You wouldn’t know it from the hysteria emanating from Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with William Barr–desperate presidential candidates competing for the most outlandish accusation; Sen. Hirono jumping more sharks than may exist in her native Hawaii–but the ship has already sailed on the Mueller/Russia probe. There’s no collusion and with that any sensible argument for obstruction.
We are already–if you paid attention to Barr’s testimony or even the story in general–well into Russia Probe II – The Predicate. And that investigation involves real, documented collusion with Russia (on the part of the Clinton campaign and who knows who else) augmented by pervasive media dishonesty. The investigation will attempt to determine, among other things, how this whole Trump/Russia conspiracy idea began and why a special counsel was appointed in the first place, considering it is now clear there was never anything there. Indeed the real question may be whether that was obvious from the beginning. It will also try to ascertain when and where the surveillance of American citizens began and whether this spying (somehow couldn’t come up with a better synonym for surveillance) was justifiable.
In other words, how did the USA drift into this totalitarian behavior? Who instigated this and how do we stop it from happening again? Serious punishments are probably necessary.
The Democrats prefer to forget or ignore that this second investigation–one that is likely to go on in one way or another until the 2020 election– is now under the supervision of the very William Barr, attorney general of the United States, i. e. the chief law enforcement official of our country. And he is not about to resign, despite the clamoring of an army of fatuous hypocrites. These apparently include the aforementioned Ms. Hirono and Joe Biden, the well-known plagiarist who stole his way through law school.
Nevertheless, irritating Mr. Barr, if you or your allies might be targets of this Russia Probe II, is, in the parlance, a dumb idea. In fact, you might even call it idiotic, in the realm of poking the tiger.
Yet the Democrats can’t resist. Perhaps they think to smear Barr sufficiently to defang whatever findings might be coming. Good luck to them. One thing we saw at the hearing is that he is quicker than they are and better prepared.
But have no fear. James Comey is here. Writing in Wednesday’s New York Times–a paper that still has a lot of explaining to do–the discredited (to put it mildly) former FBI director enlightens us on how fine public servants like Bill Barr go astray. Of course, it’s Trump, who is to blame. “He eats your soul in small bites,” Comey informs us.
Anything to deflect from the coming debacle. Mueller, Comey, and a host of others are afraid. They should be. America has a real attorney general.
What’s interesting, and somewhat disturbing, in all this is how well these people know each other. It’s quite incestuous. Mueller and Comey were buddies when Mueller was named special counsel after Comey was fired. Barr and Mueller have apparently known each other for thirty years.
So it was notable when Barr indicated in testimony Wednesday that when he phoned Mueller about the special counsel’s letter of complaint, he did so on a speaker with others around, taking notes. Apparently, Bill didn’t trust his old friend. Would you?
Roger L. Simon — co-founder and CEO emeritus — is a novelist and screenwriter. His new book — THE GOAT — will be published shortly.