Mueller Investigation

Did the Attorney General Commit a Crime by Lying to Congress?

Nancy Pelosi thinks so, but the relevant statutes suggest she is wrong.

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Yesterday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Attorney General William Barr of committing a crime by lying to Congress about Robert Mueller's objections to his summary of the special counsel's report. Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec called that allegation "reckless, irresponsible, and false."

Kupec did not elaborate on her reasoning, probably because the explanation would not reflect well on Barr's candor and honesty. She is nevertheless right to question Pelosi's claim.

"The attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States," Pelosi said. "That's a crime."

Not quite. 18 USC 1621 makes it a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, for someone to lie under oath. He is guilty if he "willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true." But the Supreme Court has held that the perjury statute does not apply to a statement that "is literally true but not responsive to the question asked and arguably misleading by negative implication."

Another possibly relevant law, 18 USC 1001, makes it a felony, also punishable by up to five years in prison, to "knowingly and willfully" make "any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation" in congressional testimony. A statement can be misleading without being knowingly and materially false.

Keeping those qualifications in mind, let's consider the testimony Pelosi thinks makes Barr guilty of a felony. When Barr testified before a House appropriations subcommittee on April 9, Rep. Charlie Crist (D–Fla.) asked him about an April 3 New York Times story that said members of Mueller's team were unhappy with Barr's March 24 summary of their findings:

Crist: Reports have emerged recently, General, that members of the special counsel's team are frustrated, at some level, with the limited information included in your March 24 letter, that it does not adequately or accurately, necessarily, portray the report's findings. Do you know what they're referencing with that?

Barr: No, I don't. I think, I suspect, that they probably wanted, you know, more put out, but in my view, I was not interested in putting out summaries, or trying to summarize, because I think any summary, regardless of who prepares it, not only runs the risk of, you know, being underinclusive or overinclusive, but also, you know, would trigger a lot of discussion and analysis that really should await everything coming out at once.

It has since emerged that Mueller himself, on three occasions in late March (twice in letters and once on the telephone) had told Barr his summary "did not fully capture
the context, nature, and substance of this Office's work and conclusions," resulting in "public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation." When Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–Vt.) asked him about the apparent inconsistency between those communications and his statement to Crist that he didn't know why Mueller's underlings were "frustrated" by his summary:

Leahy: Why did you say you were not aware of concerns, when weeks before your testimony Mr. Mueller had expressed concerns to you? I mean, that's a fairly simple—

Barr: I answered the question, and the question was relating to unidentified members who were expressing frustration over the accuracy relating to findings. I don't know what that refers to at all. I talked directly to Bob Mueller, not members of his team. And even though I did not know what was being referred to, and Mueller had never told me that the expression of the findings was inaccurate—but I did then volunteer that I thought they were talking about the desire to have more information put out. But it wasn't my purpose to put out more information.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D–R.I.) called Barr's explanation "masterful hairsplitting," which is not necessarily the same thing as a lying. What Barr told Crist was not helpful, candid, or forthcoming, and it created the misleading impression that Barr was "not aware of concerns," as Leahy put it. But Barr never actually said that.

The perjury statute, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, pretty clearly does not apply to Barr's April 9 testimony. Whether 18 USC 1001 applies is a closer call. But if we give Barr the benefit of the doubt, which is what he would get if he were actually prosecuted for lying to Congress, his "masterful hairsplitting" seems like enough to prevent a conviction.

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  1. “I talked directly to Bob Mueller, not members of his team.”

    Here’s some hairsplitting for you: Is Bob Mueller not a member of Bob Mueller’s team?

    1. Is Bob Mueller even Bob Mueller?

      1. The bureaucrat formerly known as Bob Mueller.

        1. ^\_()_/^
          is his name now

      2. To paraphrase an old southern colloquialism: Why would he talk to the horse’s ass when he can talk to the horse’s head?

        Mueller’s hyper-partisan lawyers are upset. Whoop-de-doo.

      3. Like Hillary he is a shapeshifter

    2. Managers are no more members of their team than stage coach drivers are members of their team.

      1. Reggie Jackson agrees.

    3. Whether or not he is a member of Bob Mueller’s team, he is not multiple members. The original question – at least, assuming the quotes above are correct – required knowledge of at least two members of the team since it was phrased as a plural.

