I’m not sure what we actually expected from this guy, but here it is in plain English:
A federal judge in Washington accused the Justice Department under Attorney General William P. Barr of misleading her and Congress about advice he had received from top department officials on whether President Donald J. Trump should have been charged with obstructing the Russia investigation and ordered that a related memo be released.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court in Washington said in a ruling late Monday that the Justice Department’s obfuscation appeared to be part of a pattern in which top officials like Mr. Barr were untruthful to Congress and the public about the investigation.
The department had argued that the memo was exempt from public records laws because it consisted of private advice from lawyers whom Mr. Barr had relied on to make the call on prosecuting Mr. Trump. But Judge Jackson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2011, ruled that the memo contained strategic advice, and that Mr. Barr and his aides already understood what his decision would be.
And soon we will be able to read his bullshit for ourselves.
Assumes facts not in evidence.
Contempt of court? Perjury? Disbarment? Let’s hope there are consequences for once
Yeah, where is the unredacted Mueller report?
As Maddow put it in a clip I saw, “What we thought happened, happened.”
Liar, Liar, Professional Coverup Artist Big Skuzzy Liar. Also enormous hypocrite, god botherer, shite-bag, droopy-faced terror enabling fascist, holier than thou, rolling flaming tumbleweed of anti constitutional attorney and the person who managed to get Jeff Epstein hired to “teach” the well connected children of privilege and then frequent visitor until the unfortunate demise of said pedophile. Apologies for any relevant omissions.
I would love to see him prosecuted for lying to Congress. It’s time somebody was actually caught and punished for that, and Barr would be a great place to start.
@Roger Moore: dinna hold yer breath
Gosh, who would have thought someone personally chosen by Donald Trump would be less than scrupulously honest and candid! Is it possible he didn’t meet the high ethical standards espoused by Trump University?
drip drip drip drip drip
may it be so for the next 4, 8, 12, or more years
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Peter Baker is getting slapped around twitter a bit, which I doubt will penetrate his personal or professional ego, but might irritate him.
I still can’t wrap my head around even someone as venal as Barr taking a good long look at TFG and being like “yep, this is the dude to throw it all away for.”
@catclub: Yes we can’t get too worked up. This could be another Fitzmas
The DC village persisted in the conceit that the Trump’s Attorney General was some kind of impartial upholder of law for the nation. It was obvious from the start he was Trump’s personal toady specifically hired because he would cover up and enable Trump’s crimes.
A big Fuck You to Joe Manchin, Doug Jones and Kyrsten Sinema who voted to confirm this criminal garbage.
@VOR: To me the shock is still that Sessions was the ethical one.
@laura: Wasn’t the Epstein connection through his father?
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Meh. There are racists who have ethics. People are rarely completely evil. Often, they behave horribly in one aspect of their lives but have a conscience in others.
@germy: Holy shit, Congress has not yet seen the full unreacted Mueller Report???
edit: I thought the president could declassify anything they wanted to?
P.S. I ?Ted Lieu.
@WaterGirl: So the best way to get the full Mueller report released is to start asking “Why is Biden hiding this,” and wait for amplification by Fox.
I’m not a lawyer, but can any lawyer give a compelling argument why a DOJ lawyer giving advice to a DOJ leader, in any official capacity, should be considered private and beyond the reach of open records laws? As far as I’m concerned they’re both employees and no such thing as client confidentiality would or should be in play.
Barr was, and one assumes still is, a no-foolin’ right-wing radical. A lot of Villagers got that wrong, thinking he was just another good-faith technician. In retrospect, the evidence was there, the question is why it was systematically ignored. The people who got that wrong need to do some actual backtracking and learn some lessons. Not going to happen, I know.
I wish there were some legal repercussions/punishment for this.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I agree with the tweet that any Senate Dems should have not voted to confirm Barr, but I doubt that would have stopped the Times from carrying all that water for TFG administration if Barr had been confirmed on a partisan vote.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Because the best evidence of it was from the Iran-Contra days and the horses could never be made to drink from that particular stream, even thirty years ago. Poppy Bush was the nice old gent who jumped out of airplanes and probably tried to pull Junior back from the invasion of Iraq, and probably voted for Hillary.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Right, especially not Peter Baker, who I think is pretty much a Bush Republican wearing a Broderist mask. I’d happily swap Doug Jones for Joe Manchin, so I’m not gonna jump on him for trying to hold on to that seat.
ETA: and neither Baker nor any Senate Dems were involved when the NYT published a story (falsely, or at least prematurely) suggesting trump had been cleared of any Russian connection by the FBI, or when they went apeshit over Anthony Weiner’s laptop, or when they renewed Maureen Dowd’s contract….
