Mueller kept his probe pure for two years. Barr's corrupted it in two weeks
Attorney General William Barr completed his race to the partisan bottom Wednesday when he claimed during testimony that improper “spying” on the Trump campaign occurred in 2016.
“I think spying did occur,” Barr said, before being forced to retreat from that claim.
Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee were quick to demand clarification. Upon cross-examination, Barr admitted, “I have no specific evidence that I would cite right now, I do have some questions about it. I have concerns about various aspects of it.”
Gee, that sure seems different from “spying did occur.” Barr’s assertion is especially dangerous and irresponsible considering the agency’s inspector general (IG) is currently reviewing whether there was any improper use of the FISA warrants the FBI obtained to surveil certain members of the Trump campaign. But instead of waiting for the conclusions of that non-partisan report, Barr chose to put his partisan finger on the scale before the IG publicly released conclusive evidence one way or the other. Remind you of anything?
Oh, right! That two-year leak-free Russia investigation conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller that Barr has managed to sully in less than three weeks since its final determinations were delivered to him on March 22. It’s really quite stunning what a miscarriage of justice Barr has managed to preside over in such a short amount of time. After he took just 48 hours to review Mueller’s nearly 400 pages of analysis (plus addenda and exhibits), Barr issued his own conclusions in four short pages devoid of any of the actual evidence Mueller included in his final report. As House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey observed Tuesday during Barr’s testimony before her panel: “I must say, it is extraordinary to evaluate hundreds of pages of evidence, legal documents, and findings based on a 22-month long inquiry and make definitive legal conclusions in less than 48 hours… I would argue it is more suspicious than impressive.”
Suspicious is exactly the right description of Barr’s hackery ever since he stepped into his role as attorney general. Not only did he give Donald Trump the “no collusion” headlines he wanted without providing any justification, he has also declined thus far to provide Congress with the information that every lead prosecutor in other high-profile presidential inquiries has worked to make available to lawmakers. Specifically, both Leon Jaworski in Watergate and Kenneth Starr in Whitewater helped lawmakers access the grand jury material critical to their role of serving as a constitutional check on the executive branch. As former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi noted Tuesday on MSNBC, we’re not seeing an attorney general who is “advancing the ball toward disclosure and transparency and helping to heal the divisions in this country.”