Barr lied under oath to Congress about the Mueller Report, confirmed.

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Barr lied under oath to Congress about the Mueller Report, confirmed.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-01 10:06pm

I mentioned this briefly in the Mueller Report thread, but confirmation of possible perjury/lying under oath to Congress by the sitting Attorney General of the United States is a big enough development to warrant its own thread.

Basically, after Barr did his little summary claiming exoneration for Trump, Mueller wrote him a letter complaining that "The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office's work and conclusions," and saying that "We communicated that concern to the Department on the morning of March 25." This was then followed by a second letter noting that "there is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation.", as well as a personal phone call from Mueller to Barr:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/01/politics ... index.html
Washington (CNN)Special counsel Robert Mueller criticized Attorney General William Barr for Barr's summary to Congress about Mueller's work and investigative conclusions the day after that summary was released, according to a letter from Mueller released Wednesday.

Mueller sent an initial letter to Barr on March 25, the day after Barr said that Mueller had determined there was no collusion and that there was not enough of a case for the Justice Department to bring an obstruction case against the President.

The letter's disclosure Wednesday further raises questions about Barr's approach to the release of the Mueller report and highlights the rift between the special counsel's office and the Justice Department leadership.

It also immediately led to Democrats calling for Barr to step down as attorney general.

• Read and search the full report

• CNN found 77 instances of lies and false assertions in Mueller's report. Trump told the greatest number

• 77 lies and falsehoods Mueller called out

• What Trump associates told the public vs. what they told Mueller

• 4 times Barr twisted and cherry-picked Mueller's report

Mueller's first letter went to Barr on March 25, the day after Barr informed Congress that Mueller had determined there was no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia and that Mueller had chosen not to make a decision to prosecute the President on obstruction of justice after investigating President Donald Trump's actions and motivations thoroughly. Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined there was not enough of a case for the Justice Department to bring an obstruction case against the President. Yet Mueller's team had outlined in his report both steps Trump took to potentially obstruct the Russia investigation and motivations he had to interfere.

Mueller reiterated his concern for Barr's lack of nuance and context about Mueller's findings in the second letter, released Wednesday and dated March 27.

"The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office's work and conclusions," Mueller wrote on March 27. "We communicated that concern to the Department on the morning of March 25."

Mueller's second letter told Barr "there is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation."

CNN reported previously that Mueller also followed up with Barr in a phone call after he sent the March 27 letter.

While Mueller didn't think Barr's letter was inaccurate, the special counsel believed his report was more nuanced on the obstruction of justice issue, according to Justice Department officials. Mueller was frustrated by media coverage, and wanted more of the report to come out, those officials told CNN.

The call was described to CNN as polite, but there was clear disagreement.

"This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the special counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations," Mueller wrote.

Criticism was swift from congressional Democrats, who demanded to see the letter and criticized Barr's credibility.

Barr, "in the interest of the department, should step down, but I have no expectation that he will," House intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day."

A spokesman for the special counsel's office declined to comment.

Public split on Barr

A CNN-SSRS poll released Tuesday, before the Mueller letter was released, finds public opinion on Barr's actions is nearly evenly split. According to the poll, 44% approve of Barr's handling of the special counsel's report and 43% disapprove. Beyond his handling of the report, 34% have a favorable opinion of Barr and 35% have an unfavorable opinion.

Earlier this month, Barr held a news conference before the redacted report was released by the Justice Department where he framed Mueller's report in Trump's language. He said the report found no wrongdoing by Trump and framed the report on the premise that its findings were favorable to the President.

After the release of Mueller's redacted report and Barr's news conference, some Democrats on Capitol Hill called for Barr's removal as attorney general. Senators running for president -- including Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey -- all said Barr acted like the President's defense lawyer, not the attorney general of the United States.

The Mueller report documents at least 77 specific instances where Trump administration officials, family members, campaign staff, Republican backers and the President's associates lied or made false assertions (sometimes unintentionally) to Congress, the public or authorities, according to a new CNN analysis.
Now, this doesn't really tell us anything we didn't already know, aside from the fact that Mueller felt strongly enough about it to personally make multiple complaints to Barr, and that Barr concealed this fact for more than a month.

