Nancy Pelosi says she doesn’t trust AG Barr’s handling of Mueller report

April 11, 2019

Nancy Pelosi says she doesn’t trust AG Barr’s handling of Mueller report Image Source: Screenshot

Nancy Pelosi is ramping up her party’s attacks on Attorney General William Barr. The House Speaker told the AP Wednesday that she “doesn’t trust” Barr, who wrote that Robert Mueller’s investigation exonerated President Donald Trump of collusion and obstruction of justice in a four-page summary letter last month. Democrats, led by Pelosi, are pushing a conspiracy theory that accuses Barr of covering up the full Mueller report to protect the president.

Pelosi’s comments come amid a wider Democratic effort to smear Barr, as the attorney general said this week he would look into spying on Trump’s campaign. Apparently wanting to bury what he might find, Democrats immediately accused Barr of indulging a partisan conspiracy theory that the Russia investigation was an attempted coup against Donald Trump.

Pelosi: I don’t trust Barr

When Mueller finished his investigation with no evidence of collusion last month, Democrats were shattered and left scrambling to find the next partisan line of attack. They quickly settled on a new conspiracy theory alleging that Barr was attempting to hide evidence of wrongdoing in the full report. Pelosi, who last month called Barr’s letter “arrogant” and “condescending,” doubled down on the cover-up conspiracy in her interview with the Associated Press.

“He is not the attorney general of Donald Trump. He is the attorney general of the United States,” Pelosi said. “I don’t trust Barr. I trust Mueller.”

Watch Pelosi’s full interview below:

Democrats have ramped up calls to release the full Mueller report in an apparent attempt to frame Trump and Republicans as afraid of the truth. Democrats claim that Barr’s letter is not a sufficient summary of the investigation and that the president was not cleared of obstruction of justice. In his letter, Barr said that Mueller “did not exonerate” Trump of obstruction, but Barr determined that there was not enough evidence to make the charge.

Democrats complained that Barr is taking too long to release the report and demanded that the report be released without redactions — but neither President Trump nor Barr have shown any willingness to suppress the report. Barr has promised to release the report within days, albeit with redactions, as falls within his discretion.

Dems rush to bury spying

Pelosi’s interview came as Democrats and their allies in the media attacked Barr for saying in a Senate hearing Wednesday that he believes “spying did occur” on Trump’s campaign and that “spying on a political campaign is a big deal.” Barr’s statements came after he said Tuesday he would “review” the conduct of the FBI in initiating the counter-intelligence investigation into Trump’s campaign in 2016.

Barr’s statements prompted immediate, concerted pushback from Democrats and the mainstream media, which used the statements as further evidence that Barr has been compromised by sycophantic loyalty to the president. Barr’s unequivocally true statement left Democrats with few choices than to play word games. Many questioned the use of the term “spying” rather than the claim itself.

Pelosi said that Barr’s comments “undermine the Constitution and his role in the Justice Department,” according to the AP. The report itself seemed to uncritically echo those claims, claiming that “the attorney general’s credibility…[is] increasingly on the line” over Mueller’s report, a patent falsehood. Barr has done nothing outside the bounds of his authority in releasing the report according to his own discretion.

The AP’s puff piece echoes Pelosi’s talking point that Barr is peddling a conspiracy, falsely claiming that Barr didn’t present evidence to support the spying claims. Republicans have alleged that spying occurred as part of a wider “Deep State” coup, but the spying itself is factually established.

It is publicly known that Obama’s Justice Department obtained FISA warrants to surveil Trump campaign official Carter Page. The Justice Department reportedly used the salacious Christopher Steele Dossier extensively in its applications for the warrant and its renewals, and claimed that other sources independently verified the dossier, including a Yahoo article by Michael Isikoff that actually used the dossier as a source instead.

The AP report also echoes a Democrat talking point that Barr “backtracked” in his testimony when he later said he wasn’t certain if the spying was improper. Barr’s statements were consistent: he said that spying occurred, but he wants to find out whether it was warranted.

Dems, media ratchet up the gaslighting

Rushing to suppress scrutiny of Russiagate’s origins, Democrats across the board have piled on the gaslighting, with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) accusing Barr of “peddling conspiracy theories.” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) somehow found a way to make it about collusion, accusing Barr of pushing “Republican conspiracy theory nonsense” in an “effort to divert attention” from Mueller’s report. In a separate statement to reporters, Pelosi said that Barr went “off the rails.”

To be sure, Barr went outside the accepted boundaries of the Democratic narrative, but he said nothing false or unreasonable. The question, as Barr said, is whether the spying was justified. Altogether, Barr’s claims are modest and even-handed: he didn’t make any accusations, but simply stated facts.

It is a fact that Page, who was never charged with any crime, was spied on. That alone should raise eyebrows, but it would seem that any set of facts that appears to vindicate Trump, in Democrats’ eyes, is false by definition. The Democrats are desperate to frame Barr’s statements on spying, like his letter exonerating Trump, as part of a Republican conspiracy to protect a president who they still claim is a Russian agent.

The irony of accusing Republicans of peddling conspiracies while leaping onto a fresh conspiracy about the attorney general has apparently been lost on Democrats. It’s really quite remarkable: Democrats, after having their own conspiracy theory of two years discredited, are now accusing the attorney general of neglecting his duty by stating a simple fact — that spying occurred — while peddling their own conspiracies about Barr’s motives.

Pelosi, still not accepting Mueller’s findings, also told the AP that “it may be imperative that [Trump] be impeached” but “up until [the full report is released], he’s not worth it.” Validating Trump’s claims that the Democrats just want him out of office any way possible, she declared, “I’ll be satisfied when we have a new president of the United States who is a Democrat.”

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.