‘Baghdad Bill’ Barr lied to Congress and must resign (updated)


It should come as no surprise that the man William Safire once called “the Coverup-General” when he blocked the independent counsel investigation into Iraqgate (his strategy was to stall past Dec. 15, 1992 when the law authorizing independent counsel expired, thanks to Republicans) The Patsy Prosecutor, lied to the American people and lied to congressional committees about the Mueller Report. It is what Donald Trump hired him to do.

The Washington Post reports, Mueller complained that Barr’s letter did not capture ‘context’ of Trump probe:

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that a four-page memo to Congress describing the principal conclusions of the investigation into President Trump “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work, according to a copy of the letter reviewed Tuesday by The Washington Post.

UPDATE: A copy of the letter is now available. Mueller letter to Barr (.pdf).

The letter and a subsequent phone call between the two men reveal the degree to which the longtime colleagues and friends disagreed as they handled the legally and politically fraught task of investigating the president. Democrats in Congress are likely to scrutinize Mueller’s complaints to Barr as they contemplate the prospect of opening impeachment proceedings and mull how hard to press for Mueller himself to testify publicly.

At the time Mueller’s letter was sent to Barr on March 27, Barr had days prior announced that Mueller did not find a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials seeking to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In his memo to Congress, Barr also said that Mueller had not reached a conclusion about whether Trump had tried to obstruct justice, but that Barr reviewed the evidence and found it insufficient to support such a charge.

Days after Barr’s announcement, Mueller wrote the previously undisclosed private letter to the Justice Department, laying out his concerns in stark terms that shocked senior Justice Department officials, according to people familiar with the discussions.

“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. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. 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 letter made a key request: that Barr release the 448-page report’s introductions and executive summaries, and it made initial suggested redactions for doing so, according to Justice Department officials.

Justice Department officials said Tuesday that they were taken aback by the tone of Mueller’s letter and that it came as a surprise to them that he had such concerns. Until they received the letter, they believed Mueller was in agreement with them on the process of reviewing the report and redacting certain types of information, a process that took several weeks. Barr has testified to Congress previously that Mueller declined the opportunity to review his four-page memo to lawmakers that distilled the essence of the special counsel’s findings.

In his letter to Barr, Mueller wrote that the redaction process “need not delay release of the enclosed materials. Release at this time would alleviate the misunderstandings that have arisen and would answer congressional and public questions about the nature and outcome of our investigation.”

Barr is scheduled to appear Wednesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee — a much-anticipated public confrontation between the nation’s top law enforcement official and Democratic lawmakers, where he is likely to be questioned at length about his interactions with Mueller.

In his previous sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, “Baghdad Bill” Barr lied specifically about Mueller’s objections to his characterization of the Special Counsel’s work. Sen. Chris Van Hollen asked A.G. Barr directly, “Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?” Barr’s answer was, “I don’t know whether Mueller supported my conclusion.” ‘He needs to resign tomorrow’: Democrats tell Attorney General William Barr to resign after damning report:

We now know Mueller stated his concerns on March 27th, and that Barr totally misled me, the Congress, and the public,” Van Hollen added. “He must resign.”

Rep. Maxine Waters said “I think that Barr should resign” during an MSNBC interview on Tuesday. “And if he does not resign, he should be facing impeachment proceedings also. He has abdicated on his responsibility. He has lied, he has used the very words coming right out of the president’s mouth: ‘no collusion.'”

“It is outrageous and he needs to go,” Waters added.

Rep. Ro Khanna, a member of the House Oversight Committee, said “Bill Barr needs to resign” on Twitter. “He needs to resign tomorrow. At some point we need to distinguish fact from spin.”

“Why would Bill Barr flush his reputation & credibility down the toilet? I don’t care,” Rep. Ted Lieu said on Twitter. “What we should care about is that he is still in charge of [the Justice Department].

“Bill Barr should resign and then apply to be the next White House press secretary, where he can lie all he wants,” Lieu said.

