The report showed no collusion. The redactions that were made were in the interest of national security. So why is Attorney General Barr under attack?
Most likely because he now poses a huge threat to some high-ranking people, and politicians want to shut down his probe.
The irony, of course, is that they are trying to do so under the guise that he covered up President Trump obstructing justice.
Here’s the deal. During a Senate hearing this week, AG Barr struck fear into the hearts of Democrats. He said he’d assigned assigned people at the Justice Department to assist his investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.
And much like Mueller’s probe was given authority to be “far-reaching”, Barr said so would his review.
He’s obtaining details from congressional investigations, from the ongoing probe by the department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, and even from Mr. Mueller’s work.
But it’s not just focused on the fall 2016 justifications for secret surveillance warrants against Trump team members. He said it would go back months earlier, and that he’d also focus on the infamous “dossier” concocted by opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and British former spy Christopher Steele, on which the FBI relied so heavily in its probe.
Mr. Barr addressed his own concerns that the dossier itself could be Russian disinformation, a possibility he described as not “entirely speculative.” On top of that, he revealed that the department has “multiple criminal leak investigations under way” into the disclosure of classified details about the Trump-Russia investigation.
On Wednesday, Barr sat respectfully for hours while Democrats hurled insults at him at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
His reward? He was attacked as a lawbreaking, dishonest, obstructing criminal.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly accused Mr. Barr of lying to Congress.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler made an unprecedented demand that he submit to cross-examination by committee staff attorneys or be held in contempt.
James Comey, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, whined that Donald Trump had “eaten” Mr. Barr’s “soul.”
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is running for President and desperate for media attention, demanded the attorney general resign.
California Representative Eric Swalwell wants him impeached.
Here’s the thing.
The attorney general gave the transparency Democrats demanded.
He quickly released a report that was lightly redacted and portrayed the President in a negative light. Yet Democrats are flipping out over it.
Why? In part, no doubt, because they are upset that it was all for nothing.
Democrats pumped two years of political capital and tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money into the idea that Mr. Mueller would prove President Trump had colluded with Russia. Mueller left them with nothing.
The melting down and childish tantrums are being incredible.
On Thursday, Democrat Tennessee congressman Steve Cohen showed up on Capitol Hill at 9am with a bucket of fried chicken and a ceramic chicken statue.
He stuffed his face with the greasy food while mocking Barr for being “too chicken” to appear for his scheduled hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
After finishing eating the fried breakfast, Cohen placed the bucket and chicken statue on the witness desk where Barr would have been seated. He stood there for the childish photo op.
“Chicken Barr should have shown up today and answered questions…this man was picked to be Donald Trump’s fixer. The black socks look clean compared to this team,” Cohen told reporters while holding the statue. “It’s a sad day in America.”
Democrats want to make sure Attorney Barr doesn’t have a chance to destroy their anti-Trump narrative and expose the spying that took place on his campaign.
On Friday morning, Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, published an op-ed in USA Today calling for Barr’s resignation.
He claims Barr helped President Trump mislead the country, undermined the public’s confidence in the Department of Justice and set a precedent for the president to end the 15 investigations into his behavior. He conveniently doesn’t mention the efforts of the DNC to mislead the public with a fake dossier on Trump prior to the 2016 election.
“The attorney general of the United States misled the country about an investigation implicating the president. Then he lied to Congress,” Schiff wrote in the piece. “Then he did something worse: He effectively said that the president of the United States is above the law. William Barr should resign.”
Schiff said he was opposed to Barr’s confirmation originally and thought the AG should recuse himself from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “because he had such a clear bias.”
Schiff claims Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation into President Trump was misleading to the public.
“The attorney general made the calculated decision to disregard the concerns of the special counsel and help the president mislead the country in advance of the release of a report damning to the president on almost every page,” Schiff wrote. “And then Barr lied about it.”
He wrapped up his lengthy attack by describing Barr as “grossly unfit for office” and “the second most dangerous man in the country.”
Schiff has attacked Trump and the White House countless times, even after the release of Mueller’s report. And so in a counter-punch, some Republicans have called on him to resign.
Referencing Schiff’s previous claim that “significant evidence of collusion” existed, Kellyanne Conway told Fox News that Schiff’s got to go.
