Thursday, May 2, 2019

Mueller Blogging

Dahlia Lithwick on my radio said something I was starting to think in my own half-assed way on Kamala Harris's questioning of the attorney general yesterday, that it was kind of weird when she was browbeating Barr over whether he had looked at the original evidence on which Mueller's failure to decide whether Trump had obstructed justice or not, because do people at that level really listen to all the tapes look at all the canceled checks and so forth?

And what was important, which Harris apparently missed: that his lack of familiarity with the evidence materials was the least of it. He didn't seem to be very familiar with the report itself, or even the executive summaries. For example, he didn't know who Konstantin Kilimnik was (quoting from Philip Bump/WaPo's survey of some of the stuff Barr didn't seem to know)—

“What information was shared?” Barr asked.
“Polling data was shared, sir,” Booker replied. “It’s in the report; I can cite you the page.”
“With who?” Barr responded.
Booker continued with his questioning.
And more significantly, he didn't seem to know that Mueller had explained why he didn't make a ruling in the obstruction case, leaving it to Congress:

And not to the attorney general. It's almost as if Barr decided what he was going to say first, and looked at the report afterwards, and it doesn't look good.

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