The New York Times and other papers are reporting that Attorney General William Barr refused a request from President Donald Trump to hold a news conference to declare that Trump did not violate any laws in his telephone call with Ukraine’s president. I have known Barr for years and I am not surprised by the report. If such a call to Barr was made, it was inappropriate and shows that the President is still acting incautiously and impetuously in managing these scandals. With various investigations going forward on the Ukrainian matter, it would have been deeply troubling for Barr to make such a statement. While no crime has been identified, there could be potential criminal conduct related to the call as well as questions of the abuse of power. Trump has denied the report.
What concerns me is that Trump is continuing to trip wires on such issues. The Russian investigation led to the appointment of a Special Counsel entirely because Trump took the clearly unwise move of firing James Comey in the middle of the investigation. He could have fired Comey at the start of his term or after the investigation. With the exception of Jared Kushner, virtually the entire staff of the White House reportedly told Trump that the firing would cause a huge mess.
Trump has continued to trip wires in other calls to officials, including his reported demand to fire key players like Robert Mueller. He routinely crosses lines of separation with the Justice Department. This is yet another such example. It is deeply disturbing to reach out to the Attorney General to ask for such a press conference. It is the equivalent of asking for a preemptive advisory opinion from a court. Such a press conference would have been unwarranted and unwise for any Attorney General.
I have defended Barr from critics not because of our long friendship but because I believe that he has carried out his promises from his confirmation (I testified in favor of his confirmation). I have not hesitated to criticize him when I disagree with his decisions. However, Barr has protected all of the investigations into the 2016 election — Mueller, Horowitz, and Durham — from interference or pressure. If you look at his record objectively, it has been successful in protecting the Justice Department. This is not always easy and requires maintaining a sometimes difficult relationship with a president who does not respect traditional limits or lines. However, this report highlights how he maintains that relationship while maintaining the integrity of his department.
This does not mean that Barr will not stumble or err in this difficult position with the President. When he does, I will be the first to call him out. However, if true, this was again the right call by Bill Barr.
428 thoughts on “Report: Barr Refused To Hold Press Conference Exonerating Trump Of Ukraine-Related Crimes”
Did you catch this. One of the disconcerting things about this adminstration has been the turnover. Well, here’s one of the reasons he has to unload people. NB, the personnel officer at the White House from January 2017 to May 2019 was a quondam aide to John Boehner.
Monday summary, courtesy Sefton:
Summary of the fraud to date:
If the GOP senate betrays Trump there will be Civil War.
There are millions of us who voted for Trump and we will not accept our vote being overturned by the ‘Uniparty’.
If they dont like Trump they should have won the primary and then election. They lost. because WE ARE SICK OF THE LYING CROOKS.
Oh and this WILL happen. Alter or Abolish…and that we will!
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government”- Thomas Jefferson
Anon: all Senators take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, not Trump, who is guilty of impeachable offenses. The evidence is overwhelming and indisputable, and if GOP Senators don’t vote to impeach, they are violating their oath to the United States. We simply cannot have a president who tries to bribe another country to create fake evidence against his political opponent by withholding aid appropriated by Congress. Trump is the epitome of a lying crook. He wouldn’t be in the White House but for help from Russia, and he pays them back every chance he gets. He is unfit and a disgrace. Yes, I see that pro-Trump media have convinced you that there is no merit to the impeachment inquiry, and that this is all just a hoax to take away your vote, but they are lying to you. And, BTW 3 million more of us voted against Trump.
The evidence is overwhelming and indisputable,
Yes it is, just not in your favor. Not only will President Trump not be impeached, the American people will get a front row seat to this boondoggle in an election year. On top of that, Barr, Horrowitz and Durham will be hammering nails in the democrats coffins.
Natachos — Hillary Clinton had more help from Russia than Trump did. If Trump was guilty of “collusion” with Russia — whatever that means — don’t you think Mueller and his team of salivating partisans would have uncovered enough actual EVIDENCE to nail Trump? Of course they would have. But guess what? They didn’t.
Natahos said, “We simply cannot have a president who tries to bribe another country to create fake evidence against his political opponent…”
We agree! And that bit about “creating fake evidence against a political opponent” is precisely what the Obama administration FBI, CIA, and DOJ did to candidate Trump.