“We certainly want to give Bill Barr the opportunity to perjure himself,” Lieu said during a CNN interview on Tuesday. “But we’re also going to want to hear from Robert Mueller.”

“But at this point, based on what I know, Bill Barr needs to resign,” he added on CNN. “He took an oath to the Constitution, not to Donald Trump. He is supposed to be America’s attorney, not Trump’s stooge.”

“Clearly Barr has lied to both the House and Senate Committees,” Sen. Mazie Hirono said during an MSNBC interview on Tuesday.

“It’s a lie, let’s call it what it is,” she added.

Hirono described Barr’s description of Mueller’s report as “spin” and accused him of “acting like the president’s lawyer.”

She also called on the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate whether Barr “misled the public to protect [Trump]. See, Senate Dems call on DOJ watchdog to investigate Barr.

“[Attorney General] Barr clearly and deliberately misled the American people about the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation – more than once,” Rep. Kathleen Rice tweeted. “He needs to resign or be impeached.”

“Attorney General Barr willfully misled the American people to cover up attempted crimes by Donald Trump,” Former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro tweeted. “He should resign his position or face an impeachment inquiry immediately.”

Sen. Van Hollen’s call for resignation was followed by that of Rep. Adam Schiff, who said Wednesday morning: “I think his statement is deliberately false and misleading, and yes, most people would consider that to be a lie… He knew his answer was false. So look, there’s no sugar coating this. I think he should step down.” Barr Must Resign Immediately for Lying to Congress, Says Rep. Adam Schiff.

“Baghdad Bill” Barr previously stated that the Justice Department had no objections to Robert Mueller testifying before Congress, bot DOJ also has been foot-dragging on scheduling Robert Mueller’s testimony. Mueller’s Willing to Testify, but Trump DOJ Is Holding It Up: Dems:

House Democrats tell The Daily Beast they’ve been told Special Counsel Robert Mueller is willing to testify before them about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, but the Department of Justice has been unwilling to set a date for it to happen.

The impasse comes as lawmakers have grown increasingly frustrated over Attorney General Bill Barr’s handling of the release of the Mueller probe and as other Trump associates have declined to appear before congressional committees.

Shortly after it was reported on Tuesday night that Mueller had written and called Barr to complain that the attorney general had not fully represented the special counsel’s findings, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) sent out a statement demanding both men appear before his committee and saying he had been stonewalled so far.

“The Attorney General has expressed some reluctance to appear before the House Judiciary Committee this Thursday,” Nadler said. “These reports make it that much more important for him to appear and answer our questions. The Department of Justice has also been reluctant to confirm a date for Special Counsel Mueller to testify.”

Nadler had sent a letter to DOJ following the department’s release of the Mueller Report asking that Mueller appear for questioning no later than May 23. Two sources familiar with the conversations said the Judiciary Committee has been in regular contact with DOJ about setting a date for Mueller’s testimony and that those conversations were still going on. Committee sources said it was their impression that Mueller was willing to testify to discuss his findings, though it was unclear whether that would take place in public or behind closed doors.

But the DOJ has, according to multiple sources, not agreed to a date, citing Mueller’s continued status as a department employee—since the special counsel serves under the attorney general.

* * *

Last week, House Democrats held a caucus call in which they discussed their strategy for the Barr hearing and how to get the White House to cooperate on investigations. Subsequent conversations between senior members focused on whether impeachment proceedings were appropriate given Trump’s refusal to comply with subpoenas.

If “Baghdad Bill” Barr fails to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, he should be held in contempt of Congress. The Post’s Jennifer Rubin says If William Barr refuses to testify, he should be impeached. Yeah, good luck with that.

What we have right now is the entire Republican Party in lock-step with the Trump crime family. It is acting as a criminal enterprise, using the control of government to undermine the Department of Justice and the rule of law to prevent the fair administration of justice and to prevent holding anyone accountable.

This is the “collusion” that Americans should be most outraged about and taking to the streets to protest in the nation’s Capitol … and at the ballot box.