Less than 24 hours have passed since the New York Times dropped its latest Trumpian bombshell, this one describing how the Department of Justice set about obtaining digital records of Democrats and their aides and families from Apple, with the idea of discovering who was leaking information, classified or otherwise. Not surprisingly, Bill Barr says he don’t know nuttin’ bout no communications records seizure. Politico:
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog announced Friday it would open a review of the records seizures, and Democratic leaders are standing up their own probes. According to the Times, the leak investigation swept up the metadata of the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who has since become its chair, and Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, another prominent Trump critic who sits on the panel.
Barr said that while he was attorney general, he was “not aware of any congressman’s records being sought in a leak case.” He added that Trump never encouraged him to zero in on the Democratic lawmakers who reportedly became targets of the former president’s push to unmask leakers of classified information.
Trump “was not aware of who we were looking at in any of the cases,” Barr said. “I never discussed the leak cases with Trump. He didn’t really ask me any of the specifics.”
Pardon me while I stifle a guffaw. Trump is an obsessively vindictive man. There is no way he wouldn’t ask for specifics on the undoing of his enemies. No way in hell.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Friday called for Barr and his predecessor as attorney general, former Sen. Jeff Sessions, to appear before the Judiciary panel to answer questions about the secret efforts to subpoena Democrats’ communications metadata. The revelations about the Trump-era leak hunt have raised fresh questions about the former president’s use of his executive powers to monitor members of Congress who were investigating him.
“This appalling politicization of the Department of Justice by Donald Trump and his sycophants must be investigated immediately by both the DOJ Inspector General and Congress,” Schumer and Durbin, the top two Democrats in the upper chamber, said in a joint statement, adding that the Judiciary Committee “will vigorously investigate this abuse of power.”
Kudos to Schumer and Durbin for not letting any grass grow under their feet. And it’s completely in character that Bill Barr would develop a sudden case of amnesia over all this. Remember this scene?
.@SenKamalaHarris: Has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested you open an investigation into anyone?
BARR: ….. ah …..
HARRIS: Seems like something you should be able to answer
BARR: I don't know ……. pic.twitter.com/8FIqrGzSrm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 1, 2019
This was a howler at the time, “I’m grappling with the word ‘suggest'” and it’s only gotten more ridiculous.
Barr deserves to lose his law license over this. It’s doubtful that will happen, the biggest snakes are always the ones that slither away scot free, but he was not serving his oath to the constitution when he was attorney general. He was serving Trump.