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House Judiciary Committee votes to hold A.G. Barr in contempt.

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  • House Judiciary Committee votes to hold A.G. Barr in contempt.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...ReP?li=BBnb7Kz


    IMHO, Chairman Nadler has way overstepped on this one.

    Why?

    You can't order someone to break the law. The Judiciary Committee's order to Barr to release the entire, un-redacted Mueller report was an illegal order, and Barr was completely correct to ignore it. He can not release 6(e) grand jury material without committing a felony.

    Try to spin it however you want, but that's the law.

    The DoJ has already made a less redacted version available to 12 senior members of Congress, but the last time I checked, only two (both Republicans) had even bothered to go and view it at a secure location. None of the Democrats have... I suspect that's because they already have the vast majority of the report and they know there's probably little else they'll be able to glean from the classified sections (and be able to get away with leaking or otherwise use for political purposes) that were redacted from the version released to the public... but they can sure play the politics on the rest of it. And IMHO, that's exactly what they're trying to do.

    I hope this goes to court - if it does, I predict that they'll lose big-time, at least insofar as the question of the redacted 6(e) material.
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    You could be wrong.
    (The US will not survive the obama presidency. The world may not either.) Cuban Leaf

    Comment


    • #3
      At the moment, I agree that Nadler took the wrong tack. I listened to most of the hearing from work. Democrats repeatedly stated frustration that Barr would not join them in going to request a court order. However, Dems themselves could have tried to get a court order sans Barr. One Dem I heard before today said AGs have historically received court orders like this at a better rate than congress, and that's why they wanted Barr to do it so badly. The House plus Barr would have had even better chances of receiving approval. Regardless, holding Barr in contempt specifically* for not releasing 6(e) material was wrong. (See my post #5.)

      Dems even wavered on the 6(e) material throughout the day as many of them pointed to materials redacted for "harm to ongoing matters" and "embarrassment." As I read the report, it seems there is a lot that could be tied directly to Trump's team but was redacted. For example, on page 17 of Volume II, we see,

      "Within the Trump Campaign, aides reacted with enthusiasm to reports of the hacks. 23
      [Redacted for HOM] discussed with Campaign officials that WikiLeaks
      would release the hacked material."

      The following page's opening paragraph speaks a lot about Manafort, and much of the paragraph is redacted for HOM, not for 6(e) material. (Anybody who can and does read that material right now cannot discuss it in public or with other members, so the fact that it is available for private reading doesn't do much good.)


      So I think Dems realized they were making a bit of a mistake today; they should have tried to get a court order for 6(e) material first, OR they should have held Barr in contempt for other matters, such as refusing to release everything except the 6(e) material.

      The Dems did raise these other contemptuous actions. What I think (and I'm not sure) would have been a better approach would have been to hold him in contempt for refusing to testify to the House, for saying that he didn't know of any displeasure among Mueller's team, and for telling the president to proclaim executive privilege over the whole report and underlying evidence. (Barr sent Trump a letter suggesting it before Trump did it.) They could have held him in contempt for everything but 6(e) and then let the court interpret the law and determine whether Barr has been dishonest. (Of course, Republicans will now only focus on 6(e) materials.)

      We'll see what happens in court.

      And even though this seems to you and others like this is purely playing political ball, the president's disregard for constitution and precedent, as well as his deeds outlined in the report, certainly deserve oversight; the legislative branch conducting oversight of an executive like this (or any other) is definitely constitutional; it should not be cast as political play. People on both sides in the hearing meant what they said.

      Sorry to hammer this again, but the fact that Barr's statement has convinced so many smart folks that Trump being president didn't affect Mueller's conclusions is contemptible. The Dems today raised this numerous times and quoted Mueller's displeasure with Barr's initial statements.
      Last edited by arcadesonfire; 05-08-2019, 03:51 PM.
      For those who prefer to listen rather than read and who ask these questions: What underlying crimes were being investigated when Trump obstructed justice? Why wasn't he indicted? Why did Mueller discuss indicting a sitting president in Volume II but not Volume I?
      https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Muell...ook/B07PXN468K


      My (old dead) band!:
      www.steelphantoms.com/
      PM me if you want to give me a Deluxe US Strat with locking tuners and 22 frets for <$800. Fancy Strymon pedals welcome too!

      Comment


      • #4




        What happened today is between the House and Trump not the House and Barr.
        (The US will not survive the obama presidency. The world may not either.) Cuban Leaf

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh, your article links to the contempt document: https://judiciary.house.gov/sites/de...r%205.6.19.pdf

          I haven't read it, but after a cursory glance at 27 pages, it clearly discusses more than 6(e) material. Like I said though, most Republicans will speak only of the 6(e) materials and "playing politics" as they discuss the hearing and vote. It’ll be similar to the behavior of responding to thousands of lies with just “but Obama said you could keep your doctor.”
          Last edited by arcadesonfire; 05-08-2019, 03:55 PM.
          For those who prefer to listen rather than read and who ask these questions: What underlying crimes were being investigated when Trump obstructed justice? Why wasn't he indicted? Why did Mueller discuss indicting a sitting president in Volume II but not Volume I?
          https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Muell...ook/B07PXN468K


          My (old dead) band!:
          www.steelphantoms.com/
          PM me if you want to give me a Deluxe US Strat with locking tuners and 22 frets for <$800. Fancy Strymon pedals welcome too!

          Comment


          • #6
            We are governed by idiots, in all three branches of government. There are no good outcomes here.
            Keep the company of those who seek the truth, and run from those who have found it.

