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Barr: Mueller ‘Very Clear That He was Not Suggesting We had Misrepresented His Report’

Barr: Mueller ‘Very Clear That He was Not Suggesting We had Misrepresented His Report’

On obstruction: “To be obstruction of justice, the lie has to be tied to impairing evidence in a particular proceeding.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9X3tBT4OvU

Attorney General William Barr testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee over the way he handled Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

We all know that the Democrats desperately wanted Mueller to find that President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia and he obstructed justice. Mueller and his team found no collusion and punted on the obstruction charge.

Mueller Letter

On Tuesday night, The Washington Post wrote about a letter sent to Mueller to Barr, which the media instantly spun in a way to favor them. The media claimed it showed Mueller expressed disappointment on the way Barr characterized his report in the four-page summary.

The letter actually said that Mueller could not understand why the media mischaracterized his report. Barr explained (emphasis mine):

After the special counsel’s report was delivered and Mr. Mueller objected to the attorney general’s four-page characterization of its findings, Mr. Barr said he called Mr. Mueller after receiving his March 27 letter and asked him “what’s the issue here?”

Mr. Mueller told him his characterization of the investigation’s findings was not inaccurate but he was frustrated that news reporting had failed to capture his team’s nuanced thinking, according to Mr. Barr.

“I asked him specifically what his concern was, and he said his concern focused on his explanation of why he did not reach a conclusion on obstruction and he wanted more put out on that issue,” Mr. Barr said. “He was very clear that he was not suggesting we had misrepresented his report. I told Bob I wasn’t interested in putting out summaries …. I wanted to put out the whole report.”

Tempers Flare

OK, I got that nonsense out of the way.

Democrat Hawaiian Sen. Mazie Hirono has a tendency to act holier than thou when it comes to hearings. Of course she did it here when she accused Barr of lying to Congress and he needs to resign.

She asked Barr questions, but interrupted him every chance she got. Barr hardly got in a word.

Graham slammed Hirono for slandering “this man from to bottom” in her seven minutes.

The questioning turned to Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), but emotions still ran high. She asked about the culture at the DOJ and FBI and if Barr considered the investigators top notch.

But at the end of her time, Barr said:

How did we get to the point here where the evidence is now that the president was falsely accused of colluding with the Russians, and accused of being treasonous, and accused of being a Russian agent, and the evidence now is that was without a basis, and two years of his administration have been dominated by allegations that have now been proven false? And, you know, to listen to some of the rhetoric, you would think that the Mueller report had found the opposite.

Obstruction of Justice

The Democrats have pounced on the fact that Mueller and his team “wouldn’t reach a determination on the question of obstruction.”

Here’s the deal. The report pointed out numerous times when Trump lashed out at the investigation, said he wanted to fire Mueller, made some suggestions that one could interpret as obstruction of justice.

Lindsey Graham Defends Trump

HOWEVER. Trump never once went forward with any of his threats. I admit that Trump suggested some stupid actions, but nothing ever happened or suggested that someone attempted Trump’s suggestions. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made this important distinction:

Obstruction, said Mr. Graham, required proving a “specific intent” to impede an investigation. Without any evidence of collusion or conspiracy, Mr. Graham said he could not understand how Mr. Trump could have obstructed justice.

“Attempted obstruction of justice of a crime that never occurred seems to be the new standard around here, to me it doesn’t make any sense,” Mr. Graham said.

He added: “The president never did anything to stop Mueller from doing his job.”

The Wall Street Journal wrote that “obstruction doesn’t require a successful effort,” yet “a prosecutor does need to show that an action was taken to obstruct an investigation.”

Dianne Feinstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) insisted Mueller’s report has “substantial evidence of misconduct.” I guess to her we can’t vent our frustrations about anything anymore without possibly facing charges.

Anyway, Feinstein asked Barr why he decided no obstruction of justice occurred when Trump asked “his then-White House counsel Don McGahn, to change his story about whether the president had tried to get him to remove” Mueller:

Mr. Barr said he didn’t feel the government could show “corrupt intent beyond a reasonable doubt.”