      Hairsplitting? Perhaps. But don’t all you lawyers coach your clients to answer the exact question as it was asked and not to speculate that the other person really intended to ask a different question?

    4. “Reports have emerged recently, General, that members of the special counsel’s team are frustrated, at some level, with the limited information included in your March 24 letter, that it does not adequately or accurately, necessarily, portray the report’s findings. Do you know what they’re referencing with that?”

      No, listening to Mueller’s whingeing about Barr not carrying his water does not mean he knows in any particular fashion what the “reports” were about. Do YOU know that the “members” referred to inclulded Mueller?

  2. The simple answer is no. This is all just more democrat masturbatory fever dreams and progressive fan fiction. The hearings are barely more than LARPing.

  3. What’s Nancy’s take on “if you like your doctor …”?

    1. And her take on Clapper’s testimony?
      And the hag’s regarding that private comm system?

      1. If the Dems think that Barr is too close to Trump, I can only imagine the outrage they expressed publicly when Holder referred to himself as Obama’s “wingman”.

        1. Yes so many forget what an a$$hat buttlicker Holder was

  4. I’ll take the perjury charge seriously when James Clapper is in prison.

    1. Clapper did lie about his actions of spying on the Senate where Barr has only given an opinion which can never be a lie even if you don’t like an opinion, unless we throw out the 1st amendment then everything is illegal which I’m sure Nancy would like

      1. Not only did Clapper lie, he told Congress to their face that he lied. They did nothing, and now I’m suppose to believe that Pelosi has an issue with liars?

      2. Yes seldom do we accuse someone of lying about a report and then have turn it over to the public to be read by all.

    2. Hypocrisy is the enemy of fairness. That goes both ways.

    3. Or Holder. He lied about Fast and Furious, no?

      “Did Attorney General Holder Commit a Crime by Lying to Congress about Fast & Furious?”

      1. Loretta Lynch and the Tarmac Truth.

    4. “Did Senator Nancy Pelosi Commit a Crime by Claiming Barr Committed a Crime by Lying to Congress While Not Claiming Clapper Committed a Crime by Lying to Congress?”

  5. Interesting the writer does not require Pelosi to elaborate on what she calls a lie. Now for the truth a Political opinion by Barr or anyone on what other people think or even about the legality of Trumps actions does not make Barr a liar unless Pelosi has proof that Barr has said otherwise but even with that a person can change their mind and hence still not be a liar. This is the problem lately equating opinions to lies.

    1. Not to mention which, Charlie Crist – along with any number of other members of the Judiciary Committee – is a lawyer and he knows damn well that asking somebody what somebody else was thinking is otherwise known as “engaging in speculation” and any lawyer worth a nickel would immediately object to any such question being asked in a court of law. Now, Barr might have been more forthcoming by answering “Well, I assume that they were referring to ……..blah, blah, blah” but no, Barr does not in fact *know* what they were referencing. And Barr, like Crist, is a lawyer and lawyers are trained to speak like this.

      1. Charlie Crist is a hack politician who most believes that he should be guaranteed a job in government.

      2. Crist is also a weaselly little shit to boot. The only benefit he will serve to humanity is fertilizing the ground after he passes on.

      3. A lawyer with an incredible tan and the IQ of moss. What a waste of human flesh.

    2. I have to admit that it is entertaining watching Barr embarrass the Democrats time and again. Or rather, watching Barr act like a proper attorney while the Democrats embarrass themselves time and again.

    3. Yes she just throws out the “He lied to Congress” but without specifics Progressives have trouble with minor details like that

  6. Did the Attorney General Commit a Crime by Lying to Congress?

    Probably just the least untruthful answer he could give, and we know that’s not a crime because otherwise Clapper’s ass would be in prison.

    1. Meh, who gives a shit. Thus whole Mueller saga has become less interesting that Game of Thrones after that last episode.

