Attorney General Bill Barr’s statements today on supposed “spying” by the FBI on the Trump campaign before the Senate Committee on Appropriations were indefensible. They were at once indecipherable and contentless, on the one hand, and incendiary, on the other hand.
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The press screwed up bigly on the Barr letter. Here are nine ideas for doing better the second time around.
I was pleased to host this discussion at the Brookings Institution yesterday with Susan Hennessey, Margaret Taylor, both of Brookings, and former National Security Division chief Mary McCord, now at Georgetown law. It's a very good discussion of where we are with the Mueller Report and the congressional politics surrounding it.
“I don’t think there’ll be a report,” President Trump’s former attorney, John Dowd, recently told ABC News. “I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than ‘We’re done.’” Referring to a possible report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Dowd suggested Mueller won’t release a detailed public accounting of the results of the investigation because he has nothing on Trump.
The two of us tend to agree on most things. Perhaps it is a result of our similar backgrounds, as career federal prosecutors who worked in the field and came up through the ranks to be United States attorneys. We often compare notes in our current roles as MSNBC analysts, trying to digest and explain complicated news in a thoughtful way.
A president like Donald Trump, who behaves outlandishly and governs recklessly, poses unique challenges to other institutional actors. Jack Goldsmith, among others, has identified how those who who flout norms in answering the president's own norm-busting chart a dangerous path from which there will be no simple or certain return.
Livestream: Attorney General Nominee Bill Barr Testifies Before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Former attorney general William Barr, President Trump's nominee to head the Justice Department, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on his nomination.
Barr's prepared testimony is available here.
Watch the testimony below (via the Washington Post):
The President Is Still Subject to Generally Applicable Criminal Laws: A Response to Barr and Goldsmith
In an op-ed in the New York Times and a post on Lawfare, we criticized President Trump’s nominee to be the next attorney general, William Barr, for a memo he sent to Trump administration officials last June arguing that Special Counsel Robert Muell
Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner have harshly criticized William Barr’s memo on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s obstruction of justice theory.
In a New York Times op-ed last Friday, we wrote that William Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W.