Saturday, December 12, 2020

Brett Tolman Takes Bill Barr To Task

Those of you who have watched the video interviews of Brett Tolman on Fox--which I've linked a fair number of times--will know that Tolman is far from being a bomb thrower. He's a former Senate lawyer and US Attorney, and he offers informed, measured, analysis of legal matters--with no verbal fireworks. So, when he offers sharp criticism of someone like Bill Barr--whom he admires--you know that his views are deeply held. 

Nevertheless, Tolman doesn't hold back. When AG Barr shot his mouth off about election fraud, making some frankly inexcusable statements after the election, Tolman didn't mince words--This Statement Really Stunned Me:

It almost sounds like someone shooting from the cuff and making some comments without having done any due diligence on his own. I've spoken to folks that are on the ground in several of these states that have been talking to witnesses, looking at what is alleged. It's really hard to believe that the Attorney General came out and-- Look, I'm a fan of AG Barr and I've followed his career for many, many years, but this statement really stunned me,because if you've watched any of the hearings you know that there are people out there expressing their first hand account of issues and irregularities that are concerning and that somebody needs to be digging into and getting to the bottom of. 

This morning I came across a Fox segment with Martha MacCallum that covers the new revelations of Biden Inc. criminality:

Fox Drops News of Yet Another Federal Investigation Into Hunter Biden

MacCallum spends nearly half of the segment discussing the matter with Tolman, and MacCallum's focus is all on, What did Bill Barr know, when did he know it, and why didn't he say anything about it?--a question on quite few people's minds.

Now, I want to be clear. Barr has, in almost all respects, been a very effective AG--the raw, unfiltered hatred he generates on the Left tells you that. In what follows you'll see that Barr acted promptly, effectively, and with integrity. Still, Barr appears to have a blind spot, which Tolman points out (below)--Barr is "old school", he doesn't seem to truly 'get' the current state of politics. Or, alternatively, he cherishes a bizarrely naive notion that the example of his own integrity will somehow rub off on the Left--rather than being taken advantage of. 

The thing is, Barr and I were born within a few months of each other, and Barr has had one helluva lot more exposure to and experience in the world of high stakes law and politics than I have had. I just can't see a real excuse for his naivete in that regard--I don't suspect him of intentionally seeking to undermine Trump, but his actions have been, in some important respects, mystifying. Tolman clearly feels the same way. He finds much to admire in Barr and, so, is stunned by some of his actions. For that reason I think it's worth reviewing Tolman's comments for all those who are wondering about Barr's role in the election and its aftermath. In what follows I've largely edited out or summarized MacCallum, in the interests of getting to the core issues a bit more briefly.

Let me draw attention to a key point that Tolman is making. Tolman agrees that Barr acted with integrity in not revealing the existence of a Biden investigation. However, he states clearly that--once the Dems began making public misrepresentations that were designed not only to impugn Giuliani but also to impugn Barr's and DoJ's integrity if it was learned that there was an official investigation--at that point Barr had an absolute obligation to speak publicly. But he didn't. He took no action in the face of Dem gamesmanship designed to misinform the public about matters very much within the purview of DoJ. Perhaps Barr was concerned about accusations of playing politics with investigations, but that had already been going on virtually from the day of his confirmation. If that was Barr's concern, he should not have allowed such bad faith to determine his own performance of his duties.

MACCALLUM: [Asks for Tolman's reaction to news that Barr received Giuliani's Ukraine information and assigned it to "officials" in Pittsburgh to investigate re the Hunter Biden laptop and Burisma.]

TOLMAN: Yeah, it's not surprising. Certainly he has an obligation once he receives evidence or information to pass it to someone who might inquire as to the legitimacy of it. That happens all the time, and when I was US Attorney [in Utah] I had from various sources and my first and initial response was to send it to investigators and to prosecutors who could vet the information and see whether there's anything to it. So, I'm not surprised that he did that. 

MACCALLUM: [Plays a video clip of an interview she did a year ago with Barr, in which she asked him how he was handling everything we'd been hearing about from Giuliani and whether he was interested in seeing the evidence.]

BARR: [Smiling broadly] The Department of Justice is interested in seeing ALL evidence that could be relevant. 

