RSN Fundraising Banner
If William Barr Won't Answer Kamala Harris' Questions, Maybe the Inspector General Will
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=25345"><span class="small">Zack Ford, ThinkProgress</span></a>   
Monday, 06 May 2019 08:33

Ford writes: "Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is calling on the Justice Department to investigate whether President Donald Trump has ever asked Attorney General William Barr to open an investigation into his political opponents."

Senator Kamala Harris. (photo: Irfan Khan/Getty Images)
Senator Kamala Harris. (photo: Irfan Khan/Getty Images)

If William Barr Won't Answer Kamala Harris' Questions, Maybe the Inspector General Will

By Zack Ford, ThinkProgress

06 May 19

Barr was unable to answer her questions during a hearing Wednesday. Now she's pressing for a response.

en. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is calling on the Justice Department to investigate whether President Donald Trump has ever asked Attorney General William Barr to open an investigation into his political opponents. Barr this week was unable to answer Harris’ direct questions on the matter, and her request comes as the Trump camp is floating a new attack on presidential candidate Joe Biden (D).

During Barr’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Harris asked Barr whether Trump or “anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone.” Barr couldn’t offer a “yes” or “no.” He acknowledged there have been “discussions,” but he wasn’t sure if he would go so far as to use the word “suggest.” When Harris offered the synonyms “hinted” and “inferred,” he ultimately settled on the answer, “I don’t know.”

In a letter to the Inspector General Friday, Harris called Barr’s inability to answer her question “an alarming response that strikes at the very heart of the rule of law and threatens to undermine the longstanding independence of the Justice Department.” She requested that he investigate whether Barr ever received or acted upon “such improper requests.”

She notes in the letter that such requests are documented throughout the redacted Mueller report. Trump asked then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate Hillary Clinton on at least three separate occasions, according to the report. “There must be no doubt that the Department of Justice and its leadership stand apart from partisan politics, and resist improper attempts to use the power of federal law enforcement to settle personal scores,” Harris wrote.

Harris’ request comes just as Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is trying to spread speculation about Biden, one of Trump’s possible 2020 opponents. Giuliani has called for an investigation into Biden for pressuring Ukraine to dismiss its top prosecutor while he was vice president, based on reports that Biden’s son, Hunter, served on the board of an energy company the prosecutor was investigating. Biden has insisted that his son had no impact on his involvement, adding that he only learned of his son’s role with the company through news reports.

But the focus on Biden is only the latest in new calls from the Trump camp to investigate his opponents. In the wake of the redacted Mueller report’s release, Trump has also demanded to “INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS.”

In particular, Trump has alleged that the FBI “spied” on his campaign as part of its investigation into George Papadopoulos’s links with Russia. Barr himself elevated this unsubstantiated claim of spying by the FBI. Trump believes the spying story — and not anything the Mueller report documented, including Russian election interference — is “bigger than Watergate, as far as I’m concerned.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has expressed willingness to take up Trump’s suggestion and somehow turn the tables by investigating whether Obama-era Justice Department officials somehow tried to create support for Clinton in the 2016 election. After leading his fellow Republican Senators in questioning on that matter during Barr’s hearing, he confirmed that he plans to proceed with such investigations. He even wants Barr to appoint a new special counsel to investigate “all things Clinton.”

Email This Page your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+8 # DongiC 2019-05-06 09:08
Senator Graham is aligning himself with the monster-preside nt Donald Trump. Since Maclain died, Graham is becoming more and more unhinged. He wants to investigate more and more Democrats including, of course, Hillary Clinton. The snake oil salesman (Trump) has been in rare form lately as he leads the Republican Party down to the gates of Hell. What is in store for poor America as Trump prepares to sacrifice its national honor. Will lt lose its soul?
+5 # 1dfnslblty 2019-05-06 10:01
While biden & son may have acted illegally and dulicitously in the Ukraine, potus' red herring at this exact time is derilection of duty and actionable.
graham & co. are part of the w.h. coverup.

Keep writing and reporting, RSN.
+2 # BetaTheta 2019-05-06 13:50
Barr seems to have the same trouble with the word "suggest" that Bill Clinton had with "is." And what good is power to Republicans if they can't abuse it for their own political ends?
+3 # tsyganka 2019-05-06 14:08
My opinion of Harris shifted a bit into the positive after seeing her question Barr. But I still object to her record as Calif. A.G., ignoring misconduct by prosecutors, ignoring wrongfully obtained convictions, punishing parents for the 'sins' of their children, loving privatized prisons, etc. -- but she did WELL in questioning Barr. Good.

So trump and Giuli are yapping about Creepy Joe Biden. Good. Creepy Joe is NOT the candidate we need. But the "based on reports that Biden's, son Hunter, served on the board of an energy company..." casts too much doubt on the matter. Hunter DID (& so far as I know Does; haven't checked lately) wind up rather quickly on Burisma's BoD after the overthrow of Ukraine.

I would also call BullShjt on Creepy Joe saying that "he only learned of his son’s role with the company through news reports." So he never talks with Hunter? Not even after Beau's unfortunate death? Dearie, dearie me.

Also: Creepy Joe represents a return to ye olde status quo, which looks 'good' in comparison with trump - but was actually NOT good. Remember low wages, misogyny, crushed unions, invasion of privacy, needless wars, bloated military budget, cop brutality, systemic racism, burdensome debt, two-tiered rich-poor 'justice' system, lack of decent healthcare, etc.? All these things are worse under trump, but they WERE the status quo. We do NOT need to Return to it. We need to TRANSFORM our country for the better.

Bernie's the man for that.
0 # MikeAF48 2019-05-06 19:59
OK that's it. flash mob U. S. A. song and dance.