Update: As the Barr hearing began, Jerry Nadler, apparently uncomfortable with being out of the spotlight, told reporters that talks with Mueller to appear before Congress had made progress, and that the two sides just needed to agree on a date for the hearing. Right now, it’s looking like that hearing – which could be the biggest Washington media circus since Comey’s testimony in June 2017 – will happen in May.
NADLER: AGREEMENT ON MUELLER TESTIFYING SUBJECT TO SETTING DATE
During his opening statement, Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, defended Mueller and his conclusions, and blasted the FBI (even reading off some of Peter Strzok’s text messages) for its bias toward Trump, and for failing to hold Hillary Clinton accountable.
GRAHAM SAYS CLINTON E-MAIL PROBE DONE BY ANTI-TRUMP PEOPLE GRAHAM SAYS `FOR ME IT IS OVER’
And as is his custom, President Trump reminded voters that Mueller found ‘no collusion and no obstruction’ shortly before the hearing began.
Diane Feinstein, the ranking member, excoriated Barr for his purported biases and dissembling, and demanded that the panel must hear from Mueller as well.
FEINSTEIN SAYS SENATE PANEL NEEDS TO HEAR FROM MUELLER
NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. Besides, how can you have Obstruction when not only was there No Collusion (by Trump), but the bad actions were done by the “other” side? The greatest con-job in the history of American Politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2019
Of note: Barr has handed over the full Mueller letter. Read it below:
BREAKING: Letter from Special Counsel Robert Mueller to Attorney General Barr. pic.twitter.com/oDJm6coP8G
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) May 1, 2019
* * *
Last night’s deep-state ‘leak’ of a letter penned by Robert Mueller to AG (and longtime friend and colleague) William Barr complaining that Barr’s summary of Mueller’s findings, released several weeks before the redacted report, didn’t capture the full “context, nature and substance” of the report was of course conveniently timed to hand Democrats plenty of ammunition to tear into Barr during Wednesday morning’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
(Of course, as we’ve pointed out, when Barr pressed Mueller about whether Barr’s summary was inaccurate, the special counsel demurred, and affirmed that he didn’t think it was. Mueller’s letter was reportedly dated March 27. Barr released the summary on March 24.)
But the fact Barr insisted during back-to-back Congressional testimony on April 9 & April 10 that he didn’t know where the special counsel stood regarding the AG’s characterization of the report has already prompted some Democratic senators to demand Barr’s resignation, per the Washington Post.
Chris Van Hollen, the Senator who asked Barr about what he knew about Mueller’s feelings about the summary, demanded Barr resign and once again accused him of being a ‘propaganda chief’ for the president.
He labeled his position “the most recent example of the attorney general acting as the chief propagandist for the Trump administration instead of answering questions in a straightforward and objective manner.”
In a prepared statement for the committee, Barr defended his handling of the special counsel’s investigation.
“As Attorney General, I serve as the chief law-enforcement officer of the United States, and it is my responsibility to ensure that the Department carries out its law-enforcement functions appropriately. The Special Counsel’s investigation was no exception.”
Pelosi seized on the reports about the Mueller letter to demand that Barr release the full Mueller report and all the underlying docs that the Demos have subpoenaed.
Attorney General Barr misled the public and owes the American people answers. It’s time for DOJ to release the full report & all underlying docs — and finally allow Mueller to testify. Americans deserve the facts. Barr must stop standing in the way. https://t.co/9mfIaKSOSj
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 1, 2019
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler demanded that Barr appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday for another hearing, as the Dems have requested.
This is why it is so critical for AG Barr to appear before @HouseJudiciary on Thursday so that we can ask him about the reported letter from Special Counsel Mueller over the AG’s misleading summary of Mueller report. https://t.co/2xstNNOBoP pic.twitter.com/xBV0w65TAq
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) May 1, 2019
And Chuck Schumer demanded that Barr bring the full Mueller letter with him to Wednesday’s hearing, and also demanded that Mueller appear before Congress to testify.
In light of Mueller’s letter, the misleading nature of Barr’s 4/10 testimony & 4/18 press conference is even more glaring. Barr must bring the letter with him when he testifies in the Senate tomorrow. And it’s time for Mueller to testify publicly. Now.https://t.co/d3lObZSQBE
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 1, 2019
The Dems lapdogs in the press have also piled on, with CNN’s Chris Cilizza warning that “William Barr is in deep trouble” in an editorial published Wednesday morning shortly before the hearing was set to begin.
With all the drama, Wednesday’s hearing is bound to be a lively one. Watch live below:
And Read Barr’s prepared remarks below:
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