Bill Barr told them he wasn’t going to play along with their silly political games. He’s shown them he wasn’t kidding.
If you were following the lead-up to Barr going before the House and Senate to answer questions, you knew this showdown was coming.
The Republican-controlled Senate had pretty ordinary questions. Some of them got loopy (which made for pretty good viral clips) others, like Kamala were ruthlessly cynical and were more interested in making statements and scoring points to shape a narrative than in answering questions. Overall, Barr handled himself like an old pro, running rings around the traps some, like Feinstein tried to lay out for him.
But — showboating aside — all in all, it was pretty routine series of questioning that fell (more or less) within the scope of ‘oversight’.
The Democrat-controlled House was another matter.
Nadler is still drunk on the idea of power that he doesn’t actually have — hardly surprising, considering the last Democrat President set many such precedents.
Not only did he think he has the right to subpoena information that Barr is forbidden to disclose to the public, but he also thinks he has the right to bully the AG to do things he is forbidden to do.
Barr explicitly told them he would not agree to the terms they were demanding of him.
‘If he does not provide this committee with the information it demands and the respect it deserves, Mr. Barr’s moment of accountability will come soon enough’: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler threatens to hold the attorney general in contempt https://t.co/AHvGb9vjFB pic.twitter.com/Sp4txiaeOd
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 2, 2019
Amid partisan clashes over the aftermath of the special counsel’s Russia report, Attorney General William Barr faced tough questions Wednesday from Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Barr will not testify as scheduled Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee, however, after the Democrat-controlled panel voted to have staff lawyers question him. The attorney general has insisted on taking questions only from committee members.
He was happy to stand and answer questions offered by duly-elected officials, but he was not going there to be cross-examined by unelected hired guns, nor should he be. The reply of the AG’s office shows the showboating for what it is:
Chairman Nadler’s insistence on having staff question the attorney general, a Senate-confirmed Cabinet member, is inappropriate. Further, in light of the fact that the majority of the House Judiciary Committee – including chairman Nadler – are themselves attorneys, and the chairman has the ability and authority to fashion the hearing in a way that allows for efficient and thorough questioning by the members themselves, the chairman’s request is also unnecessary.
Congress does have oversight, but this is — in the view of the Right — going a long way beyond simple oversight. This has moved into the real of political pageantry, something that has characterized the Democrats since the ‘resistance’ movement kicked into gear, as of January 2017.
Judiciary Democrats say AG Barr is "terrified." Yesterday he testified for over five hours in an open hearing.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 2, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “The attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That's a crime” pic.twitter.com/WgXicikYH4
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 2, 2019
And how do we KNOW beyond any shadow of any doubt that this is nothing more than political pageantry on the part of Nadler? Because all he has to do is schlepp himself over to a SCIF and look at the unredacted report himself… since he has the clearance.
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) May 2, 2019
But that just won’t do. The minute he sees the whole thing, the jig is up on his Orange-Man-Bad innuendo game.
And if that is gone, the only thing left is to talk about issues. And between the Green New Deal, the rise of Neo-Marxism among elected Democrat and the latent antiSemitism they’re grappling with, that’s the LAST thing they want to be talking about.
Well, that and the fact that Barr shared some Republican concerns about how exactly the spying on Trump’s campaign began in the first place.
Looks like Trump’s pick for Sessions’ replacement was a good one.
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