Thursday, March 14, 2019

Will The Tables Turn? The Lindsey Graham Interview

Earlier this morning I suggested that AG Bill Barr has loosed the reins that Rod Rosenstein had imposed on IG Michael Horowitz, regarding internal investigations of wrongdoing at the FBI and DoJ (Andrew Weissmann To Leave Team Mueller And DoJ). Last night, speaking to Sean Hannity, Lindsey Graham, new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, referenced IG Horowitz's long anticipated report regarding FBI/DoJ abuse in the Carter Page FISA application, and he did it in an interesting way. Rather than say, We need to see OIG's report--long rumored to be complete--Graham spoke of the report as if there is still work to be done. As if Horowitz may have resisted release of the report because his hands had been tied.

Graham then went on to call for a Special Counsel to investigate the whole complex of highly irregular events surrounding the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Russia Hoax. (Video below)

I'm not sure how AG Barr feels about the whole concept of a Special Counsel--he may oppose it on principled conservative grounds. However, recall that as far back as summer of 2017 AG Barr went on public record--that's what speaking to the NYT means, I think--regarding this complex of investigations:

Of 10 former attorneys general contacted Tuesday, only one responded to a question about what they would do in Mr. Sessions’s situation. 
“There is nothing inherently wrong about a president calling for an investigation,” said William P. Barr, who ran the Justice Department under President George Bush. “Although an investigation shouldn’t be launched just because a president wants it, the ultimate question is whether the matter warrants investigation.” 
Mr. Barr said he sees more basis for investigating the uranium deal than any supposed collusion between Mr. Trump and Russia. “To the extent it is not pursuing these matters, the department is abdicating its responsibility,” he said.

Possibly Senator Graham's call for a Special Counsel needs to be viewed in that perspective.

And then there's this, as reported by the WaPo, from Barr's confirmation hearings:

“I feel I’m in a position in life where I can do the right thing and not really care about the consequences. In the sense that I can be truly independent,” Barr said.
He added: “I had a very good life. I have a very good life. I love it. But I also want to help in this circumstance, and I am not going to do anything that I think is wrong, and I will not be bullied into doing anything I think is wrong. ... I’m going to do what I think is right.”

Independent? Wants to help in this circumstance? Will do what he thinks is right? OMG! Bill Barr may well be the Deep State's worst nightmare.


  1. The appointment of a Special Counsel in May 2017 would have been a good thing if ...

    * The Special Counsel had been assigned to discover the entire history of the investigation of Trump and his campaign.

    * The Special Counsel had been someone who was not determined to cover up the FBI's misdeeds -- someone other than former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

    The public should now be receiving a report about the entire investigation -- not merely a report smearing Trump and his associates.


    I assume that DOJ/FBI already has written an internal report that details the real history of the investigation. President Trump needs to obtain that internal report and release it to the public.

    1. "I assume that DOJ/FBI already has written an internal report that details the real history of the investigation."

      Mike, I wouldn't bet on that. What comes closest would be the OIG reports, but so far they haven't amounted to too much, IMO, because Horowitz has had his hands tied.

  2. Mueller's decision to allow such a large fraction of his team to be made up of open Clinton supporters was an error of judgment and ethics, in my opinion. It is difficult to put any positive and ethical spin on that initial decision in team construction.

    1. I agree, Yancey. As for it being an error of judgment, I think we can see how it gives Barr a weapon to use to challenge certain aspects. It may not be a conclusive weapon in terms of shutting things down, but in terms of removing people, in terms of public justification, it becomes quite powerful. As you say: It was wrong and it was also foolish. But Mueller has a long history of questionable judgment. I don't expect Barr to defer to Mueller in any way, shape, or form.