As much as I admire Ted Lieu, I doubt Don McGahn, known establishment right wing enabler, will provide any testimony any time anywhere, as he’s a David Addington without the thumbscrews.
The federal prosecutors who did that incredibly sleazy deal with Epstein and his fancy Right wing lawyers got off:
Just garbage work. They sacrificed the girl-victims because they weren’t high status victims.
People use the word “massage” to cover what Epstein did. It was much, much worse than the girls giving him massages, which all the federal prosecutors knew.
They let him off on child rape. Any ordinary person would have gotten 30 years.
L’état, c’est moi.
Undeniably legal, when the person making the arguments controls the courts. Also probably somewhat more compelling when that person has an army.
Bill Kristol says the big donors should stop giving $$$ to the R party. He’s right— you may as well be giving the money directly to TFG.
I always wondered why Mueller didn’t do and say something about Barr’s totally inaccurate summary.
I hope old Bobby Three-Sticks feels a bit embarrassed now….
“Long suffering judge Amy Berman Jackson.”
Is this yet another chapter in the Book of IOIYAR? I’d like to think Barr broke actual laws for which he could actually be charged and tried, but have zero faith (and the same level of knowledge) that it will ever happen. Benghazis all around!
Yup. He faded to the background at precisely the time he needed to do the opposite. Comeylike.
Not just anyone can meet those standards.
One has to be a lying sleezeball asshole of rather epic proportions just to be considered! Of course most anyone who would whirl around in shitforbrains orbit qualifies on those minimal standards.
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:
I wouldn’t say often, possibly on occasion, but not often.
I wanted to front-page this story but find most of the writeups of it indecipherable.
[No, I am not asking you to explain it to me.]
I get the surface story, but there is a lot more going on and a lot more to be uncovered in how the Mueller Report was made and marketed. I think the judge is doing the right thing legally in addressing one aspect at a time. It’s unlikely that the media will be able to make a full story out of it.
This is the outer skin of a large onion: the brittle brown layer before you get to the flexible brown layer before you get to the dryish yellow layer before you get to…
More to the point, Bill Barr was not Donald Trump’s lawyer. He was, supposedly, a public servant. So lawyer-client privilege cannot possibly apply.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
The mantra that kept me going every time a Barr story enraged me was “John Mitchell went to jail. John Mitchell went to jail.”
it’s a pretty slim thread to hang your hope on, but I’m still hoping.
To be Frank
The Mueller report also contains Grand Jury testimony which can only be released in special circumstances (as I understand it, as the accused has no representation or chance to respond to claims testified to before the Grand Jury it would deny the accused due process to release Grand Jury testimony)
just another day ending in Y for GOPer operatives arguing that the laws don’t apply to G-Presidents but apply to D-Presidents. The WH General Counsel, the AG, and the DOJ are not in any way shape or form meant to be counsel for the individual sitting in the WH. There is no privilege. It does not exist. If Mr. Barr had info that was privileged he is obligated to recuse himself from making decisions about the matter. And he shouldn’t have put himself in a position where he was conferring with TFG’s private lawyers anyway. Even Jeff Sessions, as horrible a lawyer as he was, had a better grasp of what an AG should and shouldn’t be doing than Barr does.
everyone in TFG sphere of influences gets mired in s**t, but even Sessions knew when to walk away from this particular s**t show.
@Benw: It was the Putin money/blackmail that sealed the deal.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
And that worked out so well.
How many Alabamans do you think changed their vote to Jones in 2020 because he was the 54th vote for Trump’s sleazy AG?
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, the return of Hurricane Ashley. Batten down.
West of the Rockies
If nothing else, I hope this sitis causing stress and embarrassment for Jabba the Barr.
James E Powell
It kills me when red state D senators justify their votes to confirm R appointments with the notion that it will save their re-elections. The R voters who hate them because they are Ds don’t even know who the AG is.
Is there any possibility that Garland demurs on releasing this? I mean, could they rebuff Jackson’s order on the basis of some kind of DOJ-AG executive privilege thing to protect the integrity of future internal deliberations or something?
I beg to differ. Not that I wouldn’t like to see Barr prosecuted, but he’s out of office. If we’re gonna prosecute people for lying to Congress, a truly GREAT place to start would be with Kavanaugh.
@Pete Mack: Yup.
All this was hashed out long ago in the Watergate years. John Mitchell was Nixon’s AG and he went to prison (served 19 months).
@sdhays: If my recollection is correct, Big daddy Barr hired him after intros and recommendations from Billy.