“Not only should he resign, he should produce the evidence that he said he has. If he has evidence of collusion that somehow the special counsel couldn’t find over 22 months and $35 million of our money, I want Adam Schiff to produce that,” Conway said. “He ought to put up or shut up.”
In the meantime, a bombshell report was released on Thursday fueling Republican allegations that Democrats were actually the ones illegally colluding with foreign agents during the 2016 election.
According to the report, Ukraine’s embassy wrote that a Democratic National Committee (DNC) insider reached out in 2016 seeking dirt on President Trump’s team.
Ambassador Valeriy Chaly said the connection was DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa. The ambassador said Chalupa pushed for Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko to mention Paul Manafort’s ties to Ukraine publicly during a visit to the U.S.
On top of that, he said Chalupa sought detailed financial information on his dealings in the country. During the time, Manafort was Trump’s campaign chairman.
“The Embassy got to know Ms. Chalupa because of her engagement with Ukrainian and other diasporas in Washington D.C., and not in her DNC capacity. We’ve learned about her DNC involvement later,” Chaly said in a statement released by the Ukrainian embassy.
“We were surprised to see Alexandra’s interest in Mr. Paul Manafort’s case. It was her own cause. The Embassy representatives unambiguously refused to get involved in any way, as we were convinced that this is a strictly U.S. domestic matter.”
That’s not all, according to Chaly.
“All ideas floated by Alexandra were related to approaching a Member of Congress with a purpose to initiate hearings on Paul Manafort or letting an investigative journalist ask President Poroshenko a question about Mr. Manafort during his public talk in Washington, D.C.”
Fox News reached out to both the DNC and Chalupa, who works as a Washington, D.C.-based political consultant. Neither responded.
In 2017, Chalupa told CNN:
“During the 2016 US election, I was a part time consultant for the DNC running an ethnic engagement program. I was not an opposition researcher for the DNC, and the DNC never asked me to go to the Ukrainian Embassy to collect information.”
But here’s the thing. Chalupa acknowledged that she met with “representatives of the Ukrainian Embassy,” – yet she said it was all about an “Immigrant Heritage Month women’s networking event.”
She also told CNN that when Manafort was named Trump’s campaign chairman, she let the DNC know that Manafort had worked with the Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych, Ukrainian’s president at the time.
According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, Chalupa’s firm did in fact provide services to the DNC in 2016.
And the DNC paid Chalupa more than $412,000 from 2004 to 2016.
Last week, President Trump took part in an interview with Fox News’ “Hannity”. In that interview, he Attorney General Bill Barr was handling the “incredible” and “big” new revelations that Ukrainian actors apparently leaked damaging information about Manafort to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Could that have anything to do with why Democrats this week were calling for Barr’s resignation?
Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko opened a probe last month. It’s looking into the so-called “black ledger” files that led to Manafort’s abrupt departure from the Trump campaign.
The probe launched after an audio recording was leaked which showed that a senior Ukrainian anticorruption official apparently admitted to leaking Manafort’s financial information in 2016 — including his ties to pro-Russian actors in Ukraine — to benefit Clinton.
Turns out the Ukrainians are being pretty forthcoming. Earlier this month, they said they had a slew of evidence of collusion and wrongdoing by Democrats and were trying to share the information with U.S. officials in the Justice Department.
There was a recent ruling by a Ukrainian court. It said the Manafort document leak amounted to illegal interference in the U.S. election by parliamentarian Serhiy Leshchenko and Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).
President Trump said he believes Americans needed to see the results of Ukraine’s ongoing investigation into whether officials in that country worked with the Clinton team.
“I would imagine [Barr] would want to see this. … I would certainly defer to the attorney general, and we’ll see what he says about it,” Trump said. “He calls ‘em straight.”
“It sounds like big stuff, very interesting with Ukraine. I just spoke with the new president a while ago, and congratulated him. … But that sounds like big, big stuff, and I’m not surprised.”
Previously, Rudy Giuliani made similar comments:
“Keep your eye on Ukraine.”
In 2017, there was an investigation by Politico that found Ukrainian officials not only publicly sought to undermine Trump by questioning his fitness for office, but also worked behind the scenes to secure a Clinton victory.
That report found the Ukrainian government worked with Chalupa to conduct opposition research against Trump. That going after Manafort for Russian ties, helping lead to his resignation.
When it was released, Chalupa took to Facebook to call the story “nonsense”.