As AG in the Bush administration Barr helped implement some of the cruelest policies wrt to people living with HIV
Starts by noting that 25 years ago there were no women on Judiciary Committee.
Then transitions to the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings
Do you have that strength and commitment to be independent of those White House pressures you will face, Feinstein closes
Hatch and Barr are super tight. Hatch is giving some bio information so here's a good time to supplement
Time really is a flat circle
But he agreed because he believes in public service and loves the DoJ
Reminder that Barr supports policies like mandatory minimums
He supports mandatory minimums and is effectively the "godfather" of the modern surveillance state
Reminder he spearheaded a policy to keep refugees out of the country based on HIV stigma and religious bigotry
Lol Lindsey you sound like a compromised man
This is sincerely not a great look for the GOP except that they don't care since they went whole hog with Trump and Russia because they are craven #TeamLegal
Graham asks Barr if he thinks Sessions should have recused. Barr says yes. Also says he likes Rosenstein.
So cool, everyone here is buds.
Barr says he didn't have all the facts but he felt compelled to draft it anyways #TeamLegal
This of course presumes the attorneys WERE NOT considering those implications
Barr says the rule of law prevents political interference at DoJ
Will you commit to no interference with the scope of the Mueller investigation: a long rambling yes
Says he will commit Mueller will have resources and not fired absent for good cause.
Barr says he doesn't recall getting any confidential information related to the investigation which is another important clarification
Feinstein uses this to pivot to the emoluments clause which catches Barr off guard
This is kind of amazing non-prep which suggests the GOP wants noooo attention paid to the emoluments cases #TeamLegal
Barr stumbling around these conversations. Said the only time he met him was June 2017 before this AG business
This is what the phrase Sure, Jan was captured for
Barr says yes [which places him in agreement with all the federal courts who have also said yes]
Totally a consistent statement amirite
Barr says that he makes the decisions on his own regarding recusal. He'd make that decision after consultation, but it is his to make
Barr filibusters his answer here.
Durbin then asks when Barr's "Mattis" moment will be and Barr says he won't be bullied into doing anything he things is wrong.
Some of these tweets are to prove that rhetoric courses pay off!
Durbin asks if it is legal to present for asylum at the border. Barr says it is.
Barr gives a narrative answer on processing asylum claims
This is a soozefest compared to the Kavanaugh hearings, and intentionally so.
Graham has so far monologued less as Chair than Grassley
Cornyn still wants Hillary indicted
I did originally type Grassley because I've been doing this a while
Barr says nope that Rosenstein saw his job as a '2 year stint'
Whitehouse then asks Barr what he'd be looking for in a Deputy AG and Chief of Staff
Barr wants a good manager and first rate lawyer
Barr says he'd probably keep the current rule and maybe even tighten it
This line of questioning has to do with reports Whitaker was informing Trump et al on the investigation
Cites Sessions "real passion" on this issue
Barr says this is the kind of bill he is inclined to support
Remember his opening statement refeered to the crush of folks unlawfully at the border. Legal asylum seekers, Durbin reminded him
Barr says he's got no clue what the main contributor to human trafficking is
Ernst turns to meth and asks Barr how we can blame the southern border. Barr says it's all how they come in [but not strapped to individuals. through ports of entry in prof. smuggling]
Barr just called it a national security problem too so that is alarming
Barr is eager to talk about going after sanctuary cities and busting them up
Barr says he wants a wall
I don't know what is a good idea or a bad idea right now, Barr says.
But Ernst's 'lock up illegals' bill was totally great, remember
Barr gives a long pause before answering that he can conceive of situations where prosecuting the press might be warranted. ☠️
Not a hypothetical question coming from the GOP these days
Barr says free speech is foundational to the ability to have a democratic process, without a whiff of irony
Barr says the Framers believed in self control which ultimately came from religious values
I believe in the separation of church and state, Barr says, then says he's worried about gov't suppression of religion
Barr defers to the rules and regulations and also says that he's not 'surrendering' his power as AG to oversee the investigation
Barr says the Russians are a potent rival of our country and Putin's foreign policy directives are usually contrary to our goals
Barr says the basic vulnerability of the US right now in the internet age is the ability to create doubt in our election process and torque public discourse
Starts immediately with the FBI counterintelligence investigation on Trump and fact that such an investigation would be subject to multiple layers of review
Blumenthal says of course but you just said the FBI is amazing and you have a bunch of experience with DoJ so explain your hedge
Barr says the FBI text calling Trump an idiot are shocking
Barr is hedging here
Blumenthal says well the rules give you a lot of leeway with these reports.
How do we reconcile those two statements
Barr getting a little testy here
Would you allow the president to fire a US Attorney to stop an investigation, Blumenthal asks
Do you still believe Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided?
Barr doesn't say no.
Barr dodges and says that he hopes the Solicitor General would make the necessary arguments
His record says nope.
First question is whether Barr has ever harassed anyone or entered into a settlement related to harassment claims.
Barr says no flat out.
I mean so did Brad McBeer
Why won't you take Sessions lead and follow attorney recommendations to recuse
Because I don't have to under the regs, Barr says
Kennedy wants to know what Barr would do about leaks to the press from the FBI
Barr says he'd bring a lot of discipline
Barr says the Obama era rules did away with due process then says as a father of three daughters he takes sexual harassment very seriously
Barr says he's not going to go after companies that rely on Cole memo
Also says he supports fed legislation completely criminalizing cannabis in response to state legalization
Barr dodges this by saying overall as a system its working with little bits of racism sprinkled in
Barr says he's not familiar with this data
Booker wants Barr to commit to commissioning a study racial disparities in the system
Barr says sure
Barr says he would welcome that which lol okay then why does a sitting member of the committee have to ask you on the record
Clearly we'll see a lot of action on this front
She's also out of time
Barr says he's advocating for a "barrier system"
Barr concedes this quietly
It's been about 30 years since he's been to a port of entry he says
Barr says no, not really
Barr is getting testy again. It's a judgment call, he says. And the Attorney General makes the judgment
Barr says treatment and education and recovery are important but enforcement is what the DoJ is about
He wants to see the report [that the BoP released] that says they are not safe before doing so.
Barr says the problem is that mentally ill people have access to guns. Mentions red flag laws
Barr says we should never use it and that Feinstein's work here was helpful in clarifying these issues