We await the findings of the Barr and Durham investigations. The whole lot of them Obama admin folks need to be serving time or else there is no justice in this country and there will be no peace. Nor should there be.
“all Senators take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution”
Crooked Lying Hillary was a US Senator before urinating and denigrating the US Constitution
Not that the Left will ever practice integrity, honesty and introspection
Gilmore – oath of office for Senate and House.
Oath of Office
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
If that were true most top officials and military officers would have resigned when Bush lied the world into war.
They didn’t.In fact they helped him.
when Bush lied the world into war.
He didn’t. Nothing you say is of any value.
Anon is “sick of the lying crooks” but voted for Trump.
Quid pro quo. That’s how Washington works! When a congressman or senator plans on introducing a bill they will ask other congressmen or senators if they will support it. In return the other congressmen and senators will say if I support your bill, what’s in it for me. Quid pro quo.
Trump won, the establishment lost. That’s what this is all about. There was no Russian collusion. We’re going to find out that this impeachment BS is nothing more than sore losers trying to get back at an outsider who beat the establishment in an election. I try to keep my comments short and to the point.
If such a call to Barr was made, it was inappropriate and shows that the President is still acting incautiously and impetuously in managing these scandals. JT
1. He isn’t a lawyer
2. There are tens of thousands of federal laws, ordinances, statutes, regulations
3. What scandals? The ones created by Leftists? Why should he have to act cautiously? What has he done scandalously?
wentzelwinkie, what are you babbling about???
You’re making this absurd argument that because Trump isn’t a lawyer, he can’t be expected to ‘know all the rules’.
Presidents have lawyers on their staffs known as “White House Counsels”. They advise the president on laws and procedures. Every president has White House Counsels. Smart presidents draw good talent to those jobs. And it’s the President’s responsibility to pay attention to the advice offered by White House Counsels.
But knowing Donald Trump he just goes with his ‘gut instincts’. Those instincts are the reason he keeps ‘tripping wires’.
Glad that is settled. Is it possible that tRump supporters are dumber than he?
Your wife is ugly and she dresses you funny
Enter the name calling world of TDS
“nside many liberals is a totalitarian screaming to get out. They don’t like to have another point of view in the room that they don’t squash and the way they try to squash it is by character assassination and name calling.”
– David Horowitz
Jess, you seem to be arguing that wentzelwikie has a right to be totally misinformed and that only totalitarian liberals point out things like that. What an odd argument!
“ Jess, you seem to be arguing that”
Did your momma drop you on your head when you were born?
Logic is not your strong suit.
Logic is not your strong suit.
I’ve suggested to him in the past that he must of eaten paint chips at a child. Regardless, despite his various identities on this blog, none of them seem to have any connection with the left-half of their brain.
“…he must of eaten…”
true. must of
It is “must have”; please apply some backing to your knuckles.
YNOT, it appears your stupidity sinks to new lows. Rules can be difficult to interpret and frequently conflict with one another. That is one reason we have a judiciary.
You don’t seem dumber than usual.
YNOT, why do you remain on a list that discusses current legal matters when your only interest is to add foul remarks? If we were to strike all your comments that did not pertain to the issues being discussed you would not exist.
If you read YNOT’s posts in the context of someone writing in a personal diary, then they make sense. 🙂
ever thrown a common AA battery away in a wastebasket, peter? then you may have violated federal criminal statutes which would allow for criminal penalties to be imposed on you regardless of your knowledge or intent. TOXIC WASTE POLLUTER!
yeah, there’s a lot of laws out there, they want to have us all locked down so every jot and tittle we say can get us in trouble. some free speech !
“1. He isn’t a lawyer”
wentzelwinkie, That is a very good point. I hope Turley doesn’t criticize Trump for not passing the Bar exam.
Allan – I don’t remember Trump even attempting the Bar exam.
RUDOLPH GUILIANI – ENVOY FOR HIRE
WHY THE UKRAINE SCANDAL MATTERS
Envoy’s represent the government of the United States. So if a president wants to dispatch a special envoy, the White House sends a letter to the State Department naming the envoy and describing their mission. And I believe in most cases the envoy checks-in with the American Embassy upon arrival. The idea is to make sure the Special Envoy is working in conjunction with the State Department.
