Barr Testimony: Mueller May Have Some ‘Splainin’ To Do

One of the big takeaways from the first day of the testimony of Bill Barr concerns a number of failures that may be attributed to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The most significant failure concerns his decision not to reach a conclusion on obstruction, as I discussed in today’s column. With an hour of the release of the Report, I criticized Mueller for his decision not to reach a conclusion which has no basis in law or policy. The only question was whether Mueller had been told not to reach such a conclusion. Barr answered that questions today in no uncertain terms. Not only could Mueller reach a conclusion, both Barr and Rosenstein pressed him to do so. Mueller’s decision remains both unsupported and incomprehensible. And that is not all that Mueller will have to explain.

Barr understandably said today that he still does not understand Mueller’s rationale for not reaching a decision and questioned what Mueller thought he was supposed to do as a special counsel. What is weird is that Barr and Rosenstein made clear that they did believe Mueller could and should reach a decision. That should have resolved any question as to DOJ policy.

Another glaring revelation from Barr was that he and Rosenstein expressly and repeatedly told Mueller to identify grand jury or Rule 6(e) material in his report to allow a rapid public release of the report. Barr said that he was surprised when Mueller simply ignored that request from his superiors. The result was a longer period for the public release of the report.

A third disclosure was that Mueller spoke to Barr and expressly said that he did not view the summary letter to be misleading or false. That is categorically in conflict with the media coverage over the last 24 hours claiming that Mueller believed Barr “lied” or “misled: the public. Barr said that Mueller stated clearly that he wanted the executive summaries released to help explain why he did not reach a conclusion.

Finally, Barr said that Mueller repeatedly told him and Rosenstein that his decision not to reach a conclusion on obstruction was not due to the Office of Legal Counsel memos barring the indictment of a sitting president. That is also in direct contradiction with ongoing coverage and runs contrary to the discussion of the OLC by the Special Counsel in his report. It also makes senses because, as I have written, there is nothing in those memos that even remotely suggests that a Special Counsel cannot reach a conclusion on criminal conduct.

If true, Barr is clearly more sinned against than sinner in all of this. Regardless, we have to hear from Mueller and he has much ‘splaining to do.

273 thoughts on “Barr Testimony: Mueller May Have Some ‘Splainin’ To Do”

  1. Barr is testifying on TV as we speak and read this blog. He seems coherent and honest.

  2. Quite amazing that the Dems have to
    Rely on staff members to attack Barr.
    He will blow them out of the water.

  3. LIVE: Panel discusses case of Julian Assange and ‘state of imperialism’

  4. Let see: Barr’s intellect against nine Democratic Senators, their staffs and their committee counsel. Seems quite unfair. Maybe the Senate can get a few more members and their entourage to even out the game.

  5. The only surprise I see is mine for those who haven’t been paying attention for the past 4 years. Is there someone who hasn’t lied, concealed, conspired, obfuscated and misled in federal politics these days? They all lie, it appears, does it not? Mueller may have some “‘splaining” to do, but you can count on the Repubs to take off on an endless flight to shield the orange one. No one says Mueller lied or diminished any facts; the same cannot be said about Barr.

    1. There is a solution to shield against the accusation of “liar”; simply copy Mueller’s style and don’t say anything, beyond maybe a little note sent here and there.

  6. Oh, come on now, Turley. Barr has absolutely NO credibility any more, beginning with campaigning for the job by setting forth the conclusion before the investigation was complete, providing cover for Trump by a deceitful narrative about the Mueller report before it was released, and continuing through today. Everything Trump touches literally turns to feces. He contaminates everyone and everything he touches.

    We don’t need Mueller to tell us that Barr’s spin was deceitful. Your entire piece relies on Barr being truthful, but the public already knows better. We can see for ourselves that Barr is on Trump’s “fixer” staff, that he does NOT represent the interests of justice or the American people and that his Mueller preview was neither honest nor complete. Whatever reputation for integrity he might have once had is now gone. If anyone has any “splainin’ to do it would be Barr, but he needn’t bother because we already know he is a liar. He has proven that he is just another syncophantic, lying passenger on the Trump bus that’s headed for the edge of a cliff.

    1. Pathetic. Barr says Rosenstein agrees with him. Rosenstein wanted to take down Trump with a hidden microphone. Are you and the average progressive idiot telling the audience that Rosenstein can not or shall not disclose that Barr lied, as you posit?

      1. Princess T.,
        Is it possible that Natacha’s spin is deceitful?!?😳
        A non-partisan, objective,😀 person like Natacha could be trying to sell a stale bill of goods?

