By Jon Dougherty
If ever there was a more classic example of a “talking point,” this is it.
Democrats, angry at the fact that they cannot control the agenda of the Justice Department or the Executive Branch, did not want Attorney General William Barr to even give a press conference Thursday in announcing the redacted release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s “Russia collusion” report.
As we reported, five House Democratic chairpersons put out a letter and demand that Barr refrain from talking to the American people about the report, what’s in it, what’s not in it, how decisions were made to redact it and why, and how best to release as much info as possible.
“He should let the full report speak for itself,” the statement read.
“The Attorney General should cancel the press conference and provide the full report to Congress, as we have requested,” the Democrats continued. “With the Special Counsel’s fact-gathering work concluded, it is now Congress’ responsibility to assess the findings and evidence and proceed accordingly.”
Right. Except that Democrats are well aware that there is information contained in the report that could be embarrassing or damaging to people unconnected to the original purpose of the so-called ‘investigation’ who asked that their identities be protected, and to which Mueller agreed.
That and the fact that the law does not require that a single word of the report be made public.
In any event, Democrats — bereft of facts and out things to lie about regarding the president and Mother Russia — got together and came up with a word they would all use, like drones, to ‘refute’ the report: “Spin.”
AG Barr got up to talk about the Mueller report this morning but all he did was “spin” its contents.
“AG Barr has confirmed the staggering partisan effort by the Trump Admin to spin public’s view of the #MuellerReport — complete with acknowledgment that the Trump team received a sneak preview,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted after the news conference.
“It’s more urgent than ever that Special Counsel Mueller testify before Congress,” Pelosi wrote.
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey called it “a sad day for our country” that Barr “acts as a spin doctor,” and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley wrote that the news conference was “an embarrassment for our nation,” further contending that it was “more political spin than legal briefing.”
“The American people have heard enough spin from the Attorney General and the administration,” wrote New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall. “It’s time for AG Barr to release the full Mueller report and for Robert Mueller to testify publicly.”
Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin reiterated Udall’s call to release the full report stating that “we don’t need more spin from AG Barr,” and Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy referred to the news conference as “a blatant attempt to spin a report.”
New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez accused the AG of “acting as an agent for Trump and spinning the report in the President’s favor.”
Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen accused the attorney general of caring “more about defending Trump than the United States” after calling the news conference “quite a spin job.”
“Congress should get the full, unredacted Mueller report,” New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted. “The American people have the right to know the facts — without the spin.”
California Sen. Kamala Harris called the news conference “a stunt, filled with political spin and propaganda” and claimed Barr is “acting more like Trump’s defense attorney than the nation’s Attorney General.”
To that point, let’s never forget it was Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder, who claimed on more than one occasion he was his president boss’ “wingman.” Doesn’t get more personal than that.
Interesting, isn’t it, how the Democrats claim AG Barr is ‘spinning’ Mueller’s report — while collectively spinning Barr’s response.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10