You were real funny out in the game zone. It’s not so funny NOW, is it bitch? Dynamo The Running Man
There’s one overarching image if Bill Barr that I just can’t seem to get out of my mind. And that image is of him standing behind a podium at some conservative function, looking like a college professor that you just know is never going to get tenure, joking to an audience,”I haven’t even been the Attorney General for 100 days yet, and already I;m in contempt of congress. That’s gotta be a record. I must be doing something right”
That was then, and this is now, and somewhere betwixt and between, as the quote above indicates, shit just ain’t that funny anymore. Maybe the thought of losing his ticket to practice (and Barr needs all the practice he can get) law sobered him up. But this is actually the second time that Barr has caved to congress. Under a contempt threat from Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, Barr’s DOJ finally started turning over material from the counter intelligence investigation. And now, apparently Barr has once again succumbed to the pressure, this time from Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler, to start turning over critical “underlying documents and evidence” that buttressed the findings of the Mueller report.
Here’s why I say that the dam just broke today. William Barr is the current Attorney General of the United States. If Barr were held in contempt of court, and the committee took him to civil court to force compliance with the subpoena, Barr would be represented in court by DOJ lawyers. Barr’s fold-spindle-and-mutilate under House pressure shows that Barr knows full damn well that the subpoena is valid, and he doesn’t want the stain of being ordered by a court to comply.
But what does that mean to people like Don McGahn, Hope Hicks, and Amy Donaldson? They too are ignoring legal subpoenas from congress, on the express orders of the White House, just like Will-a the Ewok. But they aren’t administration officials anymore, so they don’t get free DOJ representation. They’re paying their own legal fees here. And as anyone who has ever dealt with a lawyer can tell you, while he charges you more than two union plumbers just to read documents on your case in his office, if he has to go to court and open his mouth, the hourly rate doubles at least, if not more.The fact that the Attorney General caved like an old coal mine rather than face a day in court has got to signal to them that this is not a fan that they want to piss into.
And it’s not just them. Wilbur Ross is scheduled to have his contempt charge voted on this week. And ow that the congressional committee chairs know the secret sauce, bolstered by early court decisions regarding Trump’s personal finances, you can expect to see speedy contempt of congress votes in committee on sea slugs like Steve
Munchkin Mnuchin and his IRS Commissioner. And with the House voting to expedite the process for committees to advance to court after a committee vote on contempt, it only shortens the wiggle room. Why subject themselves to all of the sturm und drang if the Attorney General has already decided he can’t win the fight?
What we are witnessing is the real difference between what Jon Oliver likes to call “Stupid Watergate” and the real Watergate. Richard Nixon commanded true loyalty, the kind of loyalty that led all of the Presidents men to go to prison rather than roll over on Nixon. Trump is loyal to his people only for as long as it is expedient and convenient for him, and now he’s going to be shocked to find out that the feeling is mutual. It couldn’t happen to a nicer cabal.
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