There was enough gray area in the episode, Mr. Barr said, in which Mr. McGahn said Mr. Trump asked him to go to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and tell him Mr. Mueller had to go because of his purported conflicts of interest.

Mr. Trump later said he meant the conflicts of interest should be raised but the decision should be left with Mr. Rosenstein, while Mr. McGahn felt it was more of a direction to push Mr. Mueller out.

“There is something very different between firing someone outright, and having a special counsel removed for a conflict, which suggests you might have another special counsel,” Mr. Barr said.

Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a presidential candidate, also cannot believe that Trump’s words, not actions, did not obstruct justice.

She asked Barr about Trump trying to flip cooperating witnesses, which she thinks is obstruction. Barr set her straight:

As part of an exchange with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D, Minn.), Mr. Barr said that Mr. Trump’s statements about flipping “are quite clear” and did not rise to the level of obstruction.

Ms. Klobuchar read a series of passages from the special counsel report about Mr. Trump discouraging people from cooperating with the special counsel investigation, or criticizing those who did cooperate.

Mr. Trump has also made a number of public comments critical of his former associates who became cooperating witnesses, such as his former attorney Michael Cohen. Mr. Trump said that flipping “almost ought to be illegal.” He also implied those who testify against former associates are “rats.”

That’s not obstruction, Mr. Barr said.

“By flipping, he meant succumbing to pressure on unrelated cases to lie and compose in order to get lenient treatment on other cases,” Mr. Barr said. “Discouraging flipping in that sense is not obstruction.”

The Use of the Word “Spying”

It’s always a joy to watch Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) ask questions during a hearing. That was sarcastic, by the way.

He had a problem with Barr using the word “spying” when talking about the FBI’s action “against the Trump campaign.” He made the comments in April in front of the House Appropriations Committee. From The Daily Caller:

Whitehouse grilled Barr about his use of the term “spying” in relation to those efforts, suggesting that the term was not accurate because the activities of the DOJ were “authorized.”

“I’m not going to abjure the use of the word ‘spying,’” Barr said. “My first job was in CIA. I don’t think the word ‘spying’ has any pejorative connotation at all.”

Barr continued, “I think spying is a good English word that, in fact, doesn’t have synonyms because it is the broadest word incorporating really all forms of covert intelligence collection, so I’m not going to back off the word ‘spying.’”

To further defend his use of the word, Barr pointed out that many members of the media also used the term before they decided to attack him for doing the same.

“Frankly, we went back and looked at press usage and up until all the faux outrage a couple of weeks ago, it’s commonly used in the press to refer to authorized activities,” he explained.

“It’s not commonly used by the Department,” Whitehouse retorted.

Barr shot back, “It’s commonly used by me,” planting a smirk on his face.

[Featured image via YouTube]

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Comments

Nobody is as stupid as these democrat senators.

The corruption is total. This is war.

    Colonel Travis in reply to TheFineReport.com. | May 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    They aren’t that stupid. Trust me. Their voters, however, are either that stupid or that gullible and that is why they engage in this total bullshittery. Forgive my language but these people are the very tyranny we fought a Revolutionary War over.

    In the past I used to disagree with the (D) party. Today, it is a hatred. Not a strong dislike.

    It’s a hate.

      Titan28 in reply to Colonel Travis. | May 1, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      Col Travis: I’m with you. Watching Hirono, Blumenthal, Whitehouse, Klobuchar, Booker & Harris, I could feel the steam coming out of my ears. I hate them. That we let people like this run our country will be the death of us all.

      Barr was great. When Blumenthal asked him if he would give over some notes on the Mueller phone call, he said, “No.”

      Blumenthal looked like he’d been stabbed in the eye.

      Sanddog in reply to Colonel Travis. | May 1, 2019 at 7:04 pm

      People like Hirono go out and deliberately lie, knowing there is zero risk in doing so and the media will spread her words from the hearing as if they were factual. Just once, I’d love to see someone give her the verbal equivalent of a curb stomping when she uses them to spread her lies.

