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Cody Fenwick August 1, 2020 8:00AM (UTC)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., took advantage of his opportunity on Tuesday to question Attorney General Bill Barr and exposed his relentless lying during the House Judiciary Committee hearing. In response, the attorney general appeared at times visibly uncomfortable and tried to shamelessly warp the truth.

"On April 18, 2019, you state that "the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel's investigation,' you're aware of that?" Neguse asked.


"Mm-hmm," said Barr.

"Today, yes or no, Mr. Barr, under the penalty of perjury, do you testify that that statement was true at the time you made it?"

"I thought it to be true at the time I made it," Barr said, putting his hand on his face. "Why isn't it true?"


"I'll get to that," said Neguse.

"Does it have to do with quibbling over—"

"Reclaiming my time!" said Neguse. "You answered the question. I have another question for you."

But Barr pushed back, clearly getting irritated at the threat of perjuy, saying: "I'm going to answer the damn question. I think what I was referring to, and I'd have to see the context of it, was the supplying of documents."


"I'll get to that," said Neguse.

"Does it have to do with quibbling over—"

"Reclaiming my time!" said Neguse. "You answered the question. I have another question for you."

But Barr pushed back, clearly getting irritated at the threat of perjuy, saying: "I'm going to answer the damn question. I think what I was referring to, and I'd have to see the context of it, was the supplying of documents."


Neguse started to become irritated himself, speaking rapidly and forcefully.

"You stated at a press conference on April [18] of 2019 that the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel's investigation," he said. "You knew, when you made that statement, that the president had not agreed to be interviewed by the special counsel. Now on June 18 of this year—"

"I think I subsequently said I was referring to the production of documents," Barr interjected, his face appearing to twitch uncomfortably in frustration.


Neguse barreled forward with his questioning, but it's worth noting that Barr's attempt to justify his obvious lie is untenable. Here's the full quote from Barr's press conference:

Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel's investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. And at the same time, the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation.

Since Trump himself did not agree to sit down with an interview, which the special counsel sought, these claims are clearly false. And Barr knew it.

Neguse moved on to another lie: Barr's claim that former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman had "stepped down" from his position. After Barr made this announcement on June 19, Berman quickly contradicted it and said he had no intention of leaving voluntarily.


"Do you testify today that that statement was true at the time the department issued it?" Neguse asked.

"He may not have known it, but he was stepping down,' Barr said, laughing, caught in his lie. "He was being removed!"

"Mr. Attorney General, the statement did not say that he was being removed, it did not say that he was being fired, it said that he was stepping down," said Neguse. "Apparently, your statement today is that was in fact accurate, when Mr. Berman has testified under oath to this committee that it, in fact, was not."

"He was being removed, and I wanted the opportunity to offer him another job and talk to him the next day," said Barr.


"I understand your rationalization," said Neguse.

Barr wasn't pleased with that, declaring: "It's not a rationalization." But clearly, it was. Barr has already offered Berman another job, and Berman had turned him down. Barr thought that by lying about Berman already stepping down, he could will the circumstances he desired into existence. But it was a lie — one that blew up in his face. And now we all know it.

Watch the clip below:


Cody Fenwick

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BARR: Ohio Gov. Pushes Gun Control Agenda Again

Politicians love anniversaries, especially those recalling tragic events. Every time an anniversary of such a public event occurs — whether the first, fifth, tenth or twenty-fifth — some politician will rush to remind the public of the past event as a way to position himself or herself as a true leader, by calling for the government to do whatever it is they want done that would have prevented the prior tragedy or which they claim will prevent its recurrence.

This past week, amidst the myriad problems relating to the COVID pandemic and the recurring violence destroying lives, property and businesses in cities across the country, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine used the bully pulpit of his office to again call for the state legislature to pass gun control measures he has long championed. The timing for his latest call was the anniversary of a shooting spree last August 4th by an individual outside a Dayton, Ohio bar who fatally shot nine people before he was shot dead by police.

In the immediate aftermath of that 2019 shooting, DeWine issued a call for the legislature to pass a long list of gun control measures, including many that bore no relationship to the manner by which the Dayton shooter — a 26-year old white male with antifa sympathies — was able to obtain the firearm he used to carry out his horrific crime.

Included in DeWine’s proposal were measures constituting what has become known in recent years as a “Red Flag Law.” Such a law empowers law enforcement officers and other individuals including friends or relatives of a gun owner, to obtain a court order directing police to seize all firearms possessed by the person against whom the order is directed, based on allegations that the individual poses a threat to himself or others. A number of states already have passed such measures, despite their constitutional infirmities. DeWine’s initial legislative package also called for what would amount to a statewide “universal” background check system for virtually all firearms transfers including those between private, law-abiding citizens.

Thus far, Ohio’s legislature has shown little interest in passing such far-reaching legislation, despite DeWine’s pressing.

In the face of this legislative resistance, DeWine later in 2019 backed away from some of the more problematic provisions in what he cleverly titled his “STRONG Ohio” bill, including those that would have directly and formally established a Red Flag Law. However, the details of his proposed law clearly move toward just such a law, and he continues to press for other problematic provisions, including opening the door to a potential firearms registry for transfers between private persons.

Like many gun control advocates holding public office, DeWine appears drawn to the limelight rather than the hard work of dealing with the legislature and the public to enact meaningful measures that would address actual problems but still within both the letter and the intent of the Second Amendment and other provisions in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. In fact, hidden within his proposals are some measures that could provide the basis for such action.

If, instead of grandstanding before the media on the anniversary of a tragedy that already constituted a criminal act, the Governor worked hard to craft more limited legislation and budgetary measures that address known deficiencies in laws designed already to keep firearms out of the hands of persons not allowed under long-standing federal to possess them, he likely would have far more success. But then again, that is much harder than calling a news conference and restating the time-worn trope that “Doing nothing is simply not an option,” as he did last week.

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003 and served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986 to 1990.  He now serves as President of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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