California Sen. Kamala Harris used her time in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General William Barr to ask a few key questions about his handling of the Mueller report. Utilizing great precision, she peppered Barr with questions and was able to get him to admit something absolutely incredible: the sitting attorney general has not personally reviewed the underlying evidence laid out in the Mueller Report.
You can see the video below, but here is a transcript of the exchange.
HARRIS: In reaching your conclusion, did you personally review all of the underlying evidence?
BARR: No, we took …
HARRIS: Did Mr. Rosenstein?
BARR: No. We accepted the statements in the report as factual record. We did not go underneath it to see if it was accurate, we accepted it as accurate.
HARRIS: So, you accepted the report as the evidence.
HARRIS: You did not question or look at the underlying evidence that supports the conclusions in the report?
HARRIS: Did Mr. Rosenstein review the evidence that underlines and supports the conclusions in the report? To your knowledge.
BARR: Not to my knowledge. We accept the statements in the report and the characterization of the report as true.
HARRIS: Did anyone in your executive office review the evidence supporting the report?
HARRIS: No. Yet you represented to the American public that the evidence was not, “sufficient to support an obstruction of justice offense.”
BARR: The evidence presented in the report. This is not a mysterious process. In the Department of Justice we have a process memos and declination memos every day coming up and we don’t go and look at the underlying evidence.
HARRIS: As the Attorney General of the United States, you run the United States Department of Justice. If in any U.S. Attorney’s office around the country, the head of that office, when being asked to make a critical decision about, in this case, the person who holds the highest office in the land, and whether or not that person committed a crime, would you accept them recommending a charging decision to you if they had not reviewed the evidence?
BARR: Well, that’s a question for Bob Mueller. He’s the U.S. Attorney. He’s the one who presents the report.
HARRIS: But it was you who made the charging decision, sir.
HARRIS: You made the decision not to charge the president.
BARR: No, in the process memo and in the declination memo….
HARRIS: You said it was “Your baby.” What did you mean by that?
BARR: I said it was whether or not to disclose it to the public.
Before you jump below to watch that exchange for yourself in the video, check out this other
interesting terrifying nugget from their conversation.
HARRIS: Has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested you open an investigation into anyone?
BARR: …. ah …
HARRIS: Seems like something you should be able to answer
BARR: I don’t know …
It’s no wonder Sen. Harris left the committee meeting and immediately called for William Barr to resign.
What I just saw from the Attorney General is unacceptable. Barr must resign now.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 1, 2019
Here are the important video exchanges.
Under questioning by @SenKamalaHarris, Barr admits that career ethics officials within the DOJ weren't consulted about possible conflicts of interest that he and Rod Rosenstein had in handling the Mueller investigation pic.twitter.com/WsFBlGsEbg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 1, 2019