This morning I’ve got an American Spectator column which is making the rounds a little bit nationally with a RealClear Politics link and a variety of other references by some of the conservative blogs, and the subject of it is the caterwauling and hysteria among Democrats on Capitol Hill over Attorney General William Barr’s testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday and his refusal to testify in the House committee of the same name Thursday.
Barr wasn’t fazed by the questioning from the minority members of the committee, though a man with lesser patience and composure — the man Democrats like Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Mazie Hirono, and Dianne Feinstein were hoping he was — would likely have lost his cool and engaged in the kind of bickering they were aiming to enmesh him in.
Instead, Barr sounded a more disappointed and mournful tone. In the midst of questioning from Hirono, the wholly unimpressive senator from Hawaii, which culminated in her demand for his resignation and her upbraiding at the hands of committee chairman Lindsey Graham for having “slandered” Barr, the Attorney General did a succinct job of laying out the absurdity of where we are.
“How did we get to the point here where the evidence is now that the president was falsely accused of colluding with the Russians and accused of being treasonous and accused of being a Russian agent,” Barr said, “and the evidence is now that was without a basis, and two years of his administration have been dominated by the allegations that have now been proven false?”
“And, you know, to listen to some of the rhetoric, you would think that the Mueller report had found the opposite,” Barr added.
The answer isn’t complicated, and among at least some of those who didn’t bother to watch the spectacle (or didn’t share House Democrats’ reaction when Barr stood up the House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday rather than subject himself to 30 minutes of questioning from staff which he never agreed to) it’s quite obvious.
The Democrat Party has run afoul of the ancient nostrum that if you strike at the king, you must kill him, and the price for that mistake will soon be upon them. Because what Barr has perceived, which no one seriously doubts — and that includes those Capitol Hill Democrats who so loudly denounce the Attorney General — is the entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative was a bought-and-paid-for lie of the Clinton campaign, fed through the intelligence and law enforcement apparatus of the Obama administration to give it false legitimacy and to weaponize it against Candidate and then President Trump, and perpetuated in an attempt to destroy his presidency and effect a de facto coup d’état against the duly-elected leader of the free world.
And Barr is now the instrument of the destruction of those Obama administration and Clinton campaign operatives, who are now faced with horrors — legal, financial, and reputational — to come which may not be avoided. Investigations have begun; recriminations are coming.
And nothing can stop this. Nothing, that is, but political pressure on Barr. As Strassel said, he must be demonized and discredited before the inspector general’s report and the related investigations of the Trump-Russia mess are made public and the prosecutions begin.
That’s why the Democrats on Capitol Hill are so intent on attacking Barr. He is the messenger, and he must be silenced before the message can be delivered.
My American Spectator column isn’t the only Louisiana-based analysis of what’s taking place on Capitol Hill. On Friday, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana), who chairs the Republican Study Committee, did an interview with NPR saying much the same thing.
From Johnson’s Facebook summary of the interview…
House Democrats are determined to draw out the so-called Russia investigation despite the conclusion that there was no coordination with any Americans, including those in the Trump campaign. AG Barr has gone above and beyond to be as transparent as possible with the American people, coming before the Senate, releasing the report to the public and providing a less-redacted version to members of Congress.
The Democrats are now after the AG purely for the sake of politics.
Here’s Johnson’s interview…
And from the transcript…
GREENE: So is Pelosi right? Did the attorney general lie to Congress?
JOHNSON: Of course not. No. If you look to the very specific questions that are asked, they’re very narrow. The exchange that everyone is referring to is a series of questions that were asked by my colleagues (ph) Charlie Crist out of Florida. And he asked the attorney general if the members of the Mueller team had expressed concern about certain things, and he answered that question very specifically. And then in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Van Hollen asked a couple of questions very specifically that he answered very directly and very specifically.
Look. The – Attorney General Barr is a seasoned, you know, high official. He’s been the attorney general twice. He’s been in these high-profile hearings before. He’s a very intelligent attorney in his own right. He answers the questions very directly. And as everyone always instructs witnesses in a hearing, you answer specifically; you answer clearly and concisely, and you leave it at that. There was no perjury here. And anyone who looks at these details will draw the same conclusion.
As I expressed in the column, there is a good deal of danger here. First, the Senate Democrats in the Judiciary Committee who are running for president established their party’s position on Barr to be that of full-on warfare, which made it unmistakably obvious that they’re trying to obstruct the investigation of the Clinton-Obama abuses which led to the Trump-Russia narrative. That means all two dozen of the clown-car candidates for 2020 will have to join in on that hysteria or be left behind – though the way to stand out in that field is to buck the trend and get out from under the Barr issue; if any of them have any real political skill or courage they’d do that.
And second, in the House the Democrats are simply throwing away their majority. When this fully turns on them, which it will because neither Trump nor Barr are going anywhere and the public simply hasn’t bought in to their impeachment shenanigans, they’re going to have to defend the fact they’ve produced no legislative accomplishments of note in the two years since the 2018 election and wasted all of their time on hearings and investigations generating no light and not even much heat. And because they’re so heavily invested in the Trump-Russia narrative the public thinks little of, it’s going to become easy for Trump and the GOP to paint them as children with no ideas or competence to run the country – and more, that the country is doing well under Trump’s leadership and might fire on even more cylinders if Pelosi and her crew are out of the way.