        1. OK: 1. Did Barr campaign for the job of AG by sending an unsolicited memo to the DOJ that concluded, on controversial grounds, that a sitting president cannot be indicted while in office? 2. Was Barr’s letter setting forth what he claimed were Mueller’s conclusions a fair, reasonable or honest rendition of the report; 3. Why didn’t Barr use the summaries specifically prepared by the Mueller team for immediate release to the public, instead of drafting his own spin on what he claimed the report concluded? 4. Did Barr know what Mueller’s disputes were with his narrative before the last time he testified when claimed he didn’t know whether Mueller agreed with his rendition of the report’s findings? 5. Why did Mueller send a letter to Barr accusing him of confusing the public and not capturing the spirit or essence of his report via his letter containing the spin he put on the Mueller report? 6. Is the job of the AG of the USA to represent the American people and the interests of justice, or to cover for the POTUS? 7. Has Sarah Sanders lied to the American people? 8. Did Michael Cohen lie? 9. Does Donald Trump lie? 10. Did Manafort lie? 11. Did Russia take steps to help Donald Trump “win the victory” by illegal hacking DOJ and HRC’s computers? 12. Did the Trump campaign feed polling information on key precincts in Minnesota, Michigan and other states that Russians used to create a disinformation campaign against HRC? 13. Have Trump or Barr done anything about ongoing Russian spying and disinformation dissemination?

          Please cite me alternative facts and where you got these facts. BTW: it is a Faux News talking point that the investigation into the crimes of Donald Trump is a done deal. It isn’t, by a long shot.

          1. Since Natcookoo did not provide citations for her 13 statements/ questions, I will answer her pop quiz and not waste time further confusing her with thinks like facts and evidence.
            #1. Unknown and unproven
            #2.Who knows
            #3.Did Mueller have a preferred summary? Where is it?
            #4. Unknown
            #5.need to review…can’t read my notes on #5.
            #6. Depends; ask Holder and Tarmac Loretta about that.
            #7. Y es.
            #8.duh! Hell yes. That’s hard to miss.
            # 10.Yes
            #11.will get back on this one, too
            #12. Unknown
            #13. Probably, and that is both shocking and unprecedented for a White House spokesperson.

          2. 1. Yes, so? Read this take and enjoy:
            2. Yes
            3. He answered that question today.
            4. Rephrase the question and you’ll have your answer.
            5. Why do you think?
            6. The job of the AG is to be there with his boy and be the president’s wingman. Duh.
            7. What difference at this point does it make? Oh sorry, that’s Hillary’s line from when she and Obama flat out lied about Benghazi.
            8. You bet he lied. To Congress, no less. Now tell us why Congress (House) is not pursuing perjury charges against Cohen?
            9. Does anyone in Washington NOT lie?
            10. He’s sitting in prison right now, what’s your point?
            11. That’s the narrative they’re pushing, but can you explain what happened to the DNC server and why the FBI forensic team relied on a questionable third party’s report and took their word for it?
            12. Mueller “did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort’s sharing polling data and Russia’s interference in the election,” and, moreover, “did not establish that Manafort otherwise coordinated with the Russian government on its election-interference efforts.” Mueller noted that he “could not reliably determine Manafort’s purpose in sharing” the polling data, but also acknowledged (and bolstered) the explanation of his star witness, Rick Gates, that Manafort was motivated by proving his financial value to former and future clients. (see The Nation article:
            13. Yes. More than Obama ever did.

            PS You sound like a crazed conspiracy theorist, just like your hero, Crazy Mazie. Sad. 🙁

            1. TBob,
              Will we get graded for our answers?
              If so, let’s compare grades from the demented test-giver.
              Betcha we both passed with flying colors!😄😃😂🤣

              1. T Bob,
                Was there a time limit given on Natcookoo’s pop quiz?
                If so, I think I finished it a few minutes ahead of you.
                If your replies were given after she started collecting answers, I should get a better grade by default🤔.

                1. Indeed, you got it…but I think that just means you’re first in line to be ‘degraded’ by the Nutty professor ! 😉

  7. “A third disclosure was that Mueller spoke to Barr and expressly said that he did not view the summary letter to be misleading or false. That is categorically in conflict with the media coverage over the last 24 hours claiming that Mueller believed Barr “lied” or “misled: the public.”

    Raise your hand and don your pointy hat if any of this surprises you! Does anybody really expect anything truthful from the press anymore? They’ve raised wolf-crying to unstoppable weeping status. They must be depressed.

