The dam just broke


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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16 Comments on "The dam just broke"

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rory darjiit
Call me cautiously optimistic (about the dam). On the one hand, Barr seems dedicated to avoiding being held in contempt. Maybe it’s ego and a concern over his legacy, or maybe he has a more practical reason, but whatever his motivation, knowing he’s inclined to avoid contempt gives Dems a certain amount of leverage. Where I’m cautious is that when he has testified in the past…contemporaneously and in previous positions…he has a way of being unhelpful, which is a nice way of saying he’s a slimy weasel who will deflect, offer endless red herrings, hedge, make misdirections, etc. So I… Read more »
Markm Mitchell

Indeed. This will end quite neatly, all-be-it slowly.


I think we all were kidding ourselves about the whole notion of a fast exit or least I did. But the end is in sight and it is going to be a bad day for the folks who thought to profit off Trump’s foolishness.

Denis Elliott
I have to admit I’ve been puzzled about Barr’s being so terrified of being held in Contempt of Congress. I could understand if they were threatening criminal contempt but (and IANAL) civil contempt I figured wouldn’t have any immediate effect on his law license. Lawyers are loathe to punish each other and while an AG being held even in civil contempt might cause the Bar is whatever jurisdictions he’s licensed to open inquiry it wouldn’t lead to anything. Then again the fact he’s AG instead of some rank & file lawyer might mean just that and that’s what he’s afraid… Read more »

A favorite tune I love bringing up in conjunction with the general direction we seem to be heading is the blues tune “When The Levee Breaks”, popularized by Led Zeppelin. Every time Trump gets a new underling and pushes his luck with them just a little too far, something like this happens. We are a long, long way from the end of all this but this serves as continuing proof that others will follow Trump only so far.


We are past the end of the beginning and are now perhaps past the beginning of the end.


A patch on Churchill? But yeah, we’re squarely in the middle of this.

This, I believe, is what Pelosi’s strategy has been since 2018. I further believe as facts continue to come to light in all their heinousness, pressure builds on those GOP leaders who previously felt no urgency to act to save their own asses. Yes, Barr’s spin bought that idiot traffic cone months to spin the shit out of the Mueller Report, but that spin’s getting tired and increasingly shrill. Sure, the Deplorable Base will holler “Fake News!” and return to amusing themselves, calling the cops on black people doing normal things, but it’s a big ol’ country, and IMO that… Read more »
Cleo Sian

All the president’s horses and all the president’s men will never be able to put trump back together again.


Yes, I assume that it became clear that the arguments for obstruction would pass no muster in the courts, and that contempt of congress means something. Poor Donny is losing again, and his “Roy Cohn” is simply a garden-variety piece-of-shit who will dump Donnie at the first sign of real danger to himself. I agree, the Trump wall of obstruction will come crashing down, and soon.