five-minute intervals, with varying levels of success. They also want to be able to take the hearing into closed session after the public part is over.
Democratic lawmakers "have seen administration witnesses filibuster for 4½ minutes, then say something nonresponsive in the last half-minute," [a congressional] aide said. "The Democratic members have been nearly unanimous in their opinion that circumstances warrant extended questioning, including by counsel."
Anyway, if Barr decides not to show up, you better believe Nadler is going to make good on his threat to launch a subpoena up his ass. They need to be able to get as much information out of Barr as they can, and they need to minimize his ability to weasel out of it.
The Washington Post quoted the same congressional aide, who says this is just some CHUTZPAH if Barr thinks he can really just play hooky from Congress because mean Democrats seem to think it's their constitutional right and duty to ask him questions, but the aide also notes that it's incredibly telling:
"The chutzpah of telling us how the hearing is going to be structured and then threatening to walk goes directly to our working thesis that [Barr] is interested in carrying water for the president but not interested in providing answers to the public," the aide said.
Like we've said, Trump wanted a Roy Cohn-style hack to defend him, and he appears to have gotten one.
Of course, we should note that Barr's other obstructions continue apace. He hid the redacted Mueller Report for as long as possible, then decided based on this one legal theory he pulled out of his ass that it's literally impossible for the president to commit obstruction crimes, because if the president does it, that means it's not illegal, or some such shit that went out with Nixon. As of this date, members of Congress still haven't seen the full, unredacted Mueller Report, and Barr is still completely unwilling to do proactive things like go see a judge and ask that the grand jury information contained therein be released to Congress. And now he's pulling this shit with his planned congressional testimony.
Basically what we are saying is that Bill Barr is a complete bag of dicks who's bad at his job and will go down in history as one of the dumbasses who ruined what little reputation he had left when he decided to serve this criminal president. Also, he should go fuck himself.
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