HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019 June 2019 July 2019 August 2019 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

 
Does Bill Barr get his "facts" from Sean Hannity?

by digby




My Salon column this morning:

The New York Times' Michael Schmidt reported a year ago that back in March of 2017, President Trump was steaming mad that his Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from any inquiry into the Russian interference in the election. He'd ordered his White House counsel Don McGahn to tell Sessions to rescind the recusal:
Mr. McGahn was unsuccessful, and the president erupted in anger in front of numerous White House officials, saying he needed his attorney general to protect him. Mr. Trump said he had expected his top law enforcement official to safeguard him the way he believed Robert F. Kennedy, as attorney general, had done for his brother John F. Kennedy and Eric H. Holder Jr. had for Barack Obama. 
Mr. Trump then asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” He was referring to his former personal lawyer and fixer, who had been Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s top aide during the investigations into communist activity in the 1950s and died in 1986.
We are so inured to the president's contemptible behavior that such reports elicit a moment of shock and then fade into the next shameful utterance and we all move on. This comment had a bit of a longer life simply because for the next 20 months, Trump was so upset that Sessions hadn't "protected him" in the Russia investigation that he tortured his Attorney General publicly with constant insults and degrading comments, trying to get him to quit. He finally had his lackey John Kelly fire him on the morning after the midterm election.

Trump never tried to hide that he was upset his Attorney General didn't properly "protect him." He was quite open about it. And like the dying field of desiccated potted plants they are, the GOP congress was completely silent about the fact that the President of the United States believes the Attorney General's job is to ensure that the Department of Justice turns a blind eye to evidence of his criminality. They didn't care that Trump's obsession with being "protected" by the most powerful law enforcement officer in the country might just be a hint that he had some serious legal exposure. Instead, they stepped in to protect him themselves, flogging threadbare alternate investigations into Hillary Clinton, throwing up smoke screens about rogue FBI agents and otherwise ignoring the plain fact that Trump's whining about Sessions recusal was tantamount to a confession.

No one should be surprised then, that William Barr, Trump's nominee to permanently replace Sessions, will not commit to doing that even though there is ample reason to believe he should. In the first day of confirmation hearings, Barr claimed that the Attorney General has no obligation to follow the recommendations of the DOJ ethics office in such matters and when informed that most nominees for the job have agreed to do it anyway, he just shrugged and said he would make the decision himself.
That was, of course, a condition of taking the job and he knew it.

He also claimed that he would not fire Mueller except for good cause and added a very clever little flourish designed to put to rest any concerns that despite Trump's hundreds of tweets to the contrary, the president is not concerned with Mueller's integrity. Barr said he told the president he is friends with Mueller and that Mueller is a straight shooter  --- which we are supposed to believe the man who ran around wailing "where's my Roy Cohn" took at face value. Sure he did.

Barr is not particularly well-informed about many of the issues surrounding this investigation but he was definitely up on the Special Counsel regulations and knows that, contrary to the common assumption,  a Mueller Report would not go directly to the public and would instead be submitted in confidence to the Attorney General who will decide what the Congress and the public will be allowed to see. And he indicated that he had no intention of giving up that prerogative no matter how much he admires his good friend Bob Mueller.

That had  Democratic officials more than a little bit  concerned:



I wrote about Barr's potential to be a straight shooter himself, in the mode of Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski a couple of months ago. That may still be possible. There are plenty of observers  in the media who seem to believe that Barr showed he was an independent guy who would call it like he sees it. But as I mentioned in that earlier piece there are also unfortunate signs that Barr may be unduly influenced by the right-wing fever swamps, even to the extent of buying into conspiracy theories promulgated on Fox News.


Somehow that doesn't strike me as something a "just the facts, m'am" kind of guy would say. But again, maybe he's just been foolishly relying on Sean Hannity for his news, as so many Republicans do, and will take a deep breath once he sees all the evidence his friend Bob has gathered.

As luck would have it, we all got to see a little more of it as of yesterday. Mueller dropped a big court filing about all of Manafort's lies to the Special Counsel just as Barr was finishing up his testimony. Much of it is redacted but what we can see indicates once again that there is more to this story than we, or Bill Barr, know.  The biggest news is that Manafort's involvement with the administration allegedly extends beyond his tenure with the campaign and into the presidency itself.

There is another investigation into campaign finance going on presumably having to do with Trump's Super Pac Rebuilding America Now which was involved in some kind of financial shenanigans with Manafort. And apparently, Manafort lied to the prosecutors about his involvement in hiring for the administration during the Trump transition. One can only wonder who he was recommending and why. There's more about Manafort's association with the former FSB operative Konstantin Kilimnik and the filing references "other investigations" the details of which are redacted. And the court extended Manafort's former associate Rick Gates' sentencing hearing for another two months yesterday as well, indicating that he's still cooperating in the investigation.

If William Barr is confirmed, as it seems likely he will be unless something dramatic happens before the vote, it appears that he's got his work cut out for him getting up to speed on the facts. If he's been getting his information up until now from Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, he's going to be in for quite a shock.


.