      1. So you’re saying “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

        1. Well it seems congress is ok with that answer.

  7. It’s always a dilemma when you realize someone has probably asked the wrong question. If you answer the question that you assume they intended to ask, they can say your answer is wrong because it doesn’t match the question actually asked. If you answer the question actually asked, they can accuse you of trying to duck the question because you should have known what they meant to ask. I usually choose to answer the question actually asked. I think that is the most defensible choice. Barr went that route as well. I don’t blame him.

    1. Barr: “How is it my fault you had a moron ask me stupid questions?”

  8. They should change the oath then to whatever the law says and put in all the caveats carved by judicial interpretation. The perjury apparently don’t demand “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. Do you know what does require a more affirmative duty to speak honesty and responsibly? The Rules of Professional Comduct that govern lawyers. Those are higher standards and just as applicable to Barr as any federal statute.

    1. “Responsibly” should be “responsively”

    2. And it’s “perjury statutes don’t demand”

    3. “”The Rules of Professional Comduct that govern lawyers. “”

      That doesn’t prevent someone from giving an opinion. Opinion is not fact nor is held to the same standard as facts when you present them.

      Also, if you are wrong, maybe you just misspoke. I’ve heard that term a lot from democrats.

  9. I appreciate Sullum looking objectively for the truth, but the truth may be that Democrats are simply trying to discredit Barr because of what it does for the party’s election chances come 2020.

    In the links thread today, I made a list of all the people and problems under investigation by the Justice Department about the 2016 election, from FISA court abuses to targeting a presidential campaign at all, and the results of those investigations are likely to be embarrassing for Democrats.

    In fact, with the economy going the way it is (Did you see that worker productivity report that came out yesterday?), the Democrats may lose control of the House come 2020.

    I think the Democrats are just trying to discredit Barr in the minds of voters to try to discredit the allegations various investigations are likely to make between now and November of 2020. Add in a missed opportunity for Democrat candidates in the Senate to take turns pillorying Barr.

    Barr isn’t about to be prosecuted for anything. They’re just cross examining him in the court of public opinion and trying to discredit him as a witness.

    1. Barr is going to send some people to prison.
      As it always was, the accusations here are attempting to cover up crimes

      1. Care to name these people? We’ve been waiting for over two years.

        1. “”We’ve been waiting for over two years.”‘

          Wrong investigation.

          1. What investigation then?

            1. See Ken’s list below.

            2. He listed several investigations that the DOJ started. And guess who they are targeting?

              1. Your idiot whisperer Ken is delusional.

                1. What about Ken’s list is delusional?

                  I thought you were interested in facts. But you seem to prefer name calling.

                  1. Ordinary Person is even dumber than Tony and Shiek.

                    A low bar to be sure, but he tried really, really hard.

            3. The inspector general investigation that hasn’t completed yet.

    2. I think your spot on. This is all political theater. Neither party really wants a big investigation into FISA and deep state actors because who know where that will take you.

    3. The truth is they are literally attempting to remove Barr before he gets to deep into the investigation of spying.
      Calling him the ‘president’s man’ is sheer stupidity. Every single president gets to pick his choice for every office in the legislative branch. As the Dems have stated before, ‘Elections have consequences’.
      Do the Dems seriously expect Trump to pick someone who is a progressive or a leftist.
      Barr was a brilliant choice. His is a straight shooter and has absolutely zero conflicts of interest. Being the pick of Trump does not equate to a conflict, no matter how much the Dems would like to portray him to be.

  10. The Democrats have spent the last two plus years embarrassing themselves trying to justify that they did not actually lose the presidential election and were cheated and now they want to blame someone for telling them that they were not cheated.

    They have they actual report now, they can decide for themselves how to interpret the findings.