@Cheryl Rofer: The notion that the report happened to be ready for release so soon after Barr’s arrival was always a bit rich for my stomach. I seem to recall that just before his arrival there were hints of investigations into Russian and Ukrainian contacts that might not have made it into the report. These were matters that would have needed time to flesh out. At some point you want to hang on to what you’ve got.
Is there an opening for investigating who directed the FBI to halt their witness interviews during the Kavanaugh hearings?
@Mike G: OTOH, Barr was a nominally competent, nominally defensible AG nominee. Nobody competent and untainted was available as they saw what a monster TFG was. Who would TFG have nominated if Barr wasn’t available? Jared?? Rudy?? Nunes?? Parnas and/or Fruman???! His bellhop at [email protected]?!!?! Someone already Senate-confirmed to be Assistant Deputy Undersecretary to the Assistant Deputy Director of [email protected][email protected]:#[email protected]:
There’s no sensible reason to blame TFG’s horrible AGs on Team D.
@James E Powell: The way I look at it is you have to put coins in the bucket to be rated a “conservative Democrat”. The optimal way of doing this is to vote with Republicans when your vote doesn’t matter and vote with Democrats when it does matter.
In this case, their votes didn’t matter because Republican Senators were happy with Barr and were going to install him regardless. Unlike other nominees for small, irrelevant posts like Federal judgeships, he had a real law degree and an actual relevant resume for the job he was nominated for. So they figured it wasn’t worth spending their “conservative” capital in a fruitless objection.
In this case, I think they were wrong, but I understand where they were coming from. I’m a lot more pissed about Manchin saying stupid things about DC statehood.
@laura: Oh, I hadn’t heard that.
@trollhattan: Yes, let’s get to the bottom of that shit.
Good point. Even before TFG was The Current Guy all these assholes were already deeply corrupt and criminal.
not only did they let him off on child rape, they made his victims into prostitutes.
last time I looked, it’s not possible for a child to be a prostitute.
@germy: Everything except number 3. I don’t think Mueller chickened out. I think Rosenstein landed the plane.
I don’t think ethics had anything to do with it. I think he just wasn’t imaginative enough to know what he’d be able to get away with.
Emma from Miami
@Emerald: Agreed, the restrictions they put on Mueller showed that the fix was in. And in fact he did speak up at one point. He made public a letter he sent to Barr arguing that the summarized report did not convey a true and complete context of the situation. Barr simply ignored the material as presented by Mueller.
@trollhattan: Senator Whitehouse made a promise to Christine Blasey Ford in the Rapist Judge hearings that he was not going to forget about this.
Maybe not to day or tomorrow, but I think Senator Whitehouse will make good on that promise.
@laura: While I suppose this is possible, I can find no mention of this in searching the web. Epstein was three years younger and attended different schools than Barr, although they both were in NYC at about the same time for the end of Barr’s college years. It is not even clear if Barr’s father hired Epstein to teach at Dalton, although the only cites to this are right wing media so it might not be accurate
He wasn’t simply available, he fucking auditioned for the role.
James E Powell
I’m sure it helps them keep their “conservative” or “not like the others” identity with the Village, but I can’t think of a single red state Democrat who was saved by a vote to confirm a cabinet or judicial appointment. Maybe we should ask Claire McCaskill.
You are limited to 10,000 characters in one reply so you wouldn’t have room to list all his faults in one comment. At least not if you used all the applicable swear words.
@pat: Mueller was a piece of shit GOP lackey. He was never going to do anything but drag out the “investigation”. Anyone that thought Barr would do anything but cover-up is a fool.
@James E Powell: It’s a difficult dance, but it seems to work for some. It seemed to work for McCaskill in 2012, and it definitely seems to be working for Manchin – it’s a mystery to me how someone like him can get reelected in a state that loves TFG and Republicans so much. As much as I don’t like some of things he does, if we had a few more Manchins in different ruby-red states (on top of what we already have), I’d breath easier.
And on the other side, it most definitely works for Susan Collins. She’s built up so much “moderate” cred (as undeserved as it may be) that she could burn through most of it during TFG’s term and still hang on in 2020.
@Parfigliano: I see Mueller as someone who was probably competent and decent, but completely unable to rise to the moment he found himself in. He was well-chosen by Rod Rosenstein.
@germy: the important part … Ted Lieu pushing our hobbyhorse.
J R in WV
Having watched Mr Mueller’s testimony before the congressional committees, I wonder if he hasn’t lost several steps to some age-related mental disorder. He seemed several steps slower than my dad did in his death bed.