Theoretically the administration wants it’s envoy’s to coordinate with the State Department. So all parties are on the same script.
That’s why this Ukraine scandal matters. Rudolph Giuliani was on Trump’s payroll and ‘not’ coordinating with State Department professionals. The official U.S. Ambassador was deliberately kept in the dark. That’s a cover-up. Giuliani’s mission was strictly political as opposed to government business. Trump was paying Giuliani to be a Private Envoy.
We don’t want rich presidents paying famous lawyers to go on political missions with the status of ‘Envoy’. That’s an abuse of power. That’s why this scandal matters. Hunter Biden is incidental to that abuse.
Hunter Biden had no business sitting on the board of any Ukraine company. And I don’t want his father as the Democratic nominee. Yet the Bidens are red herrings with regards to the real scandal here. The real scandal is a president presenting his famous lawyer as an envoy while keeping the State Department out of the loop. Trump kept them out of the loop because he knew real professionals would indeed blow the whistle. ..And they did..!!
“We don’t want rich presidents paying famous lawyers ”
Peter, you couldn’t answer the simple question so you give a long BS statement creating your own narrative that just repeats your talking points and is factually incorrect.
Let’s look at things we know.
Biden held up a billion and Hunter Biden ended up getting paychecks.
Trump dealt as a President should and didn’t withhold the money in an illegal fashion and if he felt the Ukrainians were taking advantage of the American people he was in his right to withhold the money.
Now to the issue. What is wrong with any attorney speaking to people in a foreign nation?
Alan, the Ukrainians weren’t taking advantage of the American people. I don’t know where you get that narrative. Ukraine was invaded by Russia which seeks to break off Ukraine’s eastern fringe. We offered Ukraine aid because we wanted a reliable ally right next door to Russia. That way we’d have a nice big buffer state between Russia and Eastern Europe.
What’s more, Republicans in Congress had years to investigate Joe Biden’s activities. They should have pursued that if they genuinely felt they had a case. Republicans spent years investigating Hilary. Why not Biden if he deserved it?
But the White House is ‘not’ an investigative body. Presidents can’t decide on their own to conduct investigations. And we certainly don’t want presidents dispatching their own lawyers as Special Envoys. If the mission is legit, the State Department should know. No ambassador should be humiliated because the president’s lawyer is going behind their back on a secret political mission.
” We offered Ukraine aid because we wanted a reliable ally right next door to Russia.”
Peter, actually I believe we had an obligation to offer the Ukrainians military aid something Obama didn’t do. Yet you criticize Trump for not providing American troops where there was no obligation. Take note how your foreign policy conflicts with reality.
“What’s more, Republicans in Congress had years to investigate Joe Biden’s activities. “
That doesn’t make Joe Biden innocent though it makes the Congress and President Obama all look corruptible or afraid. The Democrats decided to accuse Trump of something he didn’t do (and wouldn’t be illegal) using hearsay evidence when the real Transcript proves the President acted appropriately. You don’t even understand rudimentary law.
” No ambassador should be humiliated because the president’s lawyer is going behind their back on a secret political mission.”
There was no humiliation to the Ambassador. She humiliated herself by her partisanship and not recognizing who the boss was. She deserved to be removed.
What’s more, Republicans in Congress had years to investigate Joe Biden’s activities.
We’ve seen this for years now and it gets to the heart of the Democrats hypocrisy and thirst for power.
If they allege a crime by a political opponent, then guilt is established, usually without supporting evidence. Investigations are conducted to find evidence of a crime and traps are laid for process crime indictments. If no investigation is conducted, the “defendant” is still under the cloud of guilt and their lives are destroyed, even without evidence.
If they are alleged to have committed a crime, even with irrefutable evidence, no crime will have been deemed committed if there is no investigation and if no indictments are made. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, they will avoid prosecution with a claim their was no criminal intent.
