The Ukraine story has indeed been moving faster than a hummingbird’s wings. The House Intelligence Committee has announced open impeachment hearings will begin as soon as next week. Roll Call:

House Democrats are leading with [Bill] Taylor, who many who heard his closed-door testimony last month consider to be one of the strongest witnesses in the impeachment case. Taylor’s 15-page opening statement opening statement last month undermined President Donald Trump’s insistence that he never exerted pressure on Ukrainian officials or prompted a quid pro quo. Taylor’s statement was a detailed blueprint of what the seasoned diplomat called a “highly irregular” channel of shadow diplomacy toward Ukraine. […]

“Those open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves, to make their own determinations about the credibility of the witnesses, but also to learn first hand about the facts of the president’s misconduct,” Schiff said.

Meanwhile, Bill Barr is planning to release what he hopes will be an explosive report about the FBI’s investigation of the Trump 2016 campaign, as a counter defense measure and to give Trump something to scream “witch hunt” about. Washington Post:

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, plans to meet Wednesday with Barr to talk about the report’s planned rollout, according to people familiar with the matter. The inspector general’s work is independent of the attorney general, but in this case, the two must work closely on the release because the inspector general does not have the authority to declassify information. Barr does. Horowitz is not expected to attend the meeting with Graham, these people said. […]

Republicans hope the report will give them ammunition to argue the FBI was corrupt in its pursuit of the president and his alleged ties to Russia, according to a person involved in the GOP discussions. Congressional Republicans have defended Trump amid the ongoing impeachment inquiry centered on his effort to convince Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Trump’s supporters have long called for officials to “investigate the investigators,” and some GOP lawmakers have predicted the inspector general’s findings will prove their accusations that a “deep state” cabal of anti-Trump bureaucrats sought to thwart his presidency.

And of course, destroying the credibility of the Mueller investigation is key to this effort, although it’s so clearly an exercise in futility.

The current and former officials insist the investigation was handled correctly and carefully, and argue it would have been a dereliction of duty on their part not to investigate alarming allegations that members of a presidential campaign were conspiring with a foreign power.

Republicans, however, have alleged that the FBI began looking at Trump associates before late July and that investigators relied on weak or phony evidence. Notably, they have accused FBI officials of placing too much faith in a dossier gathered by a former British intelligence officer whose sources claimed that Trump and some of those close to him were in thrall to Russian officials. […]

“It’s a serious red line that’s been crossed. . . . These counterintelligence activities that were directed at the Trump campaign were not done in the normal course and not through the normal procedures as a far as I can tell,” Barr said. “Republics have fallen because of Praetorian Guard mentality where government officials get very arrogant, they identify the national interest with their own political preferences and they feel that anyone who has a different opinion, you know, is somehow an enemy of the state,” he said.

Two things to remember here: Russian interference with the 2016 election was known about in the fall of 2016 and it was Mitch McConnell who refused to issue a bi-partisan statement to that effect, when Barack Obama proposed that to him. Secondly, the knee jerk reaction of this administration is always both-siderism, because that’s how they attempt to bury their corruption. The simplistic black and white brush with which the Trump defense of the Ukraine quid pro quo is being painted is going to be, yeah, he did it, yeah but, the FBI spied on his campaign, so both sides do it, it’s normal, and idiocy along those lines. The GOP is desperate to keep Trump looking credible any way that they can and both Barr and Graham are committed to torching whatever credibility or legacies they may have or might have had, in service to the lost cause of Trump. So be it. It will be intriguing to see what Barr comes up with in time for the Thanksgiving turkey.

 

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8 Comments on "Public Impeachment Hearings Begin, While Bill Barr Weaponizes DOJ For Counter Attack On ‘Deep State’ Spying On Trump"

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Lone Wolf
Member

Gee, I never realized Hermann Goering wore glasses!

Bareshark
Guest

Biggest problem with Barr trying to pull this stunt now is that he’s no longer the only voice talking about what’s going on. I’ve been saying that you absolutely need law enforcement and the intelligence community on your side if you want to be a successful dictatorship. Pissing off the FBI, State Department and the Alphabet Soup spook agencies goes against that goal. So…my radical theory is that this is just to calm Trump down. Barr may well believe it but it won’t help him or his boss.

p j evans
Member

It also puts them in real danger of the “aid and comfort” clause in the Constitution. As in, who are they really doing it for?

chris whitley
Member

They are stretching that constitution thread pretty dam thin.

Joseph
Guest
You’d think that the GOPers in Congress would like to know if THEIR primaries and caucuses in 2016 had been tampered with and/or influenced by FOREIGN agents but, for some inane, even insane, reason, they do NOT seem to care and insist on protecting Trump even if THEIR image gets tarnished even further. I just wish the media would frame the issue that way and force folks like Lindsay “Never Trumper now Trump Asskisser Supreme” Graham and Ted “My Dad did not kill Kennedy and I’m deeply offended by Trump’s comments against my wife but I’ll protect Trump at all… Read more »
chris whitley
Member

I have seen some of what Barr has and it’s pretty bizarre. And as for the spying on numb nuts campaign they were working on election interference and that led to trumpet. Go figure.

elna benoit
Guest

The FBI conducting a credible investigation is not the same thing as extortion, bribery, and abuse of power. The “I” of FBI stands for “Investigation”. That is what they do. The taxpayers pay the FBI to protect us from criminals. The traitors in the GOP are so morally backward that they whine about the “process” instead of looking at the crimes in which they are complicit. Traitors.

Cheryl Lawrence
Guest

It is time to set up investigations of the helpers, Giuliani, Barr, Nunes and whomever needs investigating.