        Valerie in reply to Sanddog. | May 2, 2019 at 11:42 am

        You called it. Today’s San Diego Union-Tribune has a front-page opinion piece by Peter Baker that is incoherent and chopped up, except for a long quote from Sen. Hirono. The article does report that Chairman Graham referred to her statements as “slander.”

      Their voters, however, are either that stupid or that gullible…
      Colonel Travis
      ——————————
      https://twitter.com/robreiner/status/1123653190048731137?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

      Meathead (rob whiner) on Twitter. Note that like all the fascist dumbocrats he’s using democracy instead of republic because of fascism. Fascist being a fascist.
      And a lot worse language and visuals at his twitter page than this tweet.

      Rob Reiner

      William Barr has been up Trump’s ass so long he’s built a second home there. Democracy is hanging by a thread.

DieJustAsHappy | May 1, 2019 at 5:09 pm

The more I hear of the guy the more I’m so glad that he is Attorney General. If only he had been so from the very beginning!

He’s one bar I’d gladly set up.

    We now see what a rat Sessions was, and how instrumental he was to the plot and the cover-up.

      DieJustAsHappy in reply to TheFineReport.com. | May 1, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      I was a die-hard supporter of Sessions, even for some time after his departure. My hope was that due to the uncertainty and sensitivity of what was transpiring at the time he might have been operating in a covert manner. Apparently not and history may be rather harsh toward him.

        Sessions proved two things:

        1-there is a swamp, and loyalty to that corrupt group of elitists trying to seize our country transcends loyalty to the Constitution; and
        2-Sessions is part of the swamp.
        3-by his silence on all things involving this, mcconnell is a proud member as well. So is Kevin McCarthy.

        It’s horrifying to believe someone has more loyalty to their country club than their country.

          DieJustAsHappy in reply to TheFineReport.com. | May 1, 2019 at 6:32 pm

          Sad that, especially when considering how Sessions beamed in his early support of Trump. When one becomes overwhelmingly enmeshed it can be very difficult to break away.

      stablesort in reply to TheFineReport.com. | May 1, 2019 at 9:41 pm

      Sessions is just incredibly stupid. His confirmation hearing was the first time I saw him in action and I was gobsmacked at his naivety and flat out ignorance.

      Sessions responded to Franken with an answer to a question that hadn’t been asked and I knew then that Trump had badly wounded himself with his misplaced loyalty.

        Barry in reply to stablesort. | May 2, 2019 at 12:07 pm

        I remember that, and thinking at the time it was a naive and stupid response to the question. But I did not realize what it would portend…

        I admit to being dumbfounded by Sessions.

Barr hit it out of the park. Finally Trump appointed someone competent. Trump had bad lawyers in the beginning of this investigation. Absolutely moronic to allow your lawyer to testify. What lawyer would use that as strategy?

Trump tried to get Barr to be his personal lawyer when all this shit hit the fan

Barr declined

I am so glad he did not decline to go back into lead the AG’s office

I LOVE THIS MAN!!!

    PersonofInterests in reply to gonzotx. | May 2, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Having only been at the helm for a few months, I’m causiously optimistic that Bill Barr will be the kind of Attorney General that should have been nominated instead of the impotent eunuch Jeff Sessionszzz.

    But the proof will be when the cast of criminals of Team Obama and the Deep State, including people like Adam Schiffhead who leaked and Media Figures, are held to account to prove that the Obama’s Two Tiered Justice System he created by politicizing and weaponizing America’s Intel Agencies, Dept. of Justice, and “Fibbers Bureau of Insurrection” are on life support and ultimately dead.

Feinstein read her question from a piece of paper. When Barr answered she had the look of someone who had no clue what he was talking about. It was almost sad.

When I was working on lawsuits, it was very fashionable to have titanic discovery battles in business cases, and also to refuse to ever make any concessions.

A young partner explained to me, “We don’t know what’s enough, so we have to go out and kill the guy every time. We can’t concede anything.”

Of course, the whole point of discovery is for the parties to share information and narrow the issues for trial, a process that necessarily involves concessions.

