My Exclusive, Can’t-Find-It-Anywhere-Else Parsing and Analysis of Barr on CBS
May 31, 2019
RUSH: Okay, Bill Barr. Bill Barr in Alaska dressed appropriately. He’s got on one of these, you know, checkered shirts sitting in front of a fire. It looks like men’s GQ. If you’re gonna go to Alaska and you weigh what Barr weighs, it’s the way you would dress. It looks very fashionable, got on one of these vests, probably wearing khakis, maybe hip waders that you can’t see, whatever, probably having dinner with Sarah Palin. They don’t say that.
Their one question, Jan Crawford is the infobabe here, and the big question was not asked, just to tell you up front. She didn’t ask about the variance in his statement and Mueller’s statement about the Office of Legal Counsel saying you cannot indict a sitting president. Barr has said we asked him three times if that was a factor. He said no.
Mueller goes out, said it’s the only factor I had. She did not ask about that. So that answer from Barr is not here. The first question that we have, “Do you agree with the interpretation that the Office of Legal Counsel, legal opinion prevented Mueller from making a conclusion on obstruction?”
BARR: I personally felt he could have reached a decision.
CRAWFORD: In your view he could have reached a conclusion?
BARR: Right, he could have reached a conclusion.
CRAWFORD: Well, and he seemed to suggest yesterday that there was another venue for this, and that was Congress.
BARR: Well, I’m not sure what he was suggesting. But, you know, the Department of Justice doesn’t use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to Congress.
RUSH: Aw, this is just — folks, savor this. This is just delicious. This is called sharp knife dissects Mueller, but in one of the most nonconfrontational, unthreatening ways. It’s done so artfully that I don’t think the left knows what is happening here. One of the things about Barr that you’ll hear as we go through this, how relaxed, unagitated, how level, straight line, laid back he is.
He speaks in a very quiet yet strongly modulated, measured way. As I say, sitting in front of a fire wearing the kind of stuff you’d be wearing if you’re out doing the stuff you’d do in Alaska. He’s polite; he’s nice; he listens to the female reporter and her questions. He appears truly interested in helping her understand. He appears genuinely interested in answering her questions. He seems dedicated to the premise that she is going to get the answers to the questions that she is asking.
It’s hard, if you watch this, or listen to this, it’s hard to find anything mean. You can’t find anything malicious about Barr. You don’t see some doddering old fool wiping his nose trying to make sure the snot doesn’t leak down on the shirt. You’re not seeing anything at all other than total composure. But there’s nothing scary about it. This is a very important fact.
It is another reason that the Drive-Bys are ignoring this. CNN, nobody’s airing this because Barr cannot be demonized. There isn’t anything scary about this guy. And that’s why they are ignoring Barr here and probably any other public appearances he would make other than with bombshell news. But this is one guy that they cannot frame as a scary, mean, radical, racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe Republican.
Now, this answer — she was so shocked, she asked the question twice. Barr: “I personally felt he could have reached a decision.” “In your view he could have reached a decision?” “Right. He could have reached a conclusion.” “Well, he seemed to suggest that there was another venue for this, and that was Congress.” “Well, I’m not sure what he was suggesting.”
Meaning, “I don’t know what he was trying to do, but I’m just gonna tell you, that the Department of Justice does not transfer our powers to Congress.” (making buzzer sound) Yo time is up. So if that’s what you think he’s doing, we aren’t. The DOJ doesn’t say, “Hey, Congress, take care of this.”
Look. What is obvious as the day is long, Mueller is purely, totally political. This entire investigation has been political. It’s been political since it began. It has had a political objective, not legal, not criminal. It is had a political objective of getting rid of the president of the United States. I said this yesterday in a very, very expressive audio sound bite which Fox News has been playing for people all day and asking them to react to it. One of those people was Devin Nunes.
Devin Nunes was asked – we don’t have time to squeeze it in. I’ll do it after the break. Do we have time for this? No, we don’t. That’s my fault. I spent too much time analyzing this answer. But I’ll tell you what the next question coming up is. She then says, “Well, he said that he couldn’t exonerate the president, that if he could have, he would have stated so. You looked at the evidence, you looked at the same evidence, and you did exonerate the president. I mean, what’s the fundamental difference between your view and his?”
And Barr has one of these very measured, quiet, comforting answers that is nonthreatening in any way. And we’ll have that coming up plus the Bill Hemmer sound bite of me and asking for Devin Nunes’ reaction to it with this whole thing. It’s obvious to me and everybody else this has all been political, but it’s great to see that affirmed.
RUSH: Welcome back. El Rushbo with half my brain tied behind my back to make it fair, sustainable, and equitable at all times. Audio sound bite number 25. This is Bill Hemmer this morning on the Fox News Channel. His guest is Devin Nunes.