    1. The press is now an arm of the Democratic Party, whose purpose is to mislead voters and affect the outcome of elections.

      Journalistic integrity is dead in the mainstream media.

      1. Did you get that quote directly from Hannity? I ask because you are so misinformed about the truth and what MOST media report that you couldn’t have come up with this on your own. BTW: “the press”, meaning outlets other than Faux News and Rush, do not tell people that Faux News and Rush lie and can’t be trusted. Faux News and Rush are not media: they serve up pro-Trump propaganda, part of which is to indoctrinate people like you not to trust anything other than what they tell you. That is scary.

          1. Mespo is not cowed by the powerful “Hannity” or “Fox News” or “right-wing media” ploys?
            After thousands of uses here, I find that endlessly repeating those phrases just adds to their awesome 😳😟power.

    2. Mespo,
      That’s why people look for Congress for the truth.😉😀

      1. ( Noting Mespo’s lack of public trust in the press, they now turn to Congress for The Truth).

    3. Uh, mespo, that’s according to the we’ll known liar and toad, Barr.

  8. If everything Turley typed is accurate, and of course it is, BY DEFINITION Mueller, by refusing to do his job, has proven himself to be an incompetent idiot. Disbar him and see how he likes that. He flatly disobeyed his bosses and did not do what he was paid to do. He should have all his pay revoked and immediately ordered to return it, then disbarred.

    1. Peincess, almost everything JT typed was based on statements from Barr, now proven to have lied twice under oath to congress. Therefore, almost everything be typed is BS

      1. Anon – Barr didn’t lie under oath. I heard the exchange today. He was asked previously if he knew anything about Mueller’s team’s concerns that his summary didn’t accurately reflect Mueller’s findings. He had met with Mueller, personally, prior to that testimony, in which Mueller confirmed that Barr’s summary was, in fact, accurate. So Barr testified truthfully that he did not know what Mueller’s team’s concerns were. Mueller told him his report was accurate. He was accused of “filibustering” for giving a 60 second explanation of how he came to that conclusion.

        If Mueller disagrees with Barr’s statements, Mueller has the opportunity to discuss it.

        This is nothing more than a coup attempt by Democrats who cannot, will not, accept the lawful election results over 2 years ago. This is a misuse of power.

        No collusion? Now it’s obstruction. No obstruction? Now Barr must be lying about obstruction, and so he is under fierce questioning about how he arrived at his summary.

        It’s utter lawlessness. This is what I expect to happen in a Single Party State, in order to silence dissenters.

        1. The media is unhinged in its assertions that Barr lied about the Mueller report. Mueller stated, in writing, there was no criminal collusion. I agree with JT that Mueller was wrong not to expressly give a conclusion about obstruction, because Democrats will now parse every word he wrote to desperately try to come up with obstruction for a crime he didn’t commit.

          No collusion. No obstruction.

          These repeated, lawless coup attempts is weakening America geopolitically. How can we negotiate with foreign powers from a position of strength when Democrats are trying to overthrow our government? This makes the US weaker and Russia stronger, and it will also affect the Russia-Iran conflict with US-Saudi Arabia. This instability is going to spread to the flammable Middle East.

          If Dems don’t like who is President, there is this system in which, every 4 years, they get to vote, just like the rest of us citizens. Russia wants to see capitalist US destabilized. Russia provided a fake dossier against Donald Trump, paid for by Hillary Clinton, to do just that. Hillary Clinton unwittingly obliged, and gave it to the media, and the FBI. We are still seeing the result of Russia’s interference in the fraud upon the FISA court, the existence of the Mueller investigation, and the Democrats’ continued attempts to unseat a lawfully elected President outside of the next election.

          Russia must also be very pleased to see the popularity of Socialists Bernie Sanders, AOC, and the deepening support for Socialism among the Democrat Party.

          On the one hand, Democrats claim to want to investigate Russian interference. On the other, they refuse to investigate proven Russian interference, Hillary Clinton’s dossier’s travels through the system, and instead are pushing to forward the Russia goal of spreading Socialism to capitalist countries.

          Should the US turn from capitalism to socialism, we would become closely tied with Russia. Russia is currently propping up Maduro in Venezuela. Perhaps, when Democrat Socialism has driven us to famine, Russia will enter the US to prop up whatever Socialist despot is ruling over us. Perhaps AOC.

          Dems can’t have it both ways – decry Russian interference and do its bidding.

        2. “Anon – Barr didn’t lie under oath. I heard the exchange today.”

          Karen, I heard some of the exchange today as well and you are right. Anon seems not to care about the truth nor is he ever concerned about libeling people in the public eye. It seems that is his nature and the nature of a lot of Democrats and much of the press.

