News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: AG Barr to Testify Today and Much, Much More

Attorney General William Barr attends the 2019 Prison Reform Summit and First Step Act Celebration in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Good Tuesday morning.

Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president participates in the arrival of the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt
  • President Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt
  • The president participates in an expanded working lunch with the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt
  • President Trump participates in the departure of the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt

AG Barr to testify today and it’s gonna be lit

Attorney General William Barr is going to testify before the House Appropriations Committee about the DOJ budget, but I think we all know what the real topic is going to be.

House Democrats plan to grill Attorney General William Barr about his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report when he appears before an Appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday morning.

“In extremely quick fashion, you turned a 300-plus page report into a four-page letter that supposedly summarized the findings,” Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies subcommittee, will cackle in his opening statement. “The American people have been left with many unanswered questions — serious concerns about the process by which you formulated your letter; and uncertainty about when we can expect to see the full report.”

These people are ridiculous. They all read Barr’s letter and they all know he is going to release as much of the report as he is legally able to. He provided the findings of the report so that people wouldn’t have to wait until the DOJ reviewed it and removed information that is legally prohibited from being released. And also he released the findings so that that weasels in the DOJ couldn’t drip out spun information to trash the president while the review was being completed. True story. Do these idiots think Barr lied about Mueller’s findings while Mueller stays quiet about it while helping Barr review the report? Come on now. This is such a political spectacle.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), one the biggest fools in Congress, will say this at the hearing today:

“All we have is your four-page summary letter, which seems to cherry pick from the report to draw the most favorable conclusion possible for the president,” Lowey will say. “In many ways, your letter raises more questions than it answers… I must say, it is extraordinary to evaluate hundreds of pages of evidence, legal documents, and findings based on a 22-month-long inquiry and make definitive legal conclusions in less than 48 hours. Even for someone who has done this job before, I would argue it is more suspicious than impressive.”

Don’t forget that many of these grand-standers were in Congress and opposed releasing the Starr report on Clinton way back when, and they changed the law so that these kinds of reports aren’t released to the public. But now, it doesn’t work in their political favor so we all have whiplash and the people have a “right to know” again.

I’ll be watching this hearing for sure, 9:30 a.m. on C-SPAN 3. Pop your popcorn.

Related:

Lobbyist behind illegal purchase of Trump inaugural ticket a ‘valuable resource’ for Mueller investigators

Borderline, feels like I’m going to lose my mind

According to “sources” at ABC News, President Trump ordered parts of the border shut down two weeks ago but was stopped when aides convinced him to wait while they crafted an emergency plan called “keep the border open.”

The order came during a tense Oval Office meeting on March 28, just one day before the president publicly threatened to close the border the following week.

The president grew frustrated during the meeting, which ended with an order for the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to shut down a portion of the border the next day, with plans to possibly expand the closures, according to the sources.

“The president was literally hours away from sealing the border last week. Hours. But he was persuaded to delay, which gave enough time to consider alternatives,” a leaker a senior administration official familiar with the matter told ABC News. “It also allowed Pompeo and Nielsen to ratchet up the pressure on Mexico, which started taking tougher action, though they didn’t publicize it.”

Meanwhile, one of the nutters on the 9th Circuit Court ruled that Trump cannot send asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait out their cases.

“This is a great ruling,” said Judy Rabinovitz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which was one of the groups that brought the case.

“This is what they were planning on implementing on a large scale. That would have been a complete game changer in the way our asylum system works,” she said.

Game changer indeed.

Related:

Is Trump’s appointment of an acting DHS secretary legal?

HHS considering moving migrant children to new shelters in Dallas, Atlanta: report

Judge blocks policy forcing some asylum seekers to remain in Mexico

Mayor Pete’s spat with Veep Pence

What is going on here? Mayor Pete Buttigieg is getting a ton of press for going after VP Pence, but what is the origin of this “fight”? Mayor Pete got his religion on, attacking Pence for “having a problem” with the gay mayor. So what did Pence do?

