Attorney General William Barr’s statement that “spying did occur” sent shockwaves throughout Washington last month. Then, he went even further and said:
I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016. And a lot of this has already been investigated and a substantial portion of it has been investigated and is being investigated by the office of (inspector general). But one of the things that I want to do is pull together all of the information from the various investigations that have gone on including on the Hill and in the (Justice) Department and see if there are any remaining questions [need] to be addressed.
Democrats hear the clock ticking and just as a snake will strike when threatened, they have declared war on the Attorney General. By now, each 2020 presidential candidate and most senior officials have either called for Barr’s resignation or his recusal. Even those Democrats who believe they are at arms length, may find themselves within reach.
Rush Limbaugh addressed this in his radio show on Thursday. He said Democrats are scared to death of the “investigation of the investigation.” That fear is warranted. Limbaugh said, “They heard a death knell.” He continued:
The Democratic Party is now in full meltdown…Do not make the mistake of thinking they are running things, that they are in control of things. In fact, it’s so bad that the drive-by media is getting all over Nadler and some of the other Democrats for being ineffective and not being able to pull off what the media wants them to pull off in terms of going out there and getting Trump. It is breathtaking to behold this.
What is underway here is an ongoing effort to try to discredit William Barr from this day forward on anything he might find, anything he might say, anything that he might report. Pelosi confirmed it for me today when we heard that she had a private meeting with the Democrat caucus and she openly accused Barr of having lied to Congress and that that is a crime.
Limbaugh said what confirmed it for him was a “random act of journalism” at TheHill.com entitled “Democrats Hope Attacks Will Sideline William Barr.” The article concedes that “the Democrats are stepping up their attacks on Barr in order to try to sideline him from making future decisions about investigating the investigation.”
Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen appeared Tuesday on “Special Report” and made similar remarks. He said:
That’s exactly what they’re doing. Now we pivot. We’ve been investigating Donald Trump for the collusion hoax for two years, and now we’re gonna find out how this got started. And it’s gonna start with the Obama administration, and it’s gonna… If they think Donald Trump looked pretty bad from the Mueller report ’cause he — because of his cooperation, because he allowed — McGahn to spend 30 hours with — with the special counsel, we’re gonna have the same thing happen on the other shoe and the other foot now.
We have House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler who says he won’t read the Mueller report until he receives an unredacted copy, so he hasn’t read it. He doesn’t want members of Congress to question Barr, because he knows they haven’t read it.
And this is why he is insisting that the staff lawyers ask the questions. Quite simply, they want to set up a perjury trap for Barr.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi answered questions from the press following her meeting with the Democratic caucus on Thursday. She said:
It wasn’t about who wrote the letter and how he characterized the letter. That’s interesting, but what is deadly serious about it is the attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That’s a crime. Articles of impeachment for President Nixon, Article 3 was that he ignored the subpoenas of Congress, that he did not honor the subpoenas of Congress. This is very, very serious.
All of these comments say one thing. The Democrats are scared to death.
Kimberly Strassel has written an excellent column in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled “AG Barr Gets Attacked Because His Probe Endangers Powerful People” about their fear. She writes “The only thing uglier than an angry Washington is a fearful Washington. And fear is what’s driving this week’s blitzkrieg of Attorney General William Barr.”
She points out that Democrats have nothing to object to. “The attorney general delivered the transparency Democrats demanded. He quickly released a lightly redacted report, which portrayed the president in a negative light.” Strassel writes:
Some of this is frustration. Democrats foolishly invested two years of political capital in the idea that Mr. Mueller would prove President Trump had colluded with Russia, and Mr. Mueller left them empty-handed. Some of it is personal. Democrats resent that Mr. Barr won’t cower or apologize for doing his job. Some is bitterness that Mr. Barr is performing like a real attorney general, making the call against obstruction-of-justice charges rather than sitting back and letting Democrats have their fun with Mr. Mueller’s obstruction innuendo.
But most of it is likely fear. Mr. Barr made real news in that Senate hearing, and while the press didn’t notice, Democrats did. The attorney general said he’d already assigned people at the Justice Department to assist his investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. He said his review would be far-reaching – that he was obtaining details from congressional investigations, from the ongoing probe by the department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, and even from Mr. Mueller’s work. Mr. Barr said the investigation wouldn’t focus only on the fall 2016 justifications for secret surveillance warrants against Trump team members but would go back months earlier.
Streusel also noted that Democrats were especially nervous about Barr’s concern over their heavy reliance on the discredited Steele dossier. She sums up:
Do not underestimate how many powerful people in Washington have something to lose from Mr. Barr’s probe. Among them: Former and current leaders of the law-enforcement and intelligence communities. The Democratic Party pooh-bahs who paid a foreign national (Mr. Steele) to collect information from Russians and deliver it to the FBI. The government officials who misused their positions to target a presidential campaign. The leakers. The media. More than reputations are at risk. Revelations could lead to lawsuits, formal disciplinary actions, lost jobs, even criminal prosecution.
The attacks on Mr. Barr are first and foremost an effort to force him out, to prevent this information from coming to light until Democrats can retake the White House in 2020. As a fallback, the coordinated campaign works as a pre-emptive smear, diminishing the credibility of his ultimate findings by priming the public to view him as a partisan.
We have to stop using the criminal-justice process as a political weapon,” Mr. Barr said Wednesday. The line didn’t get much notice, but that worthy goal increasingly looks to be a reason Mr. Barr accepted this unpleasant job. Stopping this abuse requires understanding how it started. The liberal establishment, including journalists friendly with it, doesn’t want that to happen, and so has made it a mission to destroy Mr. Barr. The attorney general seems to know what he’s up against, and remains undeterred. That’s the sort of steely will necessary to right the ship at the Justice Department and the FBI.
The Financial Times’ Kadhim Shubber weighed in on the assault against Barr. He wrote:
We are seeing a classic power move against him. The Democrats and its supplicant media outlets have fired up the hysteria machine that manufactures panic, outrage, and smears to create an overwhelming atmosphere of crisis. In perfect harmony they bray on and on, repeating lies and accusations often enough that they become accepted as truth, creating a false narrative that is reinforced by an endless loop of media promotion.
The goal is to remove Barr, or better yet, simply neuter him by forcing him to recuse himself from all matters relating to the president. This path worked very well with Sessions. He quickly rolled over for the hysteria mob and abdicated his duties. Barr won’t be such an easy mark.
We can be sure that as Barr comes closer and closer to the truth, the attacks against him will escalate. In an interview with Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, President Trump said he would be releasing the FISA applications and related documents within “weeks or months.” Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report should be complete within a month. And, judging from Barr’s recent remarks, he’s been busy at the DOJ. If I were a Democrat, I’d be in full panic mode right now.