          The solution to the problem is to get out the vote against all Democrats even if we would otherwise have voted for them. (Many of us don’t vote or didn’t vote based on party.) Democrats have to be exposed as the party of hate and the party that plays the race card.

          I am noting certain left wing voices becoming less active on this blog or perhaps disappearing. Let’s hope that is a sign that hate stops dominating political discussions.

          1. I think Correct-the-Record is telling their people to make bald assertions of nonsense and try to persuade people via brazenness.

        3. Karen, you’re relying on the testimony of a proven liar. Beyond his lying twice to congress, not counting today, anyone who has read any of the report know that Barr has been lying about it from day one. These lies include saying the report proves no collusion – he specifically ruled out addressing that description as not a legal term while describing numerous actions that certainly were collusion and which we already knew about thanks to our press – that the DOJ memo on not indicting a president had nothing to do with Muellers determination that he would not recommend indicting on obstruction – he specifically said it did – and that therefore trump was exonerated.

          Barr is a skillful partisan hack, but not skillful enough to score without lying and looking like what he is the longer be stays on the tube.

              1. Facts are stubborn things mespo. One of them is Barr is a proven liar.

                1. Facts are facts. Facts are not ‘character strings with semantic content convenient to whatever sh!t sandwich of an argument I’ve been peddling. You need to learn the difference.

                  1. I’ve learned that there is not much difference in the s..t sandwich arguments you peddle though I admire your honesty in admitting to their content. However, I’m not sure they actually rise to the level of an “argument”.

                2. “Facts are stubborn things mespo.”

                  Where are your facts Anon. You seldom provide any and the one’s you do provide are generally wrong.

          1. Please remember to post references on your assertion that Barr is a proven liar, so that we may either agree or rebut.

            Professor Turley has recommended Barr previously, which seems incongruous with his being a proven liar. In cases where someone has lied before Congress, such as James Clapper, Turley has remarked upon that fact.

      2. “Barr, now proven to have lied twice under oath to congress.”

        Anon, even though everything Barr said is extremely credible and consistent with what is factually known I am willing to hold off final judgement until Mueller speaks.

        Unfortunately you cannot say the same as your conclusions are drawn before the facts are in and are based on your ideological whims.

        We wait for your proof recognizing it will never come.

    2. Princess T.,
      Mueller served in the Marine Corp in the 1960s. So did Gomer Pyle. We know from numerous repetitive posts here that you “don’t mess with a Marine”.
      So remember that before you state that either Mueller or Gomer are “incompetent idiots”; you’re apt to stir up more Marco Mantras getting posted here.

  9. I am truly not surprised at the outcome of today’s hearings. I said yesterday, several times to several people, the Democrats would not be pleased at what came of today’s hearings and I was right. It’s not difficult to be right either – the ‘story’ came the day before Barr, whom the left now detests since he’s going after spying, was supposed to testify. It was clearly an attempt to obfuscate, muddy the waters, smear and drag Barr’s name and reputation lower.
    It didn’t work. The left, the DNC and the madia (sic) are caught with their pants around their ankles – again.

  10. Senator Mazie Hirono is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the state of Hawaii.

      1. Low IQ, grandstanding, contemptible, shameful, unhinged, conspiracy promoting slanderous embarrassment of a sitting senator who should be taken to task and condemned. But instead? She will be all over the cable TV airwaves and held up as a Resistance Hero.

        People cannot even recognize professionalism and integrity when they see it right before their eyes in AG Barr. It’s disgusting what the Democrats and their media allies are doing to this country.

  11. Bar should have refused the report and ordered Mueller to decide, tell him that’s his job, and if Mueller still refused, then Barr’s determination is final, which it already is of course. I bet Nancy would demand another prosecutor.

    Progressives finally got what they require: a 3rd world banana republic.

    1. Barr just answered a set of “questions” that Sen. Leahy slurred his way through.
      It’s “highly probable” that the Cheney comment to Leahy was in Barr’s mind as Leahy droned on and on.

  12. Barr understandably said today that he still does not understand Mueller’s rationale for not reaching a decision and questioned what Mueller thought he was supposed to do as a special counsel.

    If the Attorney-General takes off his lawyer hat, it might occur to him that what Mueller doesn’t do is rooted in vanity.

