Barr Seemed To Have Ukraine In Mind While Testifying About Mueller Report

Kyle Griffin on Twitter
Kyle Griffin on Twitter

“Flashback: May 1. Harris: Has the president or anyone at the W.H. ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Barr: Um. ... Harris: Seems you'd remember something like that and be able to tell us. Barr: Yeah, but I'm trying to grapple with the word suggest.”


During a May Senate hearing, William Barr hedged on questions that in hindsight appear relevant to the Ukraine scandal.

Following Attorney General William Barr’s addition to President Donald Trump’s administration, many surmised that he was brought in to assist Trump with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, which the president had long decried a “witch hunt.”

But in light of recent events, it appears that in his handling of the Mueller report during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this year, Barr had Trump's dealings with Ukraine on his mind as he set out a narrow definition of "collusion" and hesitated to answer key questions from senators.

During a May 1 Senate hearing, Barr struggled to answer whether President Donald Trump or any other White House official had ever “asked or suggested” that he open an investigation into anyone.

After stalling with his answer, the attorney general asked Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to repeat the question.

“Has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?” Harris asked a second time.

Barr appeared to get hung up on the word “suggest,” noting that no one had outright asked him to open an investigation into a particular individual but saying he was unsure if it had ever been suggested.

Now, the Department of Justice has confirmed that it reviewed Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president — in which the president implied that future military assistance to the country would be tied to his request that Ukraine investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden — and determined that Trump had broken no campaign finance laws and further investigation was unwarranted.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said to the Ukrainian president, asking him to get in touch with Barr, as well as Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

This implicates the attorney general in a criminal conspiracy relating to national security.


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