    1. It is telling that not one single Dem has read the report in it’s entirety. They would prefer to espouse their own interpretation of small sections of the report fed to them by the bias media and twitter accounts they subscribe to.
      Bottom line, Mueller has confirmed categorically that there was absolutely no collusion and in his own words could produce zero evidence of obstruction. Muellers thoughts and opinions on ‘possible’ collusion are absolutely meaningless. It was not Mueller’s job to exonerate Trump. It was his job to gather evidence and if none existed then to state that none existed.
      TBH, there can be absolutely no obstruction since Trump is the head of the executive branch and as such he can fire anyone under him and does not even have to give a reason. He could have fired Mueller at any time for being conflicted since the day before he was appointed as special counsel Trump turned him down for the job as head of the FBI. That in itself is a serious conflict. Despite this, he actually allowed Mueller to continue for over 2 years, and long after the purpose of the investigation was ascertained. Mueller knew for over a year before the investigation finished that there was zero evidence of collusion. Why the hell did he not wrap it up at that point.
      The answer to that question is now obvious. He was literally daring Trump to shut down the investigation so he could claim obstruction despite. He also wanted to interfere in the Midterms by continuing the investigation in an attempt to sway public opinion against the party of the president. Can you imagine the result of the mid terms if Mueller had wrapped up his investigation at the actual time he had already concluded there was no collusion. I suspect the result would have been very different, Especially since the investigation into spying on the Trump campaign would have been in full swing. As it is, this investigation is just getting started and will be in full swing before the presidential election in 2020. I honestly can’t see Trump losing in 2020. He has an incredible economic success to run on and I suspect there will continue to be even better economic news to come out before the election.

  11. I also believe Congress has the power to hold someone like Barr in criminal contempt for obfuscating the truth.

    1. If you started holding congresspeople “in criminal contempt for obfuscating the truth”, wouldn’t Pelosi herself be near the top of the list?

      1. No, I’m talking about when people give testimony under oath. God damn they start out by swearing to tell the whole truth.
        The joke is that you or I would have been nailed to the if plays these games in a courtroom. Barr should know better. The rules that govern his law license demand better.

        1. You sound retarded bleating about law licenses.

          1. I just have a memory and an understanding of facts. I am aware that Clinton once played games with testimony. I am aware he lost his law license for it but was not prosecuted. I knew that lawyers have special obligations to speak with candor when they give testimony. It makes perfect sense for me to mention this considering Barr is a lawyer.

            1. You sound more retarded doubling down on your bleating about law licenses.

              ” I am aware that Clinton once played games with testimony. I am aware he lost his law license for it but was not prosecuted. ”

              Your memory is faulty. He didn’t “play games” he was caught lying about a provable fact. I.e. actual perjury.

              From Snopes

              “On his last day in office in 2001, Clinton agreed to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license in order to head off any criminal charges for lying under oath about his relationship with Lewinsky. “

            2. “”and an understanding of facts.”‘

              That’s down right comical. You demonstrate the contrary daily.

        2. “”God damn they start out by swearing to tell the whole truth.””

          The whole truth is something that almost never happens in front of Congress. Hillary didn’t give the whole truth when she kept answering I don’t recall.

          The clownery now wants to pretend that the whole truth matters now when it never mattered before. That tells you it’s not about lying to Congress, it’s about Trump.

          Principals over principles.

    2. Yeah, I bet James Clapper hardly sleeps at night for fear of what might happen to him for having misled Congress, and we all know what happened to Lois Lerner after she was found to be in contempt.

      Are you joking?

      1. I believe he is an idiot, not a comedian.

        1. Pretty sure your assumption has been proven by the idiot many times over.

    3. Way to channel OBL.

    4. That certainly ruined the Obama admin when Congress held Holder in contempt. Oh wait…

      1. It went to court and a judge ordered Holder to turn over the documents.

        1. So wait, it went to the judicial branch, who ordered the papers released but no criminal actions? So in other words it was handled by the correct branch and the contempt charges had no impact on Holder? Wow! You would think that Contempt fo Congress has no real repercussions and you would be right. To

          1. The judge gave Holder a choice turn over the documents or go to jail. There would have been jail if Holder had persisted and apparently there was a good faith basis for Holder to resist the subpoena so the judge didn’t find Holder in contempt. Contrast that with the Trump administration’s bad faith no basis in law refusal to turn over documents and these officials may be found in contempt and put in jail or fined.

            1. Ordinary Person
              May.3.2019 at 3:27 pm
              “The judge gave Holder a choice turn over the documents or go to jail….”

              So he got off if he said ‘Gee, I’m sorry’?
              Fuck off, you pathetic piece of shit.