    1. Absurd,
      Whatever Mueller does is evidently rooted in, or wrapped in, secrecy and ambiguity.
      So all of the focus will be on Barr, Mueller can send out little memos every now and then, and the House and Senate Committees will do their thing, spinning the OSC Report and the DOJ’s handling of the report for at least another 18 months.
      At some point, Barr may simply refuse to continue participating in this Congressional showboating and send them an FU note when they demand more and more testimony from him.
      I just caught a bit of Sen. Filibuster Spartucus and Sen. Harris free campaign ads and campaign speeches that are playing out right now. Sometimes they actually allow Barr to answer a question without constantly interrupting…..rarely, but I think Barr was allowed to complete a full sentence a few times.

  13. This is like watching a sporting event with the losing team whining about the umpiring instead of the performance of their team. The press box is in the tank for the losing team and they are doing everything they can to convince the viewers their favorite team would be winning if it weren’t for the other team cheating and the biased umpire. Nothing will change in this hearing. The umpire has the rules on his side.

    I’m looking forward to the IG report and other investigations into how these losers qualified for the game.

  14. PS The news included the direct quote from Mueller’s letter saying that his report had been misinterpreted by Barr, a conclusion obvious to us all after it was released. That’s not playing up the wrong story, it is the story. Because Barr testified to something else is meaningless as he recently led under oath twice before congress.

    1. The mueller (weissmann) letter does not say that the report was misrepresented. Read it again.

      1. From Barr’s letter:

        “….The summary letter the Department
        sent to Congressandreleased 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. We communicated that
        concern to the Department on the morning of March 25. There is now public confusion about
        critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to underminea central purpose
        for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the
        outcomeofthe investigations. See DepartmentofJustice, Press Release (May 17, 2017)….”

        1. Mueller didn’t blame Barr rather was worried about how the details would be reported. Not a problem since the entire report was released.

          I’m shocked that you don’t know these things.

    2. That would be shocking if true. You either posted a lie or your reading comprehension is fail, or you posted a shocking truth without a link and quote, which the latter makes you a sloth.

      None of those choices are good unless readers rate you on a curve of the average progressive tool.

    3. Note to Trumptards and independents. Anon’s post above is the best and only progressive reply to today’s news. “Behead the messenger!!!” Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!”

      Trump is going to eat the deep state and their DNC progressive tools alive with this feast of progressive lies, crimes, and idiocy of the highest order.

  15. JT, like a babe in the woods, accepts as proven facts the statements of a proven liar. Barr is a slick operator but that shouldn’t excuse the gullibility of a law professor. How much crap can JT stomach from this guy?

    1. He’s a professor by day and just writing articles. Gosh cut the guy some slack. Nobody hear seems thankful that JT gives us grist for the mill and a sandbox to argue in all on his own dime. Just a lot of whining.

      I don’t expect Turley to make my arguments for me and I won’t insult him when I don’t agree with him (which is often.) I recommend you my respected fellow daily interlocutors to extend him the same courteous attitude as our host.

      1. I see this whining about Turley coming from both sides nearly every day now. It’s a bummer. as a knuckle dragging neanderthal extreme right fanatic, I call on my own faction, if i have one, lol, prolly nobody wishes to be aligned with me at all, to exemplify courtesy towards the host.

    2. Barr says Rod Rosenstein is a witness to Barr’s story. Rod volunteered to take down Trump w/a hidden mic.

      So now you and your progressive tool friends are apparently stating that Rod Rosenstein is also a Trumptard?


    3. Rod Rosenstein wanted to wear a secret mic to remove Trump. You forgot to account for Rod. When and how did Rod become a Trumptard?

  16. It’s reasonable to assume the controversies in question are a consequence of reporters making stuff up. Ted Koppel is long retired. It’s reasonable to assume most people employed in major media today are not the least bit conscientious and devoid of integrity.

  17. Now, stage-two interDOJ minutia conflicts and contradictions are coming to light.
    Some of it is very imputing, e.g., why did Mueller continue to make interviews and investigations, even after determining there wasn’t evidence that the prez could be charged? Why didn’t Mueller state at the onset of the investigation, that he wouldn’t visit whether a charge would be (or not) laid on the president, because DOJ policy prohibited charging a sitting president?

  18. I’m shocked and amazed the news media has turned the story the way they did.
    I am also shocked an amazed that there is gambling in casino halls.

    Here’s what I do not understand. It is clear that when the media mischaracterizes events like they do, it only makes their standing fall and gives Trump ammunition. If they truly want to get rid of Trump (and other Repos) in 2020, they should strive for accuracy. So…maybe they don’t mind Trump? Is he great for ratings?

    1. ha! yes Paul you got it right. A lot of this is what you call “Kayfabe” in pro wrestling.

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