Now I see a bunch of US Senators acting like the kind of attorneys that had to be whanged for discovery abuse in the not-too-distant past. It did not look pretty then, and it doesn’t look pretty, now.

    lc in reply to Valerie. | May 2, 2019 at 9:48 am

    You’re describing Weissman!

    puhiawa in reply to Valerie. | May 2, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    I know exactly what you are talking about, but when I opened my own office I settled on a different strategy. I immediately gave the other side everything, then presented very narrow targeted requests of my own. Offered a settlement after review, and then moved for Summary Judgement or trial. After a few years,we developed a reputation for fair dealing and civility that greatly assisted in putting the case to rest. Particularly when factoring in the judges were familiar with our style and approved.

Kevin Smith | May 1, 2019 at 6:17 pm

There was far more evidence of Feinstein colluding and working for China by Feinstein hiring and working with a chinese spy for years.

    MarkS in reply to Kevin Smith. | May 1, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    You’d think that one of those genius repubs would’ve asked Barr about any legal liability for employing a Chinese spy and since Schiff said that he has evidence of collusion but obviously didn’t turn it over to Mueller, if he is obstructing justice?

DieJustAsHappy | May 1, 2019 at 6:29 pm

It’s now being reported that Attorney General Barr will not testify before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow. It seems that while he was in front of the Senate committee the House one was making format changes for his appearance.

While the House committee insists they’ll hold the meeting anyway, the Attorney General won’t be present for their charade.

    MarkS in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | May 1, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    I’m hoping that the House dems have Mueller testify so he can be queried by the republicans

      cucha in reply to MarkS. | May 1, 2019 at 11:48 pm

      Funny thing: the ‘rats are not interested in interviewing Mueller or Rosenstein, the two people who heavily redacted the re Weissman report.

      cucha in reply to MarkS. | May 1, 2019 at 11:49 pm

      Funny thing: the ‘rats are not interested in interviewing Mueller or Rosenstein, the two people who heavily redacted the Weissman report.

How about mentioning the bewilderingly stupid conduct of Kamala Harris? She now apparently believes Rosentein was too conflicted to offer a legal opinion on the obstruction issue. The same Rosentein who appointed Mueller, defined his mandate, and oversaw the investigation for almost 2 years, all with the support of the Democrats.

Barr shot back, “It’s commonly used by me”

That’s about as close to a punch in the face as we’re likely to see in modern Washington. And about time, too.

Rule # 1—Stop Surrendering! It looks like Barr has that one down pretty good.

Comanche Voter | May 1, 2019 at 6:59 pm

Kamala was never the sharpest pencil in the box–like Hillary she flunked the bar exam first time around. Although the California Bar exam is tougher than the DC Bar exam that Hillary failed. If your breath can fog a mirror, you can and will pass the DC Bar exam.

But Ms. Harris is no worse than the run of the mine Dim Senator or Representative in “cross examining” witnesses before a committee. That damns her with faint praise indeed–the standard on offer is lower than whale dung on the bottom of the Marianas Trench. But Maizie Hirono and Da Nang Dick Blumenthal manage to go even lower than that.

    Harris figured out she could suck her way to the top. Hillary always let somebody else do the sucking.

    PersonofInterests in reply to Comanche Voter. | May 2, 2019 at 11:24 am

    We had a female lawyer work for us who was very interesting. She was black and very attractive. She got a college degree in Biology in Alabama and got a job working for a Black Judge. Later, she went to a law school in New England and coincidentally, the school was the same one that the Judge who employed her had attended. Wouldn’t you know that while going to school, she participated in a Beauty Contest and won honors to represent a State proving that she was very attractive.

    She went on to get her law degree, passed her Bar Exams, but never did any law work; never had to utilize the lawyer acumen that she supposedly acquired. She got a job working as a Contract Administrator but in no time, was found to be deficient in her work product and having an affair with her married boss. Not wanting to fire her and cause themselves legal trouble for “Discrimination”, they moved her to another Department where she “vegetated” doing nothing until a layoff was announced and a Black VP was given the duty of firing her.

