Though they were excruciatingly obnoxious to William Barr at Tuesday’s House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Democrats would be well-advised to lay off the attorney general, maybe even treat him with kid gloves, because he holds a good deal of the future of their party in his hands. In fact, he is positioned to make that party bleed as perhaps no one in history. And it only makes it worse that he is clearly such a straight shooter.
The big story from Barr’s testimony then before the subcommittee was not that the AG plans to release a redacted version of the Mueller report within a week or even that those redactions will be color-coded four ways and annotated to explain the reasons for the edits. Or that Democrats like Nita Lowey whined about transparency with all the hypocrisy only a politician can muster. This is all pro forma and predictable.
The big story was the affirmative answer he gave to a question about whether he was planning to investigate the provenance of the Russia probe itself. That would, of course, include the FISA court scandal and the Steele dossier, not to mention strange–let’s call them spooky– occurrences in the UK well before the election. Barr noted he also would look at the eight criminal referrals of DOJ personnel and others coming from Devin Nunes. He further noted we could expect the inspector general’s report on these matters in May or June. He was filled with such news, much of it spontaneously given. Perhaps even John Huber will surface.
In other words, Barr’s obviously been paying attention to the larger situation and that is bad news indeed for Democrats. This is particularly true because the Mueller probe did not come up with any crimes connected to Russia collusion, but even the beginnings of an investigation of what prompted the probe in the first place has already come up with several. – read more