, 14 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Blumenthal nails it at the very conclusion of the hearing. 1/14
He questions Barr closely about a phone conversation with Mueller, in which Mueller reportedly criticized the way Barr had handled the rollout of the Report. Barr initiated the call in response to the letter he had received from Mueller. 2/14
Mueller’s letter irritated Barr (and still irritates him; he actually called it a “snitty” letter), but he could give no coherent account of the phone conversation that would enable us to understand what Mueller’s objection was. This was a fatal error on Barr’s part. 3/14
Quite lamely, and surely misleadingly, Barr suggested that Mueller was critical of the rollout because of the way the MEDIA was misinterpreting the Report. 4/14
Blumenthal pounced on this, and pointed out that in the letter (which the phone call was about, by the way), 5/14
Mueller blames BARR for the public’s confusion, and specifically on his decision not to release the summaries he (Mueller) had prepared for public distribution. 6/14 cnn.it/2IPlApK
Blumenthal then emphasizes how extraordinary Mueller’s letter was. (In the DOJ it’s called “going to paper.”) Blumenthal says he cannot recall a single instance where that had ever happened before. Barr can’t either. 7/14
Blumenthal then gets Barr on record, under oath, on the following points: (1) Barr can’t articulate (and doesn’t seem to understand) what Mueller was objecting to; (2) says someone in the meeting memorialized the conversation and took notes; 8/14
but (3) refuses to hand over those notes to the committee. When asked by Blumenthal why he declines to hand them over, Barr shrugs and says: “Why should I?” 9/14
This is what is called in sports talk a “forced error.” 10/14
It was brilliant on Blumenthal’s part, because it forced GRAHAM to do something he was determined not to do: to consult with MUELLER to find out MUELLER’s take on the call. Why, even Graham wants to know, did MUELLER object to Barr’s handling of rollout of the the Report? 11/14
But Mueller can’t explain that without basically going into the whole ball of wax, can he? 12/14
This is not going to go well for Barr.

When Blumenthal was questioning him, Barr looked stricken. And he looked stricken when the hearing was adjourned. 13/14
I told you Blumenthal was good. 14/14
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