Barr Doubles Down

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May 1, 2019 12:36 a.m.
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I noted below that tonight’s reporting helped flesh out the backstory of Bill Barr’s actions over the last six weeks. He was apparently irritated that Mueller presented him not with a simple report to the Attorney General narrowly focused on his prosecutorial decisions. He presented a much more detailed report with the Congress and the public as the intended audience. Barr’s prepared remarks for tomorrow’s Senate testimony are now out. He doubles down on his decision to short circuit the intended purpose of the report.

The centerpiece of Barr’s testimony is that all prosecutorial work centers on and eventually arrives at a binary choice whether to indict a party or not. Ordinarily, this is broadly true. In the case of a Special Counsel investigation of a high ranking federal appointee, and even more of a President it is not quite so simple. There is a task of establishing a public record and a more particular one of informing Congress of facts it’s alone can judge.

Barr centers his testimony on asserting that this is not the case. And in this passage he restates that simply releasing the Report to the public and Congress, as was apparently intended, would have been a dereliction of duty on his part.

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