Well, it’s not exactly about Pence, it’s about Pence’s position on LGBTQ issues, but Mayor Pete made it about Pence personally.

“If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” he said at the Sunday luncheon. “And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me – your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

Pence doesn’t have a problem with you, it seems. From the Daily Caller:

Buttigieg and Pence shared a political relationship in Indiana for four years, with Buttigieg serving as the mayor of South Bend since 2012, and Pence serving as the governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017. Buttigieg, who came out as gay in 2015, never publicly expressed any concerns with how Pence treated him until he started running for president.

Pence is an evangelical Christian and thus does not support same-sex marriage, but there is no evidence he has ever discriminated against gay people. Nonetheless, political opponents have portrayed Pence as an anti-gay bigot eager to harm or destroy anyone whose lifestyle he does not support.

In 2015, Pence said “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot.”

What a hater.

Related:

How Pete Buttigieg Could Hurt Trump in the Rust Belt

Historical picture of the day:

Inventor R. Buckminster Fuller holds up a “Tensegrity” sphere in Philadelphia April 9, 1979, which he describes as a bundle of rods and cables that can be made into a giant sphere so light and strong it can support a floating space station a mile in diameter. The rods don’t touch each other but are held in place by tension on the cables. The integrity of the sphere is such that repairs of any section does not disturb the rest of the geodesic structure. (AP Photo/Bill Ingrahim)

Other morsels:

ISIS dude. Maryland Man Planned to Run Down Pedestrians at National Harbor, U.S. Says

Teen pleads guilty to plotting mall terror attack

Trump Org May Have Financial Link to Iranian Military Group Designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization

Scary. Hopes Raised During the Arab Spring Are Being Revived Across North Africa

At Long Last, a Glimpse of a Black Hole

Three U.S. Service Members, One Contractor Killed in Afghanistan in IED Attack

Sanders Urges National Right-to-Work Ban

Police arrest two over vandalism of African American monument in North Carolina

Here’s why the SPLC fired Morris Dees (Why wasn’t he fired decades ago?)

Trump moves to install loyalists

Trump calls Judiciary chairman ‘Fat Jerry’: report

Several agencies refusing to take part in Trump’s committee to reassess climate science: report

Why? Report: Meghan Markle’s Plans To Raise Child As Vegan, But The Queen Says Not Happening

Anonymous Chicago Prosecutor Allegedly Questions Foxx’s ‘Ethics’ For Dropping Smollett Charges

Sheriff Scott Israel Was Suspended — He’s Trying To Become Police Chief Somewhere Else

Booker to introduce reparations study bill in the Senate

German watchdog says Amazon cloud vulnerable to US snooping

Anti-vaxxers slammed for using Star of David to promote cause

Is he wrong? New Zealand pol calls Facebook execs ‘morally bankrupt pathological liars’

Pelosi Subtly Slams AOC: ‘We Have Large Numbers of Votes’ in the House Rather Than ‘Large Number of Twitter Followers’

State department bars 16 Saudis from US over Khashoggi murder

Poll shows Biden isn’t losing support from female Democrats

Yikes. New study finds some boys are having sex before age 13

Mar-a-Lago intruder had device used to detect hidden cameras in hotel room, feds say

South Florida businessman convicted in $1.3 billion Medicare and Medicaid scheme

LULZ. Iowa student asks Beto O’Rourke ‘Are you here to see Beto?’ during bathroom break

Oldest US reform school’s license revoked over abuse claims

White House cancels Major League Baseball’s Cuba deal

Nunes files $150M lawsuit against McClatchy, alleging conspiracy to derail Clinton, Russia probes

Miller is Jewish. Rep. Ilhan Omar calls Stephen Miller a ‘white nationalist’

Police won’t charge Australian teen or senator over egg spat

WOMP WOMP. House Intelligence chair throws cold water on Cohen’s bid for help delaying prison term

Clown. Eric Swalwell announces 2020 presidential bid

Virginia’s redemption tour is complete, wins its first NCAA men’s basketball national title

Waffle House good Samaritan shot to death paying for meals, handing out $20 bills

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!