Way to establish confidence in the process! #BarrHearing
But there were 2 campaigns in 2016, and we'll talk about the second one in a minute."
... No coordination No conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia."
Barr: basically, our lawyers worked with Mueller's lawyers "there may have been a few judgment calls."
Barr: not that I'm aware of
Barr: yes, also confusing -- why were episodes involving the President investigated if Mueller wasn't going to reach a decision?
Barr: says no, a big factor was Comey's refusal to tell the public what he was telling Trump privately, that he wasn't under investigation
Barr: yes, lie to the government, yes
Barr: "we felt that that episode, the government would not be able to establish obstruction."
Barr: "well, that's not a crime" -- plausible that this was for the press not for a proceeding (I'm paraphrasing bc I didn't get every word and was trying to think while typing)
Barr says yes, he has "people reviewing the activities of summer 2016."
Barr: the Deputy AG and I thought it was, not just a charging determination but a decision as to whether the President committed criminal acts (paraphrased)
Barr: "We have multiple criminal leak investigations underway."
Barr: "The question from Crist was reports have emerged recently that members of the S.C. team are frustrated with the" letter in that they don't "adequately or accurately" portray the results -- says that's different..
Barr: "He fully cooperated"
Barr: "He never pushed it."
Barr: what would they have reported to the FBI?
Barr: define receptive.
Graham: "not at all. Very well done."
Barr: "As I explained to Senator Leahy, I talked directly to Bob, and Bob told me his did not have objections..."
Barr is basically saying Mueller wrote the letter because of bad press about Mueller, and I think that's gross.
Barr: Yes, he was a close advisor to the president...we haven't waived Executive Privilege.... It's a call for the President to make.
Graham: "we might just do that."
Barr smirks a little.
Barr: Not that I'm aware of.
Lee cites McCabe, Swalwell
Barr: this morning
Barr: It seems to be a very different question
Whitehouse:I can't even follow that down the road; that's some masterful hair-splitting
Barr: not that I can think of
Barr: it's hard to find lawyers who agree on anything
Whitehouse: when did you decide to use it?
Barr: "It was actually off the cuff to tell you the truth." Doesn't get what the issue is, called it "faux outrage."
Barr: it's commonly used by me.
Graham adjourns until 1 p.m.
Sasse: "you don't need a bar and a hooker any more. You can surround people digitally...we need to up our game."
Barr: why were they critical?
Barr: long pause. Finally "yes"
Barr: To my knowledge
Barr: I am looking into it.
Barr: I don't recall
Blumenthal, basically: GTFO
Barr: "my recollection is that I have not discussed those...I can say very surely I did not discuss the substance"
Blumenthal: Will you recuse yourself from those investigations?
Barr: "I'm not in the business of determining what lies are told to the American people. I'm in the business of determining whether crime has been committed."
Barr: "I think the report is clear..."
Barr: "I do think it's ok that he did what he did and I don't think he did it to stop the investigation."
Barr: I don't think there's a bad culture in the FBI and DOJ. cites examples of great work
Blackburn: oh, that's just what Tennesseans say.
Barr: "I'm trying to grapple with the word 'suggest.' They've not asked me to open an investigation."
Barr: I don't know.
Barr: no, we accepted the report as the evidence
Harris is incredulous about this.
Harris: no. Yet you represented to the American public that the evidence was not sufficient to support obstruction of justice.
Barr: it was my decision whether to disclose it to the public
Harris pressing that it was also his decision not to charge, and he hadn't reviewed the evidence
Barr throws ROSENSTEIN UNDER THE BUS
Barr: "he was the acting AG on the investigation. I am informed that when I arrived he had been cleared."
Barr: political bias?
Crapo: yes, resulting in biased conduct
Barr: I haven't seen that...Wray has changed out people
Crapo: is it inappropriate to leak politically sensitive information to the public for the purpose of impacting public discussion?
He has Barr giggling about how silly these Democrats are. I promise.
Barr: the position today appears to be the beginning of July but I don't know
DUH TED THE EMAILS
Barr: I will supervise those investigations as Attorney General.
Leahy: "I don't agree with that."
Barr: "I'd have to see exactly what the report was from" the Australian official who contacted us about Papadopoulos
Barr: I was asked to seek a waiver in this case.
Durbin: do you see the problem here?
Durbin: I don't understand why you'd touch that hot stove.
Barr consulting with person next to him. "The criminal division asked me to get a waiver because of the importance of this investigation overall. I didn't seek it. The impetus did not come from me."
Barr: the head of the criminal division, apparently they discussed it with the ethics division then made the recommendation
I think the answer here is no.
Klobuchar: did the Special Counsel review the President's taxes and the Trump Org's financial statements?
Barr: i don't know.
Barr: yes, or you can ask Mueller
Klobuchar: well, I think I'll do that, too, but I'm also asking you
Barr: now making clear he disagrees with Mueller team on the approach of trying to determine the subjective intent of a facially lawful act
Barr: the evidence in the report is conflicting and there's different evidence
Barr: I called him.
Barr: maybe 15 minutes, there were multiple witnesses in the room, it was on speakerphone (Rosenstein was there along with others)
Barr: well, the letter just speaks for itself
Blumenthal: it does.... this letter was an extraordinary act.
Blumethal is amused by this.
Blumenthal: may we have those notes?
Barr: why should you?
Graham ends the hearing by saying he's going to ask Mueller about Barr's characterization of the call.
Lee: thanks for your service and civility and composure in a needlessly, unfairly hostile environment
It's over. Carry on, everyone.