So if an AG, FBI and DOJ do not seek to hold people accountable for criminal wrongdoing, the Democrats consider that justice, IF, it is one of their own. If the AG, FBI and DOJ do seek to hold people accountable for criminal wrongdoing, the Democrats consider that a conspiratorial abuse of power, IF, it is one of their own.
you got it. what’s up is down and down is up. black is white and white is black. leftists have had their way for decades using their mouth piece, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, NYTs, WaPo ad nauseam to repeat the exact same messages to fool millions of innocent Americans that right is wrong and wrong is right.
tis gone with the wind of modernity and they are desperate as hell
the revolution is here and they cannot stop it. their fearful, resentful clinging to what once was is more proof
the revolution is here and they cannot stop it.
Agreed. It’s here and it will be up to them whether it will be peaceful or hostile. Because if they get a hold of the reins of power again, they will not stop until the political class and their administrative state have been made effectively immune from the will of the people.
Olly, as far as ‘What Abouts’ go, this one is totally vague. But in the Trump era, even the vaguest ‘What Abouts’ suffice as rebuttals. Any comment that even sounds like a ‘What About’ is considered a rebuttal by other Trumpers.
I’m not surprised at your response. My post is a conclusion I’ve drawn based asking questions that may involve asking what about… This is the use of critical-thinking, which you apparently have never tried. This is not the same as utilizing the logical fallacy of whataboutism, which you clearly are trying to invoke here rather than challenging the substance of my post.
If this is still too vague for you, try this article to understand the process. This is not some partisan conspiracy article. It’s a fairly short article. Here is an excerpt:
Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. It also generally requires ability to recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems, to gather and marshal pertinent information, to recognize unstated assumptions and values, to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discrimination, to interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments, to recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions, to draw warranted conclusions and generalizations, to put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives, to reconstruct one’s patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience, and to render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life.
Allan – the President decides diplomacy, not the State Dept and its minions.
Paul, of course Trump decides policy. That is elementary
Allan – not according to the people who have testified for the State Dept.
Did you catch this?
DSS – berry interesting. 😉
You’ve outed yourself as a retired member of the Laugh-In cast. Where were you on the Wall?
That is something for you to send to Peter, not me.
I thought the Legislature discussed policy, since they represent the people and our concerns.
If course the president can include his concerns and perspectives, but I thought it was primarily the reps and senators that were to discuss such things.
Prairie, I think both have their parts to play but the President according to the Constitution receives Ambassadors. I think there was a dispute on the powers in the Federalist Papers between Hamilton and Madison where Hamilton’s views prevailed providing a greater presidential impact over foreign affairs than he might otherwise have had. I think there is always a tug of war between Congress and the President for control and though only Congress can declare war the President is the Commander and Cheif who without a delclaration of war can repel an enemy. Then there is a question of the difference between a declaration of war and engaging in war.
Yes, you are right. I did not get the whole thread read properly before answering. Serves me right. Thank you for clarifying their roles.
Thank you Prairie because writing it down made me see once again how smart our founders were in trying to divide power. You and a few others are the best part of this blog.
Presidents can’t decide on their own to conduct investigations. JB
JFK directed RFK to assassinate Castro.
“Theoretically the administration wants it’s envoy’s to coordinate with the State Department. So all parties are on the same script.”
SURE AND IN THEORY THE STATE DEPARTMENT WOULD RESPECT THE CONSTITUTION WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE POTUS TO DIRECT FOREIGN POLICY
instead Foggy Bottom is jam packed with dissidents, saboteurs, foot-draggers, stay-behind operators of the opposition, and spies who want to get the POTUS impeached for any reason they can falsely contrive
now you can see why he DIDNT TRUST STATE DEPT
and he’s not the first president who took a dim view of these deep state denizens either. look it up.
The real issue is not that Trump may have asked AG Barr to state that he violated no laws, but rather that there ARE NO LAWS pertaining to actions between heads of state related to possible criminal investigations. The only laws against foreign involvement in elections pertains to contributions of things “of value,” meaning monetary contributions or contributions of items that may be converted to money.
Sam, this where Giuliani’s Soviet-born bundlers come in.
Soviet born Ukrainian Jewish guys who just might have not been as enamored of the Bandera enthusiasts in the Maidan putsch regime as you are. just maybe for good reason too.
Executive Producer – Nanny Peeloosi, Power-Hungry Queen of Affirmative Action Privilege
Starring – A-Damn Schiff, Pencilneck-Cum-Jealous, Power-Hungry Coveter
Pelosi, did tRump have a minor role?
Comments are closed.