Mueller vs. Barr
Attorney General William Barr testified today before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding his oversight of the Mueller report.
Conveniently, less than 24 hours before Barr was set to appear before the committee, the Washington Post ambushed the attorney general with a hit piece suggesting that his March memo summarizing the conclusions misrepresented Mueller's views.
The screaming headlines left readers with the impression that Barr misled Congress and the American people. Numerous Democrats and progressive activists immediately demanded Barr's impeachment.
Once again, it was all fake news.
Mueller complained to Barr that he wasn't happy with the way THE MEDIA had construed Barr's memo and that it would undermine the public's confidence in the special counsel statute and particularly in him. Newt Gingrich put it well when he said:
"Think about this. The media that Mueller is complaining about are the people who are now using Mueller's complaint to further distort what is going on. You couldn't make this up."
Here's what you need to know:
- President Trump is still innocent. There was never any collusion with Russia.
- When Barr wrote his memo summarizing his conclusions of the Mueller report, he asked the special counsel if he wanted to review it. Mueller declined. So, there's no point in complaining about the media's lazy journalism.
- Mueller's objections came after Barr released his memo but before he publicly released the entire Mueller report. Everyone has had plenty of time to decide for themselves whether the Barr memo accurately summarized the report.
- The Post story is not news. It's just another partisan hatchet job meant to delegitimize this attorney general who is vowing to investigate the deep state.
Now, let me share a concern that I have.
Mueller's first indictments of Russians for interference in the 2016 elections came in February 2018. I believe Mueller likely knew then that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Yet he let the investigation drag on rather than release that fact in order to increase the left's chances of victory in the 2018 elections. Perhaps we need another investigation of election interference.
Focus On The Deep State
Chairman Lindsey Graham and other Republicans on the committee were effective in refocusing the debate to where it should be -- on the deep state.
Graham noted that Hillary Clinton's email server was wiped with BleachBit AFTER House investigators had issued a protective order for the server. Yet no one was ever charged with obstruction of justice.
Graham also noted that many of the multiple devices used by Hillary Clinton were never turned over to investigators. Some were physically destroyed with hammers. Yet no one was ever charged with obstruction of justice.
Graham said that one of the key obstruction claims against Trump stems from his decision to fire James Comey, which he had every right to do. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authored a very compelling memo outlining the reasons why Comey deserved to be fired.
Graham pointed out that Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer had no confidence in James Comey, that Bernie Sanders had called for Comey's resignation and that House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler had called for the president to fire Comey.
Sen. Charles Grassley noted that there was evidence of collusion between the Clinton campaign and foreigners to influence our election. The Clinton campaign and the DNC paid a foreign national (ex-British spy Christopher Steele) to produce a dossier that relied on Russian sources.
Grassley wanted to know whether Mueller, who spent two years and $30 million investigating Russian influence in the election, had considered whether the Steele dossier was Russian disinformation. Barr said he will look at that, as well as the origins of the entire collusion narrative.
Sen. John Cornyn noted that "defensive briefings" by the government are routine in counterintelligence investigations, yet the Trump campaign was never given one. Cornyn said that the failure to do so was "extraordinary," and Attorney General Barr agreed, saying, "I don't understand why the Bureau would not have done so."
Venezuela On The Verge
Venezuela is on the verge of a full-scale civil war. Violence erupted in the streets of Caracas yesterday, and the government of communist dictator Nicolas Maduro is teetering.
Maduro was reportedly prepared to flee the country, but Russian advisors ordered him back to his office. Thousands of Cuban troops and Iranian proxies, including Hezbollah, are in the country.
This is an extremely complicated situation. Trump campaigned on a pledge to avoid foreign intervention. I don't believe he or anyone else in the White House wants to get militarily involved in Venezuela.
That said, this situation has real implications for our national security. The president warned today that if the Cubans don't stop interfering, he will impose a complete embargo on the country.
If the chaos continues and Venezuela devolves even further, it threatens to destabilize neighboring countries. And that would likely increase the migrant caravans headed toward our border.
I have also heard multiple talking heads on CNN and MSNBC suggesting that the United States is trying to engineer a coup in Venezuela. The truth is the exact opposite. The Venezuelan people are rising up and America's enemies are trying to keep a brutal dictator in power.
Most nations in the Western Hemisphere back Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. Maduro is backed by Russia, Cuba, China and other dictatorial regimes. We used to have a Monroe Doctrine that told foreign powers to stay out of countries in our backyard.
Incredibly, more than a dozen House Democrats are on the record defending the Maduro regime. It seems these leftists in Congress are more worried about the U.S. having a friendly government in Venezuela than a hostile government allied with our enemies. Are these Democrats colluding with Russia?
Here's something else to keep in mind. In 2013, the Venezuelan regime confiscated firearms. Innocent people are defenseless while the only people in Venezuela with guns are Russian, Cuban and Iranian thugs.
National Day Of Prayer
Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. This year's theme is "Love One Another," and the verse is John 13:34, "Love one another. Just as I have loved you."
President Trump issued a proclamation recognizing May 2nd as the National Day of Prayer, and calling on Americans to pray for God's continued guidance and protection. In his proclamation, the president declared:
"Our Nation acknowledges that religious liberty is a natural right, given to us by our Creator, not a courtesy that government extends to us. The First Amendment recognizes the freedom of religion and safeguards this right against government infringement. . . We have no tolerance for those who disrupt this peace, and we condemn all hate and violence, particularly in our places of worship."
There will be many events surrounding the National Day of Prayer tomorrow. You can find events in your community here and watch live online here.