President-elect Donald J. Trump and U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi smile for a photo during the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. More than 5,000 military members from across all branches of the armed forces of the United States, including reserve and National Guard components, provided ceremonial support and Defense Support of Civil Authorities during the inaugural period. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
At least that’s how much Nancy Pelosi trusts him…
Yesterday, Marc Giller covered Barr’s testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee. Here it is below, but since then, Nancy Pelosi has come out with a new slogan for the Democrats in 2020: “I don’t trust Barr, I trust Mueller.”
As bumper-stickers across the nation are slowly converted from “I’m With Her” to “I’m With Mueller,” we find several things at work here in this political climate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday questioned Attorney General William Barr’s independence from President Donald Trump, arguing Barr’s pursuit of Trump’s claims about “spying” during the 2016 campaign undermines his position as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, the California Democrat said she was “very concerned” about Barr’s handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the campaign and accused Barr of doing Trump’s political bidding in his testimony at a Senate hearing.
“He is not the attorney general of Donald Trump. He is the attorney general of the United States,” Pelosi told AP. “I don’t trust Barr, I trust Mueller.”
Pelosi said Barr’s comments undermine the Constitution and his role in the Justice Department.
Asked what would satisfy Democrats, Pelosi said: “I’ll be satisfied when we have a new president of the United States who is a Democrat.”
The Democrats are irritated with Barr for one reason alone: he reached a conclusion regarding obstruction of justice when Mueller hadn’t.
Mueller’s use of the term “not exonerated” has been kindling for a party hell-bent on burning this president to the ground. It’s a stupid phrase to use for this situation. Black’s Law Dictionary makes it clear that any form of the word “exonerate” denotes a sense of finality and totality. It’s complete absolution.
If there is not enough information or evidence, it is silly to even enter a discussion of “exonerated/not exonerated.” All Barr and Rosenstein did was conclude that there wasn’t enough evidence…much like Comey did with Hillary. A decision not to charge can always be revisited when there is more evidence. Yet, if Pelosi trusts Mueller and his finding of no collusion, why is Schiff still looking for it?
All of this is quite funny since Pelosi makes it clear her goal is partisan. She’ll be satisfied when a Democrat is president. Shouldn’t we be claiming that Comey should have been America’s FBI director? Not Obama’s? The only difference there is that the buck stops at Barr in the DoJ; Comey shouldn’t have made a prosecutorial decision in 2016.
Sorry, I am just looking for a little bit of consistency from Nance.
I digress. Pelosi has fallen into a talking point trap that gets really tiring, mostly because some of the more experienced members of congress, who sit on the judiciary committee no less, have such a poor understanding of separation of powers.
If I tried to track the origin of this idea, it might go back to Watergate, though I am not completely sure. I noticed it last year when Senator Feinstein would talk about the FBI.
Pelosi says “He is not the attorney general of Donald Trump. He is the attorney general of the United States.”
What is Pelosi getting at here? She is questioning the objectivity of the AG and asserting that the DoJ should independent of the executive branch.
This notion of independence is an affront to separation of powers.
Feinstein said this back in May, “The Justice Department is not an arm of the White House. The Justice Department is independent and serves the American people. Its job is to follow the facts and the law. Law enforcement investigations must be initiated and carried out free from political interference.”
Way to coordinate talking points!
There is just one problem: it’s so easy to refute.
The Office of Attorney General is one of the oldest executive cabinet positions. Though, as the DoJ’s website points out, The Attorney General’s role was substantially smaller than it is today. It represented the interests of the United States Federal Government before the Supreme Court. The Judiciary act of 1789 created the office of Attorney General.
The statute reads, “And there shall also be appointed a meet person, learned in the law, to act as attorney-general for the United States, who shall be sworn or affirmed to a faithful execution of his office; whose duty it shall be to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, and to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the President of the United States, or when requested by the heads of any of the departments, touching any matters that may concern their departments, and shall receive such compensation for his services as shall by law be provided.”
Less than a hundred years later, congress expressly placed the Attorney General and the newly formed Department of Justice under the auspices of the Executive Branch.
I would also point out that the Federalist Papers explicitly reject the notion that somehow the president ought to be beholden to his subordinate departments.
After all, the executive power is vested in a president, not his cabinet.
And I’ll close by saying that not trusting Barr, trusting Mueller, hemming and hawing about impeachment, and any other talking point presented by Pelosi are really just masking the true goal…which she actually speaks openly about…She’ll be satisfied when a democrat is president.
We need a Speaker of the House of the United States, not a Speaker of the House of the Democratic Party. See what I did there…