It was as though the “journalists” asking Sen. Dick Durbin questions after the Judiciary Committee hearing were auditioning for positions with liberal senators. If you wanted to let the Democrat senators that you were qualified to work as a staffer for them, what questions would you ask to make sure you got the job? Either that, or they were interns and did not know the difference.
All of their questions made it clear that they favored the Democrat's version of events, that Barr should be more forthcoming about his supposed dereliction of duty, that he is the wrong man for the job, that he should resign for not doing everything the Democrat senators asked of him.
(Note to reader: C-Span videographers "stakesout" senators and representatives at various places in the capital to get reaction from them about a hearing or other event. The reporters are typically not associated with C-Span).
Here is how the questioning went after Durbin faced these though reporters:
Reporter: Do you think Bill Barr should resign?
Durbin: I’m not calling for his resignation. I’m deeply concerned about his involvement in the criminal referrals in the Mueller investigation. There were 14 pending cases that were spawned by this investigation.
I believe he should step aside. I don’t believe he has the objectivity that we should expect of an attorney general who has the authority over these investigations.
Reporter: He was unable to say with any definitiveness that he did not consult with the White House about these other investigations.
Dubin: No he didn’t. He said he could not recall. That’s the best we could get out of him.
Reporter: Does that lead you to think that he has had conversations?
Durbin: It leads me to believe that something this serious and this important, someone wouldn’t easily forget.
Reporter: Is there an indication whether you will get to question Mueller?
Durbin: No. I raised it. I asked about the possibility of future witnesses. I think Bob Mueller and Bob McGann are critical.
Reporter: Why do you think they would not want to hear from Mueller?
Durbin: Why did they pick the smallest room to have the hearing today? They want this to go away. They want to talk about Hillary Clinton’s emails. They don’t want to get into this. They want this to disappear.
Reporter: Why do you think Mueller has yet to respond to other requests?
Durbin: I don’t know. He may be waiting for some direction from the Department of Justice. I don’t know.
Reporter: Do you believe they’re stonewalling this?
Durbin: I wouldn’t be surprised in light of everything that came out today.
Reporter: Do you think the administration not complying with these democratic investigations is somehow forcing their hand on the impeachment issue? Do you think that’s part of it.
Durbin: I’m not going to make that leap. I’m just going to tell you that if we’re going to set a standard that says congress does not have oversight, authority when it comes to the executive branch of government, it is a dramatic change in our democracy. There’s always been tension and stress in how far we can go. How much we can ask for, what we can expect. That’s natural. But this notion that we’re just going to stonewall, we’re not going to talk to you, you don’t get to see anything, is a dramatic change in this form of government.
Reporter: And yet the chairman of this committee is . . . the Trump administration is going to fight like hell. What do you think of that?
Durbin: They want this to go away. They don’t want any further conversation about this. I don’t think it’s going to go away that quickly. This Russian threat continues and until this president acknowledges it and take it head on, we’re going to continue to have pressure from our party, to attempt to maintain some respect for the process.
Reporter: One of your colleagues, Kamala Harris accused the attorney general of bias. Do you think he was representing the American people today, or was he representing President Trump?
Durbin: Can I tell you everyone on our side of the aisle raised the question of bias. She raised the question and I did too. This notion that he can issue these summary conclusions about the Mueller report and then when we read it, it turns upside down on us. The fact is, he came out in a position as an advocate for the president when Mueller report came out. He decided to take it up on own with the issue of obstruction and to conclude with Mr. Rosenstein that there was no crime. That, I think showed a bias that I hoped he wouldn’t.
Reporter: Did he continue to advocate for him today?
Durbin: Yes. He certainly did.
Reporter: What moves does that leave for the (Democrat) senate, in terms of . . . that Barr possibly lied to congress? He’s representing the president, not the people? Is there any recourse?
Durbin: I’m a member of the abject minority. So when it comes to holding a hearing, holding them responsible, bringing someone back so we can ask them serious questions,
Let’s have some clarity or sanity in regard to the Mueller report. What does all of this mean?
The Mueller report is over in regard to the president. There is no reason to have Mueller testify in any way or appear before congress to testify in regard to the investigation. The report is done. It was thorough. While the president may have done many things, he did not commit a crime.
Atty Gen. Barr cannot expound on the Mueller report or talk freely about it. It is an investigation whose purpose it was to determine if charges should be filed. Durbin and none of the reporters asked him about anything from the Mueller report.
Here is a list of the topics that the reporters offered that demonstrate bias, with commentary:
Should Bill Barr resign?
Did he consult with the White House about these investigations?
Will you get to question Mueller?
Why do you think they would not want to hear from Mueller?
Do you believe they are stonewalling this?
Do you think the administration’s not complying with this is forcing congress’ hand on impeachment?
Do you think Bill Barr was representing the American people or the president today?
Did he (Bill Barr) continue to advocate for him today?
What would he consult with the White House about? Would it change the Mueller reports findings, that the president did not commit a crime, that there was nothing that he could be charged with? No.
What reason is there to question Mueller? This is a criminal investigation. After a state’s attorney issues it’s findings of what or whether they will charge, they don’t talk about the investigation. It could place them in legal jeopardy because they would not be representing the government. If you notice in the hearing, nobody asked anything about parts of the Mueller report. Why? Didn’t they read it?
If you read this conversation, none of the reporters asked him about anything from the Mueller report. They are free to accuse Barr of bias, but he is limited in what he can say about the report. People like Sen. Durbin know this.
None of these reporters took the Republican side and asked about the Mueller report or what the purpose of their questioning is. Are they trying to litigate the Mueller report or reinvestigate Pres. Trump? They don’t have the authority to do that. The bias is that they don’t seem to want to accept the Mueller report on face value. Why not?
These reporters and their liberal attitudes are probably the reason why Sen. Graham does not spend a lot of time with them. There were lots of questions that should have been asked of Democrat senators, like have you read the Mueller report?
Why wouldn’t they read it? Because they already know the end of the story, and that it is the end of the story. It’s not worth their time if the president is not going to be charged with a crime. Let’s hope that the American people can get some reporters who don’t advocate for Democrat senators. We need reporters who represent the American people, not their favorite liberal politician. If they can’t do that, maybe they should resign.
© 2019 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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