What is more significant is that Mueller contacted Barr before Barr testified, under oath, to Congress that he had no information on whether Mueller agreed with his conclusions, meaning that Barr could now be held guilty of perjury/lying to Congress under oath:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1eSNESO8pE

To quote one of the commentators on the video: "Let me just say, at least when I was practicing law, in North-West Florida, if you had lied like that to the federal judges, you would be in jail. You just would."

Democrats are now (quite rightly), calling on Barr to resign. In my opinion, though, they should go further, and immediately begin impeachment hearings against him (which can also serve as a prelude and a means to test the water on impeaching Trump himself).

Meanwhile, traitors in Democratic coats Joe Manchin and Doug Jones, who voted for Barr's confirmation, seem to be having some regret for their actions (or at least considering having regret):

https://www.businessinsider.com/democra ... reddit.com

Too fucking little, too fucking late. :finger:
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Barr lied under oath to Congress about the Mueller Report, confirmed.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-02 03:57am

The shit is now refusing to appear for a hearing tomorrow:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/barr-test ... -1.5117999
Private tensions between U.S. Justice Department leaders and special counsel Robert Mueller's team broke into public view in extraordinary fashion before the Senate judiciary committee Wednesday as Attorney General William Barr pushed back at what he called the special counsel's "snitty" complaints over his handling of the Trump-Russia investigation report.

Testifying for the first time since releasing Mueller's report, Barr faced sharp questioning from Senate Democrats who accused him of making misleading comments and seeming at times to be U.S. President Donald Trump's protector as much as the country's top law enforcement official.

The rift fuelled allegations that Barr has spun Mueller's findings in Trump's favour and understated the gravity of Trump's behaviour. The dispute is certain to persist, as Democrats push to give Mueller a chance to answer Barr's testimony with his own later this month.

Barr separately informed the House Judiciary Committee later Wednesday that he would not appear for its scheduled hearing on Thursday because of the panel's insistence that he be questioned by committee lawyers as well as lawmakers. That refusal sets the stage for Barr to possibly be held in contempt of Congress.

Committee chair Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, right, seen with Republican colleague Chuck Grassley of Iowa, defended Mueller's integrity but also took aim at the FBI agent who was removed from the special counsel team. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)
His appearance Wednesday gave Barr his most extensive opportunity yet to explain the department's actions, including his news conference held before the Mueller report's release.

It was also a chance for him to repair a reputation bruised by allegations that he's the Republican president's protector and by the emergence of a private letter from Mueller, released publicly before the testimony, that criticized his handling of the report.

In his letter, Mueller raised concerns about a letter that Barr sent to Congress detailing what he said were Mueller's principal conclusions.

Mueller said Barr's letter "did not fully capture the context, nature and substance" of the special counsel's work and conclusions.

Barr said he was perturbed by the letter, considering Mueller was a longtime friend. The attorney general called the note "a bit snitty."

"I said 'Bob, what's with the letter? Just pick up the phone and call me if there is an issue,"' Barr said.

The revelation that Mueller, who'd been publicly silent for the entire investigation, was agitated enough to send a letter to Barr — which could, and did, become public — lent his words extra credibility with Democrats, who accused Barr of lying under oath last month when he denied that Mueller's team was unhappy with how their work had been characterized.

"There is new public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation," Mueller said in the letter. "This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the department appointed the special counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.

The Democrat-led House judiciary committee is nearing a date on which Mueller will testify, likely sometime in May, committee chair Jerry Nadler of New York told reporters.

Barr said he had no objection to the possibility of Mueller testifying to Congress.

Barr testified Mueller finished his investigation without interference and that neither he nor any other Justice Department official overruled any proposed action. He reiterated that he felt it necessary to issue a four-page statement of "bottom line" conclusions of the Mueller report.

"The body politic was in a high state of agitation," he said.

The Republican-led Senate committee on Wednesday was chaired by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Graham, an ally of the president, nevertheless pushed back on the subject of Russian interference, mimicking a line Trump used in a 2016 presidential debate: "It wasn't some 400-pound guy sitting somewhere."