            -- Vaclav Havel

            The Universe is unimaginably vast. For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.

            -- Carl Sagan


            Life - the way it really is - is a battle not between Bad and Good but between Bad and Worse.

            -- Joseph Brodsky

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Red Ant View Post
              We are governed by idiots, in all three branches of government. There are no good outcomes here.
              Indeed. They’re not ALL idiots, but so many are. Listening to the session today and hearing them continually miss each other’s points, making little effort to understand or concede to each other, was depressing.

              And when this goes to court, the judge’s a priori political/philosophical bent will likely make the decision.

              I could be wrong, but it seems to me that intelligent critical thinking requires frequent questioning of oneself and one’s own motives; it requires self-critique. So then I’m sad when it seems that having the biggest ego and never questioning oneself is an asset when seeking election.
              For those who prefer to listen rather than read and who ask these questions: What underlying crimes were being investigated when Trump obstructed justice? Why wasn't he indicted? Why did Mueller discuss indicting a sitting president in Volume II but not Volume I?
              https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Muell...ook/B07PXN468K


              My (old dead) band!:
              www.steelphantoms.com/
              PM me if you want to give me a Deluxe US Strat with locking tuners and 22 frets for <$800. Fancy Strymon pedals welcome too!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...ReP?li=BBnb7Kz


                IMHO, Chairman Nadler has way overstepped on this one.

                Why?

                You can't order someone to break the law. The Judiciary Committee's order to Barr to release the entire, un-redacted Mueller report was an illegal order, and Barr was completely correct to ignore it. He can not release 6(e) grand jury material without committing a felony.

                From your link:

                "Democrats said they did not expect Mr. Barr to break the law and unilaterally release grand jury secrets. Rather, they said they had repeatedly asked him to join the committee in petitioning a judge to unseal material for the grand jury for committee use. He refused. Democrats agreed to an amendment from Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, that clarified the committee did not expect Mr. Barr to break the law and unilaterally release the grand jury material."

                His refusal to cooperate in the effort to get a judge to unseal the 6(e) material was seen as contemptuous. Not the fact that he didn't unilaterally release it.

                Interestingly, if the House impeaches, then it would become a judicial matter, and they could require the release of the grand jury material on that basis,

                https://lawandcrime.com/legal-analys...-an-exception/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by arcadesonfire View Post
                  intelligent critical thinking requires frequent questioning of oneself and one’s own motives; it requires self-critique.
                  Indeed. It also requires a constant re-examination of assumptions, which is very hard work.

                  As Stephen Wright once said, "A conclusion is the point at which you got tired of thinking", or something along those lines.

                  I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but I do make a genuine effort to not be.
                  Keep the company of those who seek the truth, and run from those who have found it.

                  -- Vaclav Havel

                  The Universe is unimaginably vast. For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.

                  -- Carl Sagan


                  Life - the way it really is - is a battle not between Bad and Good but between Bad and Worse.

                  -- Joseph Brodsky

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fretmess View Post
                    You could be wrong.
                    I could be, and sometimes am, but I’m not this time - at least insofar as the illegality of Barr releasing grand jury material.

                    You can’t order someone to break the law. Even if you’re the House of Representatives. And when given an illegal order, you’re obligated to respectfully refuse to follow it.

                    If you think I actually am wrong about any of that, then please feel free to show me where and in what way I’m mistaken.
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nadler went about this the wrong way, IMO. The approach should have been to push for Mueller and McGahn to testify and if Trump/Barr tried to hold that up, THEN demand to see the full report and underlying documents.

                      But I don’t see how it is asking Barr to “break the law”. He’s not being asked to release the full unredacted report to the general public.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TCM View Post

                        From your link:

                        "Democrats said they did not expect Mr. Barr to break the law and unilaterally release grand jury secrets. Rather, they said they had repeatedly asked him to join the committee in petitioning a judge to unseal material for the grand jury for committee use. He refused.
                        1.First of all, they can petition the judge, with or without Barr - they don’t need his permission or agreement in order to do so. 2. Nowhere that I’m aware of in law or statute is Barr obligated to join them in any such petition. Calling his refusal to do so contemptuous is way beyond a stretch IMO.
                        **********

                        "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                        - George Carlin

                        "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                        - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                        "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                        - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also, holding him in contempt is effectively meaningless

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                            1.First of all, they can petition the judge, with or without Barr - they don’t need his permission or agreement in order to do so. 2. Nowhere that I’m aware of in law or statute is Barr obligated to join them in any such petition. Calling his refusal to do so contemptuous is way beyond a stretch IMO.
                            They are playing hardball politics. Just as Trump is with refusing to answer all subpoenas.

                            Saying they are asking him to break the law is beyond a stretch.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by guido61 View Post
                              Nadler went about this the wrong way, IMO. The approach should have been to push for Mueller and McGahn to testify and if Trump/Barr tried to hold that up, THEN demand to see the full report and underlying documents.
                              I agree. He overreached, and didn’t do the other things he should have done first.

                              But I don’t see how it is asking Barr to “break the law”. He’s not being asked to release the full unredacted report to the general public.
                              Until the amendment, he actually was, as I understand it. The amendment wasn’t the Democrat’s idea... they just wanted the “unredacted report”,and the law be damned.

                              Why havent the Democrat leaders in Congress bothered to go view the classified, less redacted version of the Mueller report? The fact that Barr made that available to them, and the fact that they haven’t bothered to even go read it, speaks volumes IMO.
                              **********

                              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                              - George Carlin

                              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                              Comment

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