Barr None

Well that was horrible.  Lindsay Graham decided to open the hearing on the Mueller Report with a fresh attack on Hillary Clinton’s email server.  That really happened.  Honestly, he thinks there should be another hearing about it – maybe more than one.

Who can’t get over the 2016 election?  Miss Lindsay, who knows who really won.

The rest of the hearing was similarly surreal. Watching the supposed Attorney General for the People of the United States lie yet again about something we can read ourselves on plain paper – the leaked Mueller letter to Barr expressing his extreme upset that Barr was completely mis-characterizing his report.

Today Barr lied, dismissing the Mueller letter saying, “I called Bob,” he was upset at how it looked in the media.  He was disturbed by the press.”  Jesus Christ man, I know Trump’s target audience has the average IQ of a Q-tip, but some of us can read, believe it or not.  We don’t just gobble up Fox “News.”  Mueller clearly – in two separate letters – told you to stop lying about his report.  He never said a word about “the media or the press,” that’s what your lord and master The Don whines about.

If I were Bob Mueller I would also be mighty pissed how Barr repeatedly diminished his position, credentials, and staff.  “He’s not a prosecutor” he shot back at a Senator in the hearing today, and called the report “my baby.”

Yeah, he really worked hard on it these last few weeks since he became The Don’s new favorite fluffer.  Unreal.   Attacking our own law enforcement, siding with the criminal instead.  And downplaying the many many many times The Don tried to fire Mueller – “that’s not a crime” he says.

Rosenstein, Barr, Graham….why are they doing this?  They all know better.  Barr came out of retirement to -what, make himself look like a total asshole – ruin his legacy – to protect this grifter?  Rosenstein all but suckled Donnie’s flabby teat in that farewell message, calling him a paragon defender of the ‘Rule of Law’

SAY WHAT?!?!?

And Graham goes from calling Trump “fucking crazy” and the “end of the GOP and rightfully so” if he’s elected, to virtually licking his furry orange balls on national TV, calling for ANOTHER Hillary investigation?

Why? Just why?

What is in it for them?  What is worth ravaging our US Constitution? It can’t just be to protect the unidicted criminal, Individual One?

In light of the leaked Mueller letter, James Comey wrote an op-ed.  It articulates this question much more eloquently:

People have been asking me hard questions. What happened to the leaders in the Trump administration, especially the attorney general, Bill Barr, who I have said was due the benefit of the doubt?

How could Mr. Barr, a bright and accomplished lawyer, start channeling the president in using words like “no collusion” and F.B.I. “spying”? And downplaying acts of obstruction of justice as products of the president’s being “frustrated and angry,” something he would never say to justify the thousands of crimes prosecuted every day that are the product of frustration and anger?

How could he write and say things about the report by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, that were apparently so misleading that they prompted written protest from the special counsel himself?

How could Mr. Barr go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and downplay President Trump’s attempt to fire Mr. Mueller before he completed his work?

And how could Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, after the release of Mr. Mueller’s report that detailed Mr. Trump’s determined efforts to obstruct justice, give a speech quoting the president on the importance of the rule of law? Or on resigning, thank a president who relentlessly attacked both him and the Department of Justice he led for “the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations”?

What happened to these people?

I don’t know for sure. People are complicated, so the answer is most likely complicated. But I have some idea from four months of working close to Mr. Trump and many more months of watching him shape others

Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them. Sometimes what they reveal is inspiring. For example, James Mattis, the former secretary of defense, resigned over principle, a concept so alien to Mr. Trump that it took days for the president to realize what had happened, before he could start lying about the man.

But more often, proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. I think that’s at least part of what we’ve seen with Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein. Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from. It takes character like Mr. Mattis’s to avoid the damage, because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.

It starts with your sitting silent while he lies, both in public and private, making you complicit by your silence. In meetings with him, his assertions about what “everyone thinks” and what is “obviously true” wash over you, unchallenged, as they did at our private dinner on Jan. 27, 2017, because he’s the president and he rarely stops talking. As a result, Mr. Trump pulls all of those present into a silent circle of assent.

Speaking rapid-fire with no spot for others to jump into the conversation, Mr. Trump makes everyone a co-conspirator to his preferred set of facts, or delusions. I have felt it — this president building with his words a web of alternative reality and busily wrapping it around all of us in the room.

I must have agreed that he had the largest inauguration crowd in history because I didn’t challenge that. Everyone must agree that he has been treated very unfairly. The web building never stops.

From the private circle of assent, it moves to public displays of personal fealty at places like cabinet meetings. While the entire world is watching, you do what everyone else around the table does — you talk about how amazing the leader is and what an honor it is to be associated with him.

Sure, you notice that Mr. Mattis never actually praises the president, always speaking instead of the honor of representing the men and women of our military. But he’s a special case, right? Former Marine general and all. No way the rest of us could get away with that. So you praise, while the world watches, and the web gets tighter.

Next comes Mr. Trump attacking institutions and values you hold dear — things you have always said must be protected and which you criticized past leaders for not supporting strongly enough. Yet you are silent. Because, after all, what are you supposed to say? He’s the president of the United States.

You feel this happening. It bothers you, at least to some extent. But his outrageous conduct convinces you that you simply must stay, to preserve and protect the people and institutions and values you hold dear. Along with Republican members of Congress, you tell yourself you are too important for this nation to lose, especially now.

You can’t say this out loud — maybe not even to your family — but in a time of emergency, with the nation led by a deeply unethical person, this will be your contribution, your personal sacrifice for America. You are smarter than Donald Trump, and you are playing a long game for your country, so you can pull it off where lesser leaders have failed and gotten fired by tweet.

Of course, to stay, you must be seen as on his team, so you make further compromises. You use his language, praise his leadership, tout his commitment to values.

And then you are lost. He has eaten your soul.

James Comey is the former F.B.I. director and author of “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”

 

 

This article has 7 comments

  1. margaret hittinger

    Well we have to realize what this was about. I came to America 30 years ago when Reagan the puppet told America we have to destroy the air traffic unions and nobody stood up and asked why?
    Somebody did but their voice was silenced. Bill Clinton made sure no independent voice was heard.
    Capitalism went into overdrive. America lost something inside of it that made them running to churches to find something to fill their soul. All that stuff from home shopping channel never worked.
    And all those lies. America might not have a good educational system but it has the most sophisticated adverting/marketing system in the world. It is breathtaking. It is stunning it uses its most brilliant to con people to get the people of this country to become indentured servants.

  2. Dot in Seattle

    Miss Lindsay just hasn’t been himself since his immortal beloved John McCain died. He’s either completely flipped out and/or Putin has some seriously shit (photos, emails, text messages) on him.

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