Remember When Kamala Harris Made Bill Barr Crap His Pants? We Do. It Was Awesome.
I don't believe Confederate monument Jeff Sessions had any positive traits, but if I must grudgingly allow him one, then it's the former attorney general's refusal to serve as Donald Trump's personal Tom Hagen. However, his replacement, Bill Barr, has had no problem catering to Trump's mostly corrupt interests. Now he might need his own lawyer. You'll recall that Trump reportedly pressured the Ukrainian president to help him dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden, who is now polling below ElizabethWarren. (That's not technically relevant; I just like saying it.) Trump even stated he'd have Barr and his other stooge, Rudy Giuliani, contact the president to "get to the bottom of it" and "figure it out."
Trump seemed fairly confident in the lackey skills of his new attorney general. This reminds us of Barr's
pathetic performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May. Our girl Kamala Harris was grilling him like she was my uncle at a summer cookout. She doused him in lighter fluid and threw him directly on hot coals until he was
burnt to a crisp cooked medium well. She hit him with a direct question and he stammered and stalled like a beauty pageant contestant asked to solve the Mideast crisis.
Complete exchange between Sen. Kamala Harris and Attorney General William Barr (C-SPAN)youtu.be
HARRIS: Has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no please, sir.
That's obviously a yes or no question, but Harris doesn't him trust him not to randomly answer "Jell-O." As my mother would say, this is what she thinks of him.
BARR: I wouldn't-
HARRIS: Yes or no?
BARR: Could you repeat that question?
Barr has decades of legal experience. Normally when he asks someone to repeat the question, they get flummoxed and ask an entirely different question, like "what color tie are you wearing?" This usually works. Harris is obviously a witch.
HARRIS: I will repeat it.
The "motherfucker" at the end is silent but clearly communicated.
HARRIS: [H]as the president or anyone at White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no please, sir.
BARR: The president or anybody else?
"JELL-O!" You know what she asked you. You were right there.
HARRIS: Seems you would remember something like that and be able to tell us.
BARR: Yeah, but I'm trying to grapple with the word "suggest."
That's a great 1990s emo rock lyric, but it's a bullshit response to Harris's question.
BARR: There have been discussions of matters out there- that they have not asked me to open an investigation.
If that was true, Barr could've answered the "yes or no" question with "no" instead of wasting Harris's time. But here's where the shit gets beautiful.
HARRIS: Perhaps they've suggested?
BARR: I wouldn't say suggest.
BARR: I don't know.
STOP BADGERING ME, LADY! I DON'T SPEAK "HINT"!
Harris is a prosecutor. She knows that criminals gotta criminal. It's not possible for Barr to spend any serious amount of time with Trump and not witness him break the law. It's like hanging out with Keith Richards in the 1970s. You can say you didn't notice any drug use but no one will believe you. This is why Harris awarded Barr no points for his testimony and demanded his resignation.
HARRIS: After today's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, it is clear that Attorney General Barr lacks all credibility. The American public deserves an attorney general that will fairly and impartially enforce the law. Barr must resign.
He should've taken her advice. Now he's all tangled up in treason. The Justice Department released a statement today claiming Barr was unaware of Trump asking him to fix matters for him like a common Michael Cohen.
"The President has not spoken with the Attorney General about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son. The President has not asked the Attorney General to contact Ukraine – on this or any other matter," spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement. "The Attorney General has not communicated with Ukraine – on this or any other subject. Nor has the Attorney General discussed this matter, or anything relating to Ukraine, with Rudy Giuliani."
Trump just mentioned Barr a million times during his phone call and never got around to cc'ing the attorney general on his shady activities? He just commits crimes in an empty forest where no one can hear and become an accessory? Barr will forgive us if we find that hard to believe. It's possible Harris delivered her ass whoopin' so well that Barr was spooked and avoided his boss. But there's no evidence he spent the past summer hiding behind curtains. Besides, Trump is infamous for his social media performance reviews. He screamed at Sessions constantly on Twitter for not doing his bidding (it was HILARIOUS!). If Barr wasn't delivering the goods, Trump would've publicly expressed his displeasure. He praised Barr as "fair and reasonable" just last month, and when Trump calls you that, it means you're crooked. Case closed.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."