HEMMER: Now, Rush Limbaugh has a few opinions on this. Just roll this real fast, guys. This is from yesterday.
RUSH ARCHIVE: This has always been a political effort to destroy Trump before the election and after, during the transition and after his inauguration. It has always been that. It has always been telegraphed. It’s always been there for all of us to see.
HEMMER: If Limbaugh’s right, what do House Democrats do, then, sir?
NUNES: Well, I think Rush Limbaugh is right, and I was thinking about this this morning. Looking at the times that the Steele dossier… So this is the dirt that the Democrats had paid for. They began receiving that information in June of 2016, long before the election and really a long time before they briefed the president — the new president, Trump — on this in January of ’17. It just stinks. It really stinks. I think the American people know it.
RUSH: It has been… There’s no question it’s been political, ’cause there’s never been a crime. There has not been a crime. They never had any evidence of a crime that would support the investigation. And just to remind you: When Mueller was finally chosen to be the special counsel, he was not given a crime. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, did not give him a crime. It became a counterintelligence investigation to find out if the Russians had attempted to interfere, which they already said they knew!
Anyway, no evidence. It’s always been political. Now, back to the Barr interview. Again, the question from Jan Crawford: “Mueller said that he could not exonerate the president, that if he could have, he would have. You looked at the evidence, and you did exonerate the president. I mean, what’s the fundamental difference between your view and Mueller’s?”
BARR: Well, I think Bob said that he was not going to engage in the analysis. He was not going to make the determination one way or another. He analyzed the law and the facts. And a group of us spent a lot of time doing that and determined that both as a matter of law many of the instances would not amount to obstruction.
CRAWFORD: As a matter of law?
BARR: As a matter of law. In other words, we didn’t agree with the legal analysis, a lot of the legal analysis in the report. It did not reflect the views of the department. It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers, and so we applied what we thought was the right law.
RUSH: Folks, do you know how big this is? There’s another reason why nobody is airing this. It’s because nobody wants legal analysts on to explain what Barr is saying here. So allow me. “So Mueller said he couldn’t exonerate, but you did. So what’s the difference between your view and his?” And Barr said, “Well, Bob said that he wasn’t going to engage in an analysis. All Bob said was that if we could have, we would have.” Barr knows that’s not how American jurisprudence happens. “Bob…” Mueller. “Bob said he wasn’t gonna make a determination one way or the other. But we had to.
“He turned it over to us. So we,” meaning a group of us. Not just me, a group of us, “analyzed the law and the facts, and a group of us spent a lot of time doing that, and we determined that as a matter of law, many of these 11 instances that Mueller cites would not amount to obstruction.” She says, “As a matter of law?” ’cause she’s thinking, “What’s law got to do with? This is a political thing!” She knows it. Everybody knows it, and just doesn’t want to admit it. And Barr says, “As a matter of law. In other words, we didn’t agree with the legal analysis in the report.”
He’s not talking about what was factually presented in the report. He’s talking about one or two lawyers on Mueller’s team and their analysis, and they said, “We disagree. We looked at the law We looked at their opinion, and their opinion is wrong based on the law.” Now, he’s talking about Weissmann here! “As a matter of law.” “In other words, we didn’t agree with the legal analysis, a lot of the legal analysis in the report.
“It didn’t reflect the views of the department, which is concerned with the law. It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers and so we applied what we thought was the right law.” Well, this… I say it’s Weissmann. Who else would it be? I mean, there’s thirteen anti-Trump lawyers on Mueller’s investigative team, and what he’s saying here is that the legal analysis — meaning what the lawyers, what Mueller’s team thought — is not what they thought. They did an analysis of the law.
These other people are doing their analysis on some flawed basis that Barr and his DOJ people disagreed with. So they applied the law. The Mueller team was not. That explains the difference. Got one or two lawyers on that team. And notice he didn’t say Mueller. He said, “It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers.” He knows it’s Weissmann. He knows that this team was really run by Andrew Weissmann (who was on stage with Hillary when she conceded, a big-time donor) who hates Donald Trump.
He knows Weissmann’s judicial history. He knows that Weissmann’s purely political, and that’s what he’s saying without saying it. They don’t want anybody like me in analyzing this. That’s why they’re not gonna play this bite on CNN, they’re not gonna play this bite on MSNBC, and they’re not gonna do it the New York Times. They don’t want anybody explaining what Barr’s talking about here.
They want Mueller to remain as the first and final authority on the law. And what Barr is saying is, “These guys didn’t even apply the law. I had to. That’s why there was no obstruction.” Next question. “You’ve testified you believe that spying occurred in the Trump campaign. You’ve gotten some criticism for using the word ‘spying.'”
