Barr argues Trump didn’t obstruct by ‘discouraging’ witnesses from ‘flipping’

Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday defended President Trump’s praising of witnesses for not “flipping” on him.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Wednesday asked Barr during his congressional testimony about whether Trump may have obstructed justice by encouraging witnesses to change their testimony, such as by going after his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s father-in-law. Barr said this would not “pass muster” as subordination of perjury.

Klobuchar also asked about Trump publicly calling his former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, a “brave man” for “refusing to break.” This does not constitute obstruction, Barr said. Trump has also made numerous public comments discouraging “flipping,” as when he told Fox & Friends that doing so “almost ought to be outlawed.”

“I think what the president’s lawyers would say … is that the president’s statements about flipping are quite clear and express and uniformly the same, which is by flipping, he meant succumbing to pressure on unrelated cases to lie and compose in order to get lenient treatment,” Barr said.

Barr subsequently argued that “discouraging flipping, in that sense, is not obstruction.” Klobuchar, clearly, was not happy with this answer, shooting back, “Look at the pattern, here.”


Barr defends Trump’s praise of Manafort for not “flipping”

— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) May 1, 2019


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