Did House Democrats actually want Attorney General William Barr to show for Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing? No chance.
The Committee knew at latest Sunday that Barr did not plan to appear under the additional strictures Democrats had decided to impose on a typical House hearing. They could have sent a subpoena. Instead, they waited for Thursday to advance the #ChickenBarr narrative and assert that the Attorney General is somehow evading the withering interrogation Democrats had planned.
Democrats hoped a Barr questioning would provide their dozens of presidential contenders with viral YouTube moments. The intelligent, reasoned, measured tone of Barr is not a good foil for their Trump-lackey narrative, so the next best option is to cancel the hearing by making unreasonable demands.
What were those demands? House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler and fellow House Democrats insisted that in ‘addition to the usual five-minute rounds of questioning from lawmakers, the attorney general take some questions from staff lawyers during a 30-minute round, which would allow for more follow-up from interviewers who are often more skilled than members of Congress,’ reports The New York Times.
So, House Democrats are complaining that they are not able to question the Attorney General in a House session that they admit they are too unskilled to conduct?
What is going on here?
Calling Barr as a witness was a Democratic feint all along. The last time the House summoned him, Barr demolished Obama’s FBI and said that the Department of Justice would investigate whether, in the run up to the 2016 election, the FBI had abused its surveillance powers and spied on the Trump campaign.
Barr appeared again before the Senate yesterday, and his performance was so devastating to the Russiagate narrative that MSNBC had to mute the live proceedings – twice – in order to insert their analysis that he was ‘lying.’ That is the only way they can maintain public perception so at odds with the facts. After Barr’s Senate performance Wednesday, Democrats clearly feared an encore in the House.
It is telling that Democrats’ very demands admit House members are no match for Barr’s wit or lawyering. Why else would they need additional, staff attorneys to ‘follow-up?’ Isn’t that what questioning from House members is for?
The problem for Democrats is that, time and time again, President Donald Trump has called their bluff. First, we were told that Trump would assert executive privilege, and we would never get to see the Mueller report. When Trump failed to do that, and Barr announced he would release the report, Democrats and the media bleated that Barr would redact so much of the report, the embarrassing details wouldn’t see the light of day. But never fear, Democrats promised they would haul Barr before them, even before the report was released.
Very little of yesterday’s questioning involved the redactions in the report, because there weren’t significant redactions. Democrats would rather crow that Barr is ‘evading’ their questioning then be subjected to another humiliating round of hearings that shows how ineffective and broken their Mueller report narrative is.