Trump has continually assailed the probe and even accused Mueller of bias, but Graham in his opening statement praised the thoroughness of the investigation and the former FBI director's integrity.

Graham also highlighted what he characterized as extensive White House co-operation with Mueller's investigators, an assertion many Democrats dispute, given that Trump did not sit down for an in-person interview and instead submitted written answers to questions. As well, he asserted the report made it clear Trump did not obstruct justice.

Under questioning from Graham, Barr agreed there was no obstruction by Trump because there was no "underlying crime," and because the president didn't exert executive privilege over documents requested by Mueller.

"We do not think in this case the government could show corrupt intent beyond reasonable doubt," he said at another point, under questioning from Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.

Feinstein focused on a section of the report in which it was alleged that Trump tried to influence White House counsel Don McGahn to change testimony he gave to the special counsel.

"You have a situation where the president tries to change a lawyer's account in order to prevent further criticism of himself," she said.

"That's not a crime," Barr responded.

Some Democrats moved to exploit the daylight between Barr and Mueller to impugn the attorney general's credibility. Some also called for Barr to resign, or to recuse himself from U.S. Justice Department investigations that have been spun off from Mueller's probe.

"I think the American public can see quite well that you are biased in this situation and you have not been objective and that would arguably be a conflict of interest," said Senator Kamala Harris, one of the Democratic contenders for president.

Graham hit on familiar criticisms that the FBI's Russia investigation was tainted by law enforcement bias against Trump. Graham was the first of a few Republicans who read aloud derogatory texts by agent Peter Strzok, who was assigned to the special counsel team but removed weeks later.

Strzok, at an earlier time, was also a part of the investigation into the use of Trump rival Hillary Clinton of a so-called homebrew server system at her home while serving as secretary of state. Graham blasted the handling of that particular investigation in his statement.

Graham rarely intervened as the senators took their turns questioning Barr, but was angered after Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono called on the attorney general to resign with some harsh criticism.

"Now the American people know that you are no different from Rudy Giuliani or Kellyanne Conway or any of the other people who sacrificed their once decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office," Hirono said.

"You have slandered this man from top to bottom," Graham said as Hirono's time expired.

Barr was only confirmed for his second stint as attorney general in February, succeeding Jeff Sessions, who Trump continually maligned publicly for recusing himself from overseeing the Russia probe.

In his letter in March, Barr revealed that he and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein had cleared Trump of obstruction of justice after Mueller and his team found evidence on both sides of the question but didn't reach a conclusion.

After the letter's release, Barr raised eyebrows anew when he told a congressional committee he believed the Trump campaign had been spied on, a common talking point of the president and his supporters.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island grilled William Barr on his previously stated concern that the Trump campaign had been 'spied' on. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)
Barr told Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island on Wednesday that when he used the term spying, it was an off-the-cuff characterization.

In April 10 testimony before a House panel, Barr stated, "I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal."

Barr was invited to appear Thursday before the Democratic-led House judiciary panel. Late Wednesday evening, a U.S. Justice Department spokesperson confirmed Barr would not appear, saying committee chair Jerry Nadler placed conditions of the hearing that were "unprecedented and unnecessary."

A committee subpoena deadline for Barr's department to hand over an unredacted version of Mueller's report on his investigation also expired on Wednesday.

"The Department of Justice has also told us that they will not comply with our subpoena for the full unredacted Mueller report," Nadler said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a presidential candidate, called Barr's testimony on Wednesday "a disgrace" on social media and echoed a call by her Democratic colleague Chris Van Hollen of Maryland a day earlier for the attorney general to resign. Warren is not a member of the judiciary panel.

Barr agreed with the assertion of Delaware Democrat Chris Coons that campaign teams should report entreaties from foreign entities to the FBI. Coons was referencing a controversial Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 attended by Russians believed to have ties to the Kremlin.

Republican Ben Sasse, expressed his concern the partisan wrangling was overshadowing the pressing need for the U.S. to bolster its defence against cyberattacks from foreign actors: "In a digital, cyber era, you don't need a bar and a hooker anymore [to spy]."
Well, time for the Contempt charges.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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