BARR: Yeah. I mean, I guess it’s become a dirty word somehow. It has never been for me. I think there’s nothing wrong with spying. The question is always whether it’s authorized by law and properly predicated. And if it is, then it’s an important tool the United States has to protect the country.
CRAWFORD: Some former intelligence chiefs have said the president has made that word somewhat pejorative — uh, that there’s spying, this is a witch hunt, it’s a hoax — and so your use of that word makes it seem that you’re being a loyalist.
BARR: You know, it’s part of the craziness of the modern-day that if a president uses a word, then all of a sudden it becomes off bounds. It’s a perfectly good English word. I’ll continue to use it.
RUSH: It’s exactly right! He’s being told that he needs to conform to the conventional wisdom of the establishment, and that is, “If Trump’s talking about it, you have got to disagree with it. All the smart people, Mr. Attorney General, disagree with it. Trump’s talking about spying and witch hunt. You sound like you’re supporting the president!” Barr has gone farther than that, by the way. Barr has said on previous occasions that the craziness of this and the abnormality of this is this stupid investigation!
This whole two years/three years, the abnormality here is the investigation, and Trump is entirely reasonable in the way he’s reacted to it. As a president, he’s sitting here. He didn’t do it, as this two-year report says, and yet he has to listen to all of these endless allegations. One more before we go to the break. This is a big one too. Jan Crawford says, “Well, what have you seen?” meaning in his investigation of the investigation. “What evidence? What makes you think that you need to take a look at this?”
BARR: Like many other people who are familiar with intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions about what was going on. I assumed I’d get answers when I went in and I have not gotten answers that are at all satisfactory, and in fact have probably more questions, and that some of the facts that I’ve learned don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened.
CRAWFORD: What do you mean by that?
BARR: That’s all I really will say. Things are just not jiving.
RUSH: That means people are telling different stories. That means they have not got their stories straight. The perps are not coordinated. That’s what “they don’t hang together” means. It means, “I’m talking to this perp, and he’s saying one thing. I’m talking to that perp, he’s saying another, and they don’t jive. The answers I’ve gotten are not satisfactory.”
From this we can assume the investigation’s ongoing and there is fruit to be found and that they are in the process of finding it. “I’ve learned the facts don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened,” meaning what’s officially out there, I can’t find anybody who’s telling me this. “What do you mean by that?” “Well, that’s all I’m gonna say. Things are just not jiving.”
By the way, I think it is McCabe. I told you the other day that these guys are running for the hills now, and I think Mueller’s press conference was him getting out of Dodge and Comey and his op-eds and all that. I think it’s McCabe who is now beginning to walk back his belief that Trump is a Russian agent.
McCabe’s been selling this book out there, McCabe’s been running around appearing on places like CNN where the New York Times will not allow their reporters to appear anymore ’cause they’re too biased — ha-ha. And even as recently as three weeks ago, McCabe was insisting (imitating McCabe), “I still do, yes, I do, I do, I believe Trump is a Russian agent. I really I think it’s quite likely.” He’s backing off of that now that Bill Barr’s investigation has begun.
You stop and think about that. You know, “I’m gonna walk that back.” You don’t just get to walk that back. You’re out there, you’re on this investigation team, you’ve been fired, you are conducting this, you’re one of the head honchos, and you’re out on television saying the president of the United States is a Russian agent, and now you think you’re just gonna start walking that back? You don’t get to just walk it back as though, “Well, I guess I was misinformed. I guess I was wrong. Well, I guess I was misunderstood, whatever.” So just be patient here, folks. It sounds like things are headed in the right direction.
RUSH: I’ve still got some more Barr sound bites, then go back to the phones. I’ve just got this — oh. It was McCabe. It was McCabe who said after Mueller’s press conference he’s now deciding to walk back his idea that Trump was a Russian agent. Oh, really? After Mueller’s press conference, McCabe says that he has changed his mind on the matter. “I think the report makes clear they didn’t uncover evidence of that sort of relationship.”
Well, that’s been out there for three weeks, McCabe. What did Mueller say that — what did you think, that Mueller was gonna divulge — these clowns actually must have thought that Mueller was gonna go out there and add to the report! These idiots! They must literally believe that Mueller held something back or that Barr was covering — I’ll tell you, this hatred that they’ve got for this guy has poisoned people. It has poisoned their brains. I’m not exaggerating here.
The report’s been out for three weeks, but it was only after Mueller’s presser on Wednesday that McCabe, “Well, after that I I’m changing my mind. I guess there isn’t any evidence that Trump is a Russian agent.” Well, Mueller was gonna say that?