            2. Actually, the Obama DoJ declined to prosecute him.

              Just in case somebody thought OP knew what he was talking about.

    5. It is not criminal contempt because, guess what, Congress is the legislative not judicial branch. Also, he didn’t like, he parsed the truth. He answered the question as it was asked. Sorry, nothing will happen.

  12. Just to refresh people’s memories, these are the ongoing investigations:

    FBI’s former Deputy Director McCabe is under criminal investigation.

    The FBI’s former counsel James Baker is under criminal investigation.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating the FBI surveillance of Carter Page and the Trump campaign.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee has referred criminal cases to the Justice Department on the Steele dossier and another was referred by the House Oversight and Reform Committee on former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr.

    The Justice Department Inspector General is working on a report on FBI abuse of the FISA court in 2016.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-fear-of-william-barr-11556837637?

    The Democrats don’t want to talk about these issues at all, so they’re attacking Barr, who’s ultimately overseeing and will be reporting the findings of all of them. They just want to discredit the Trump administration’s star witness against them in the court of public opinion. Also, I think there’s a certain amount of realization that people won’t find what they aren’t looking for, and the Democrats would rather Barr stopped looking for this stuff.

    1. Can’t be true. You never see anything about these investigations on the front page of the Washington Post.

      /s

  13. This article would otherwise be embarrassing, but in the age of TDS, shame has no place.

    Barr was asked for an opinion on various and rather vaguely characterized ‘reports’ and he offered one, specifically using the phrases ” I think” and “I suspect.” The idea that this sort of remark could qualify as false testimony is ridiculous.

    But I guess it lets us keep talking about Russiagate without actually talking about any of the more recent revelations about FBI and possible CIA involvement in spying on the Trump campaign.

    Sullum, thy name is Waterboy.

    1. Reading the text, I’m not sure Barr understood what was meant by his “team”.

      Does Barr think of Mueller as “his team”?

      I thought the politician was referencing people in the Justice Department directly under Barr’s supervision who thought more should be said. I think of Mueller’s team and Barr’s “team” being distinct.

      1. On re-reading, I guess it does say “the special counsel’s team”.

        Still, he may have been innocently differentiating in his mind between the special counsel and the special counsel’s team.

        If I’m on a jury for perjury, I’m not about to put someone away beyond a reasonable doubt on just that evidence.

        1. Someone could argue that he was being evasive, and I could not offer any concrete refutation of that opinion, but that’s not a crime.

          Vague and foolish questions (” …frustrated, at some level, with the limited information included…”) getting what they deserve is what I’d call it.

          1. In courtrooms all over America they call evasion on the witness stand after you’ve just sworn to tell the whole truth “contempt” and they put your ass in jail if you do it . Barr also discredits the rest of his presentation when he plays these games. If you were on a jury and you found out a fact witnesses had mislead you then you’d have a good basis to distrust the witness. It’s just common sense.

            1. “In courtrooms all over America they call evasion on the witness stand after you’ve just sworn to tell the whole truth “contempt” and they put your ass in jail if you do it .”
              Yeah, this doesnt happen.

            2. People hedge testimony all the time without going to jail for it. What little hold on sanity you had left seems to have abandoned you.

              1. Good hedge some testimony under other mfer see where that gets you with the jury, the judge and the prosecutor. Y’all don’t know Jack.

                1. Go hedge some testimony under oath and see where that gets you. Y’all are completely delusional but you wouldn’t be sticking with Trump if you had sense. There’s no point with y’all.

                  1. Ordinary Person
                    May.3.2019 at 3:33 pm
                    “Go hedge some testimony under oath and see where that gets you. Y’all are completely delusional but you wouldn’t be sticking with Trump if you had sense. There’s no point with y’all.”

                    Your imbecilic opinions of what might happen are tempered by the fact that you’re proven yourself a fucking lefty ignoramus.
                    Go away and leave the adults alone.

                2. Ordinary Person surely you’re not an attorney. Actual ordinal people go up on the stand every single day, hundreds of times across the country, and “forget” or hedge or shade or dissemble or pretend not to understand, and they’re not charged. You’re ridiculous.