MACCALLUM: [Tries to nail Barr down--does DoJ intend to investigate Joe Biden, Crowdstrike, Ukraine and the DNC server, or Burisma?]

BARR: [Again smiling broadly] I couldn't say one way or the other, but you shouldn't read anything into that.

MACCALLUM: [Returns to Tolman and poses the question--Yes, Barr was cautious in his response a year ago, but did "we" deserve to know more about all this during the election--from Barr? After all, we're now hearing that there are FOUR investigations going on into "the family," Biden Inc.!]

TOLMAN: Well, first of all I think it's great that you had that moment. You were one of the few asking those tough questions. I think by his [Barr'] response we can certainly see, there was some knowledge there. There was something--he was trying to be careful. They have a policy in the Department of Justice to not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, but you hit on the issue that is important, and that is: What we saw happen AFTER that was stories about Russia disinformation, 50 plus former intelligence    officers indicating that there was nothing here, that this [Giuliani's information] was from Russia. At that point I believe the Attorney General absolutely had an obligation  to correct the record, to make sure that that was not the case, that there was information to suggest that they were at least going to look into it. And that's OK for the American people to know, that they [DoJ/FBI] had credible leads into potential laundering of money or the movement of money that might have been illegal, involving Hunter Biden. That shoulda been said. There was enough time to do that prior to things ramping up in the election.

MACCALLUM: [If Joe Biden wasn't implicated, could Barr have spoken out sooner?]

TOLMAN: I mean, this is something where the Attorney General, who--Certainly he's 'old school'. He was Attorney General many, many years ago before we were in the political atmosphere that we are. But this called for a different response, and I think what we're going to see now is, a lot of the details coming out, and people are gonna be frustrated, they're gonna be upset. Because let me tell you, it's not just the laptop that triggered this investigation. When you have suspicious activity reports that are being filed by financial institutions, and you have the laptop, and then you have Bobulinski, you have the makings of a fairly large scale investigation into the illegal movement of money that is involving multiple people. That's a conspiracy.

MACCALLUM: [Reviews John Solomon's new information from a Hunter Biden email that shows the scale of the money involved. What red flags are raised about this money?]

TOLMAN: Well, the amount is certainly substantial. In the end we could be surprised and this just simply could be a tax evasion or a failure to report income. But I'm highly doubtful that that's gonna be the end result of this investigation. Bobulinski's information seems to be matching up with the fact that a lot of income was coming through, that Hunter was at the helm, that he was guiding and directing that income. And we know that China and other countries were at issue here, so I think this might be just the tip of the iceberg, Martha.

MACCALLUM: As we said: What exactly were they being paid FOR, and who was receiving the money.


  1. I wonder how much longer it will take to get where people stop asking about justice and finally get that we sold the place out lock, stock and barrel several years ago.

    You can not fix a problem until you identify it. The AG, FBI or CIA Directors are a symptom but not the actual problem. Their kinda irrelevant to be honest.

    That's what the FBI use to call a clue!

  2. There are a lot of us that are now "Old School." Certainly that may have been a more "professional" time. But it is incumbent on us to realize that our opponents have lost any pretense of professionalism and we should be playing the game by their rules, lest we lose everything.

  3. The too-smart DC elite think because THEY discount all of Trump's tweets, the rest of us do. What they may some day (soon) come to realize is we all have internalized the lesson, no justice for Trump no justice for anybody. I don't know Barr like Tolman does but I have to believe he is smart enough to know what winds he is sowing with this perpetual abeyance.

  4. My first comment got eaten by blogger...

    1. When are people going to understand that we no longer have a applicable justice system?
    2. When are they going to understand that these agency heads are a symptom and not the actual problem?

    The FBI use to call things like this a clue.

    You can't fix anything until you identify and target the actual issue. Mincing words on the minor symptoms and their effects is a waste of time to me.

    I don't like Barr, I however still wouldn't advocate for him to pull a pre-election James Comey.

    I however would directly ask with seething anger how they expect me to believe any of this takes this long, because it doesn't.

    Biden family crimes 2014, 2015, 2016. (that we know of)
    Spygate crimes 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.

    These are not investigations... These are races to the statue of limitations.

  5. I believe that Bill Barr was so busy protecting the integrity of his beloved DOJ that he forgot that his real task was to protect the integrity of the United States.

