OPINION

JayMac: Why Barr’s testimony slapped me in the face

May 1, 2019, 6:11 PM
Attorney General William Barr reacts as he appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to m...
Attorney General William Barr reacts as he appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Washington. Barr said Wednesday that he was reviewing the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. He said he believed the president's campaign had been spied on and he was concerned about possible abuses of government power. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

DISCLAIMER: the following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL Newsradio or its ownership.

Attorney General William Barr’s testimony slapped me in the face and, just for good measure, kicked me in the gut.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said, “I appreciate very much what Mr. Mueller did for the country. I’ve read most of the report, and for me, it’s over.”

What?!

Additionally, it’s terribly sad that I can recognize whether the members of the Senate who are grilling Barr are Republican or Democrat based on the first few words that come out of their mouths. Right or wrong is not determined by the facts; it’s determined by party affiliation. There’s no attempt here at objectivity. Desperately sad.

If I had to sum it up it would be this: Every time the Democrats speak they want to know how Barr handled the Mueller report. And every time the Republicans speak they want to know how the investigation was started, that it never should have been written, that it exonerates the president, and that it should have focused on Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Barr responded that he has started an investigation into how the Mueller investigation was started. And, yes, do that if that’s what Republicans want: Investigate Hillary Clinton and Obama, but none of that will change what is in the Mueller report.

There was a summary written by Barr, and every Republican latched onto it and said, you see, no collusion, no obstruction. And now the Senate Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham says, he didn’t need to read the full report because he has Barr’s summary.

“I can’t say I’ve read it all, but I’ve read most of it,” Graham said.

I have a day job, a family and a life. Not only have I read the full report, I have highlighted it. I have footnoted it and color-coded it. This is the chairman of the committee and he hasn’t even read the full report and he is declaring the investigation over.

We find out now that Mueller had written two executives summaries. One for Volume I and the other for Volume II of the report. Those summaries were meant for the public and had been redacted for grand jury testimony and any other classified information. But Barr decided he would not release Mueller’s summaries but instead write his own. And after he did, Barr got a little nasty-gram from Mueller. Barr said Mueller’s letter expressed concern over how the media had gotten the conclusion of the report wrong.

Mueller wrote Barr to say that what he had sent was an accurate reflection of the report’s conclusions, but the summary letter the Justice Department sent to Congress and released to the public March 24 did fully capture context, subject and nature of the office of special counsel’s work and conclusions. Mueller’s letter goes on to say that there is now public confusion about critical aspects of the investigation. Mueller’s letter doesn’t indicate anything about how the media had misinterpreted it. It had nothing to do with the media, but instead Barr’s summaries of inaccurately reflecting work of the special counsel’s team.

 

Jay Mcfarland hosts KSL News Radio’s JayMac News Show. He also hosts a fictional podcast called Hosts of Eden. KSL News Radio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Don’t forget to review and subscribe to the JayMac Mac News Show podcast on iTunes. Or follow Jay on Twitter and Instagram @JayMacNewsShow or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JayMacNewsShow/

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JayMac: Why Barr’s testimony slapped me in the face