            3. Congress isn’t a courtroom you fucking imbecile.

          2. If you want a straight answer, ask a straight question.

        2. The question was very specific. There had been reports in the media about Anonymous members of Mueller’s team, not Mueller himself, who were not happy with the contents of Barr’s announcement.

          Everyone in the room at the time knew that that is what the question referred to. There is no plausible debate that he was asking about Mueller himself. These were Anonymous leaks to the Press designed to undercut Barr.

          He was specifically asking about those leaks because he wanted to amplify that undercutting. That is what that was about. It was political point-scoring trying to get the Attorney General to talk about leaks that disagreed with him.

          At the same time there were Communications directly from Mueller to bar. That is not what the question was about. They did not ask him has anyone at any time disagreed with you about this. They were asking about the leaks to the Press. There were no suggestions in the press or from the committee that the leaks were sourced from Mueller himself.

  14. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”.
    Lie, or not?

    1. “Point of clarification: I was thinking about baseball the entire time.”

      1. Also, do not terribly attractive chunky chicks really count as sex?

        It wasn’t like I was banging Marilyn Monroe.

  15. Did he even lie to congress?

    1. Certainly will make the Executive Branch willing to not stonewall the House.

      “OK, if they don’t say what you want, you will just accuse them of perjury. Then, why should we even play the game of yours?”

  16. Another process crime?

    1. HATE CRIME!!

  17. Speaking of misleading answers to imprecisely worded questions, I’d like to have somebody ask Comey why he told Trump that Trump was not under investigation but refused to say so publicly. As I understand it the whole Russia investigation thing was run as a counter-intelligence investigation rather than a criminal investigation because it allowed for basically a fishing expedition at a lower standard of proof – reasonable suspicion rather than probable cause. So when Trump asked if he was under investigation, technically he was not since that would have required a criminal investigation whereas the counter-intelligence operation was ostensibly aimed at the Russians. Now, we all know from statements that have been made public that the FBI claims that they were concerned that Trump was compromised by the Russians* and that’s why they started this investigation – meaning they were in fact “investigating” Trump as the term is generally understood but not investigating Trump strictly legally speaking. Comey would have been misleading Trump by telling him he was not under investigation but not making it clear he meant that in a strictly technical sense and Comey didn’t want to say the same thing publicly because he knew damn well the public would take it the same way and, when it later came out that the FBI was in fact investigating Trump, Comey would be accused of lying. And Higher Loyalty Comey couldn’t countenance being accused of lying.

    *Of course we all know there’s an alternative explanation for why the FBI engaged in an all-hands-on-deck fishing expedition trying to dig up any dirt they could find on Trump, and it had nothing to do with Russia but everything to do with interfering with the election.

    1. Maybe the suspicion had something to do with the hundreds of contacts between Trump people and Russians. Maybe it was Paul Manafort trying to use his position as campaign manager to get right with a Russian mob boss. Maybe it was the secret Trump Tower meeting with representatives of the Russian govt to exchange sanctions relief for dirt on Hillary. Maybe it was Trump Tower Moscow. Maybe it was Flynn trying to locate Russian hackers to get Hillary’s emails. So you’re apparently completely aware of what happened and yet you believe the FBI interfered in the 2016 election against Trump. Why do you believe that? Do you even remember Trump attacking Obama for “letting the Russians get away with hacking” for not explicitly making it known that Putin was trying interfere on Trump’s behalf?

      1. So, Trump is guilty due to insane conspiracy theories in your head? Again, when Trump won, the RUSSIANS DID NOT KNOW HOW TO CONTACT HIM.

        That’s not exactly “Putin’s puppet” type bullshit.

        Note: They had ZERO problems contacting Obama or Hillary.

        Keep hope alive, son.

        1. I hope you get your wish. I pray your delusional beliefs about there being no basis to investigate Russian connections to Trump officials gets bought into litigation. That path leads to the discovery of things that Trump wants to keep secret.

          1. Ordinary Person
            May.3.2019 at 2:53 pm
            “I hope you get your wish….”

            Lefty ignoramuses will not let hope die!
            Keep it up; adolescent whining is amusing to adults.

