By Jon Dougherty
If ever there was a more classic example of a “talking point,” this is it.
Democrats, angry at the fact that they cannot control the agenda of the Justice Department or the Executive Branch, did not want Attorney General William Barr to even give a press conference Thursday in announcing the redacted release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s “Russia collusion” report.
As we reported, five House Democratic chairpersons put out a letter and demand that Barr refrain from talking to the American people about the report, what’s in it, what’s not in it, how decisions were made to redact it and why, and how best to release as much info as possible.
â€œHe should let the full report speak for itself,â€ the statement read.
â€œThe Attorney General should cancel the press conference and provide the full report to Congress, as we have requested,â€ the Democrats continued. â€œWith the Special Counselâ€™s fact-gathering work concluded, it is now Congressâ€™ responsibility to assess the findings and evidence and proceed accordingly.â€
Right. Except that Democrats are well aware that there is information contained in the report that could be embarrassing or damaging to people unconnected to the original purpose of the so-called ‘investigation’ who asked that their identities be protected, and to which Mueller agreed.
That and the fact that the law does not require that a single word of the report be made public.
In any event, Democrats — bereft of facts and out things to lie about regarding the president and Mother Russia — got together and came up with a word they would all use, like drones, to ‘refute’ the report: “Spin.”
AG Barr got up to talk about the Mueller report this morning but all he did was “spin” its contents.
â€œAG Barr has confirmed the staggering partisan effort by the Trump Admin to spin publicâ€™s view of the #MuellerReport â€” complete with acknowledgment that the Trump team received a sneak preview,â€ House SpeakerÂ Nancy Pelosi tweetedÂ after the news conference.
â€œItâ€™s more urgent than ever that Special Counsel Mueller testify before Congress,â€ Pelosi wrote.
Pennsylvania Sen.Â Bob CaseyÂ called it â€œa sad day for our countryâ€ that Barr â€œacts as a spin doctor,â€ and Oregon Sen.Â Jeff MerkleyÂ wrote that the news conference was â€œan embarrassment for our nation,â€ further contending that it was â€œmore political spin than legal briefing.â€
â€œThe American people have heard enough spin from the Attorney General and the administration,â€ wrote New Mexico Sen.Â Tom Udall. â€œItâ€™s time for AG Barr to release the full Mueller report and for Robert Mueller to testify publicly.â€
Maryland Sen.Â Ben CardinÂ reiterated Udallâ€™s call to release the full report stating that â€œwe donâ€™t need more spin from AG Barr,â€ and Connecticut Sen.Â Chris MurphyÂ referred to the news conference as â€œa blatant attempt to spin a report.â€
New Jersey Sen.Â Bob MenendezÂ accused the AG of â€œacting as an agent for Trump and spinning the report in the Presidentâ€™s favor.â€
Maryland Sen.Â Chris Van HollenÂ accused the attorney general of caring â€œmore about defending Trump than the United Statesâ€ after calling the news conference â€œquite a spin job.â€
â€œCongress should get the full, unredacted Mueller report,â€ New York Sen.Â Kirsten GillibrandÂ tweeted. â€œThe American people have the right to know the facts â€” without the spin.â€
California Sen.Â Kamala HarrisÂ called the news conference â€œa stunt, filled with political spin and propagandaâ€ and claimed Barr is â€œacting more like Trumpâ€™s defense attorney than the nationâ€™s Attorney General.â€
To that point, let’s never forget it was Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder, who claimed on more than one occasion he was his president boss’ “wingman.” Doesn’t get more personal than that.
Interesting, isn’t it, how the Democrats claim AG Barr is ‘spinning’ Mueller’s report — while collectivelyÂ spinning Barr’s response.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10