    Time passed and we loss track of her until a certain Industry Convention was attended and we were engaged by another Industry Member to relate the story that they had hired this attractive Black Lawyer with a great resume that indicated she had all the attributes to be a Vice President but within 6 months, found that she was incapable of being much use for anything. It seems apparent what she was most successful.

    I mention this story because if reminds me so much of Horizontal Chameleon Harris who apparently slept her way to being Senator from California and now that she has the job, appears to be running out of attending males like Willie Brown to keep her fraud going much longer. She apparently isn’t even an example of the Peter Principle because she never really had a level of incompetentcy, just an ability to go “Horizontal.”

Barr told Bluming Idiot he can’t have the telephone conservation notes. Is there going to be a fun legal battle over this? My popcorn is popping.

Looks like he gave the house the finger for tomorrow.

Barr is pretty good, but nobody beat Rumsfeld.

    Barry in reply to MarkSmith. | May 2, 2019 at 1:52 am

    I like Rumsfeld. AG Barr has proven his equal, and because of opportunity, superior.

    That was an exceptional performance today.

I grow weary of this endless dog and pony show.

ottovongrubner | May 1, 2019 at 9:35 pm

I don’t understand why Mueller and the Dems continue to alienate Barr further. They have relied on people who were loyal to the politics of the hoax and not the truth of it. Comey, Brennan, Mueller, Ohr, and the rest were going to keep the narrative going any cost.

If Barr had any belief that protecting the Justice Department over getting at the truth, he’s off that. He’s been on the receiving end of the Media’s, Dem’s and Meuller’s extreme vitriol, game playing and pettiness. Don’t these people realize he can bury them since he holds the reins to reveal all of the sordid activities that when on during the search for non-existent collusion.

I hope he buries them all.

    “I don’t understand why…”

    Those corrupt commies know what is coming. There coup has failed, now the perps are getting ready to fall and AG Barr is at the head of the investigation. So, they are trying to discredit him to keep their base on the plantation.

Every commentator on air continues to say, “I’ve never seen anything like this before…”

None of them have lived through a civil war. This is how they begin.

If ANYBODY here thinks the swamp/left/islamic cabal is going to let-up, or they’re going to honor the Constitution if they gain power: you are as great a fool as any Hollywood idiot.

swamp/left/islamic cabal are gangsters, as ruthless as stalin. The likes of mcconnell and romney are right in there with them.

We are at the first stages of a civil war.

    PersonofInterests in reply to TheFineReport.com. | May 2, 2019 at 11:00 am

    We are currently already in a Civil War and the only thing missing to see it turn hot is its “Fort Sumter Catalyst.” I’m thinking that the 2020 Election that will produce Demtard sponsored Voter Fraud and Election Supervisory Shenanigans of the kind see in Broward and Palm Beach Counties of Florida, Ballot Harveting witnessed in Kalifornication, and others like Arizona, Montana, and Colorado may prove to be the Final Straw.

    I SEE NO EVIDENCE THAT STATES, ESPECIALLY KEY REPULBICAN STATES, ARE MOVING TO PUT INTO PLACE MEASURES TO PREVENT LAWFUL VOTERS FROM BEING DISENFRANCHISED BY ILLEGAL ALIENS AND OTHER INELIBLE VOTERS VOTING, FAIL SAFE CHAIN MANAGEMENT OF ELECTION MACHINES, AND OTHERS, INCLUDING PHOTO ID USE AND PURGING VOTER ROLLS OF INELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS.

    And of course, we may never understand the stupidity of the Florida Republican Party to have actually enabled 1.4 million felons who typically favor the Demtard’s handouts the right to vote in Florida as though the elections are not already close enough given all who are evacuating the Tax & Spend Shiiitholes that they created and have bankrupted to bring their bad voting habits and ideology with them to Florida, e.g., CT, IL, NY, MD, CA.

Sen Mazie Hirono did the “full Hirono”*

* A “Hirono” greeting is the equivalent of going into a restaurant and telling them that they are health code violator and then asking for the desert menu.

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