      2. That’s a lot of Maybes. Maybe you’re just wrong.

      3. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re a tinfoil hat wearing delusional wacko. Maybe not, but I sure wouldn’t bet against it.

  18. “Later in the hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D–R.I.) called Barr’s explanation “masterful hairsplitting,” ”

    Best joke of the day.

    1. In all fairness, AG and prosecutors in general are really good at masterful hairsplitting. Particularly when it helps send someone to jail.

  19. It’s almost like they ask convoluted questions to trip up people trying to answer.

    1. The questions are definately spun so as to be able to spin any answer any way they like. Even if they asked him if the sky was blue and he answered with ” when I came in it was cloudy” they would claim he was miss directing, splitting hairs or lying because the sky is always blue above the clouds. see how easy it is.

      1. The FBI asks you what you had for breakfast. You say 2 eggs, wheat toast, bacon, and coffee. They come back and say you lied because you didn’t say there was cream and sugar in your coffee.

  20. Except he didn’t lie. He answered the question he was asked. Should have asked a different question of you essentially a different answer. Good too see Reason getting in on the Russia conspiracy theory.

    1. Correction: Should have asked a different question if you wanted a different answer.

      Can you no longer edit comments?

  21. Nothing but a huge shit-flinging contest between Congress and the Executive.

    When you try to parse and analyze it as though ANY player involved is treating it like a constructive, respectful debate on the merits, you make yourself look ridiculous.

    1. Stupid Harris actually asked if Barr had investigated the findings in the report.
      Why the hell would he need to do so.
      Surely the findings and conclusions in the report should be taken at face value considering the investigation took over 2 years and cost $35 million. Exactly why should Barr be expected to further investigate or examine any of the findings in it.
      She also asked him about Rosenstein’s conflict when he was not even AG at the time Rosenstein had been cleared. Personally, I strongly believe Rosenstein was absolutely conflicted, but he was strongly supported by the same democrats who are now criticizing this conflict. The absolute hypocrisy is astounding
      Just look at how they have dropped Mueller. They were screaming to the rooftops about protecting him from Trump, even putting forth legislation before the investigation ended using words like ‘honourable’. When Mueller could produce no evidence of collusion they started talking about hauling him in front of congress to testify. Suddenly they started talking about how he may have been influenced by Trump or ‘the fix was in’.
      Again, the hypocrisy of the Dems is disgusting to watch.
      Suddenly, The Dems NEED trumps financial information going back 10 years despite the fact they are not actually investigating any specific crime and Mueller will have already investigated Trumps financials as part of the probe. They are fishing for any dirt they can possibly find on Trump. Any tiny little irregularity they can find.
      And then they complain when Trump will obviously not cooperate. Would anyone be willing to cooperate under such disgusting behaviour. He knows that the Dems will leak anything they find even if it does not constitute a crime but would be embarrassing.

  22. This is all a distraction to discredit Barr before the release of the IG Report on FISA abuse by the Obama police state later this month. That we’re seriously discussing the merits of the Democrats’ bluster means they are succeeding.

  23. LOL at grilling him about what other people said about a summary he released only a short time prior to releasing a full document.

    Fucking ridiculous.

  24. If lying in front of Congress were a crime, they would have to shut the whole place down forever.

    Which wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

  25. WHAT “hairsplitting”? The question posed to Barr was “Do you know what they’re [referring to members of Mueller’s team] referencing with that [referring to concerns that Barr’s March 24 letter “does not accurately or adequately portray the Mueller Report’s FINDINGS”, its findings being that (a) there was no evidence of collusion or a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, and (b) Mueller made no recommendation on obstruction of justice and punted the issue]?” Barr’s response, “No, I don’t”, was completely accurate and responsive.

    There’s not a whiff of a lie there to even speculate about. Nancy Pelosi is a shrill partisan harpy without a shred of integrity. Why even bother to take anything she says seriously. Posts like this simply give a completely undeserved patina of credibility to Pelosi’s idiotic rantings. I expect better of Reason.

    1. Excellent analysis.

  26. The Epic Butthurt over losing the 2016 election continues unabated. As does the treasonous coup d’é·tat. Pelosi is the perfect voice for the DemonRats; drunk and unintelligible.

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