  6. Way off topic ...

    All is not lost ... chants of USA as President Trump visits the Army Navy game ....

  7. I've wasted so many words on Barr. Please, Trump, just fire the guy and do it with style.

  8. I've decided to ride this horse off the cliff, if that's where Barr and Trump take me.
    I still believe that they have the evidence needed to upend the Democrat scheme.
    And Trump, beyond all else, is a showman at heart.

    There are too many parts of the story to be told.

  9. I don't believe for a second that Barr is "old school," from a gentler time, and so doesn't know how to handle the current environment in D.C. He seems a smart and capable man. If his actions don't serve the ends of justice and responsible public disclosure, it's because he wants it that way. We'd all like to know why so many investigations have yielded little to nothing even after years. Ditto for why he allows Dems and their media lackeys to dismiss factual evidence as "Russian propaganda." Finally, has he done anything yet to investigate the rampant vote fraud documented in over 1,000 signed affidavits?

  10. OT -- Seth Rich

    Or maybe its On T, given that Mark's post raises questions about what the DoJ/FBI has been up to:

    So many questions...

    1. I'd certainly like to believe that the FBI is investigating. There are a lot of things happening at this point that are a bit hard to understand. Mostly things like, Why are we learning about this NOW, rather than before? Some of it looks like an effort to take Biden out, but this one doesn't. At this point we can only speculate, but Rich certainly seems like a likely candidate for transferring DNC emails to Assange.

    2. The fact that Trump has determined that it is not politically viable to pardon Assange suggests the hard place Trump has found himself in since January 20, 2017.

      If he can somehow pull this election out and over the next four years disclose to the country what the Deep State, Lefties and GOPe have been up to for the last 25 years...well, then, he will be the greatest President in history.

      Although in most all respects he probably already is.

    3. We should ask Donna Brazile about Seth Rich...

    4. AmericanCardigan, just read that thread. Incredible! Appalling! And Rich’s family has been ensnared. How Clintonesque...

  11. I guess Trump is preparing everyone for an Assange pardon.

  12. Fat chance but... I hope the judge in Ty's case tosses David Hardy in jail for contempt!

    There is a reason muller's thugs sat on Assange's indictment for over a year and then quickly pulled the card on him when the SC was being derailed. Silence is golden I guess.

    In the end hope Trump pardons Assange and Snowden both!

  13. Zero Hedge on Assange pardon

  14. A good article from Dyer that pretty sums things up.

  15. Robert Barnes:
    "Did you know @VP
    enjoys Constitutional authority to not count any electors from a contested state? Law scholars and legal historians both generally agree on that point. "

    Interesting article on what happens if...

    Preparing for a Disputed Presidential Election: An Exercise in Preparing for a Disputed Presidential Election: An Exercise in Election Risk Assessment and Management Election Risk Assessment and Management


  16. I agree that Bill Barr is "old school". However, I believe that we need to more carefully define "old school". Mark, after you posted your excellent column, I spent time last night and today researching Mr. Barr in the public domain. Very interesting and very troubling.
    Bill Barr got his professional start in the CIA, where he worked for a few years (sometimes using the name Robert Johnson), making the "acquaintance" of George H. W. Bush. Some years later, he was AG for a relatively short period of time under the same Bush. Sad to say, Bill Barr has been involved in a number of - shall we say - problematic activities. These include the BCCI scandal, Iraq Gate, the Iran-Contra affair, and Ruby Ridge. The depth of his involvement in any in one of them is a matter of speculation, but the overall pattern is not reassuring.
    Now we have his recent behavior, where one can reasonably discern a pattern of slow-rolling some important DOJ/FBI matters, especially and most recently the 2020 election.
    I hesitate to smear Bill Barr as a Bush deep state GOPe member. Other commentators will undoubtedly have their valuable insights and I look forward to them. At this point, I - reluctantly - paraphrase T. S. Eliot: Bill Barr's past is his present. Neil in NOT South Dakota.

    1. I knew all that when he was nominated--I was working when he was AG. I relied on people who knew him and on his commitment to the executive, which I thought was what was needed for Trump to come through. He's very smart and tough, but I'm afraid he is GOPe still at heart.