RUSH: Hey, folks, welcome back. I’ve got a good one-sentence analogy of the Mueller report, the investigation and all that on Trump. Are you ready? This is Mueller. This is Pelosi. This is the Democrats, whoever you want to say. “While we recognize the president did not actually collude with Russia or obstruct justice, he is nevertheless guilty of trying to avoid being impeached.”
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: There’s another way you could put it. The Wyoming analysis. “While we recognize the subject did not actually steal any horses, he’s obviously guilty of trying to resist being hanged for it.” “While we realize the president did not collude with Russia or obstruct justice, he is nevertheless guilty of trying to avoid being run out of office.”
RUSH: Now, back to the William Barr interview. I left off with Barr pointing out to Jan Crawford at CBS that things are not hanging together. He’s not getting the same story from all of these coup conspirators. (My words, not his.) He’s saying the stories are not hanging together. That means different people are telling them different things, and what they are telling him — the things they are saying to him — are different from the official explanations of what happened.
That’s the big take-away. He said, “I’ve learned some of these facts I’ve been told don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened.” Now, we don’t know what those official explanations are because we don’t know what he’s investigated, who he’s talked to, and what they’ve told him. But he’s talked to enough people that have…
There is an official explanation for when this investigation began. There’s an official explanation for why. There’s an official explanation of who did it, what was thought to have happened. And what he’s saying is, “The various answers do not comport with the official explanations. I’m getting a raft of different reasons for this thing having happened.” And she said, “What do you mean by that?” “Well, that’s all I’m gonna say. Things are just not jiving.”
It’s very simple: The perps have not got their story straight. Some of them are running for the tall grass. Some of them are running for cover. Obviously, self-preservation has taken over here. They’re not hanging together. Clapper, Brennan, Comey, whoever he’s talked to. Strzok Smirk, Page, McCabe, Bruce and Nellie Ohr, James Baker.
All these people are obviously telling him different things, and maybe their underlings as well. So let’s move on to the next question. Jan Crawford said, “When you came into this job, you had a good reputation on the right and on the left. You were a guy with a good reputation. You’re now somebody who is accused of protecting the president, enabling the president, lying to Congress. Did you expect that to happen coming in?”
BARR: Going away, I did expect it —
CRAWFORD: You did!
BARR: — because I realize we live in a crazy, hyperpartisan period of time. And I knew that it would only be a matter of time — if I was behaving responsibly and calling ’em as I see ’em — that I’d be attacked. Because nowadays, people don’t care about the merits or the substance. That’s one of the reasons that I ultimately was persuaded that maybe I should take it on, because I think at my stage in life, it really doesn’t make any difference.
CRAWFORD: You’re at the end of your career, or…?
BARR: I’m at the end of my career. I’ve… You know, I’ve —
CRAWFORD: Yeah, is it…? But… I mean, it’s a reputation that you worked your whole life on, though.
BARR: Yeah, but everyone dies and I’m not… You know, I don’t believe in the Homeric idea that, you know, immortality comes by, you know, having odes sung about you (chuckles) over the centuries, you know.
RUSH: Okay, now, folks, this is really, really telling, and I think there’s actually a very great life lesson in this answer. The more I hear of Barr, the more I understand why nobody in the Drive-By Media is airing any of the excerpts of this interview. This answer is mind-blowing. The question comes from the standard desire in Washington, and that is to have this impeccable reputation — to be seen as great, honorable, filled with integrity, unchallengeable and all that. She’s basically saying, “You’ve lost that now, because you’ve chosen to work with Trump, and now you’re not an honest guy!”
And he says, “You know what? I knew that, and that’s why I took the job. One of the reasons I was persuaded that maybe I should take this job, is I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. The only thing that matters to me is the integrity of the system of justice in this country. That’s what matters: The integrity of the Department of Justice. That’s what I have purview over. I’m not worried about me. I’ve lived most of my life, and I’m gonna die like we all are gonna die, and so all I’m faced with right now… I don’t have to worry about what people think of me.
“All I need to worry about is the right thing as I see it,” as he sees it. Now, everybody has different definitions of what, quote, “the right thing to do” is. It depends on the circumstances that you’re in, the business that you’re in or whatever it is you’re doing. There’s no universal and one right way to do things. But in his world, he’s telling her, “I don’t have anything to prove to anybody anymore. If they want to destroy my reputation, go ahead and let them.
“There’s something bigger than that at stake here, and I’m not gonna let these specious little concerns about what people ultimately say about me when I’m dead dictate the way I live.” As, as you well know if you’re a regular listener, that, to me, is a huge and important life lesson. So she’s saying, “You’re at the end of your career?” “I am at the end my career. Everybody dies. I don’t believe in this Homeric idea…” By the way, Homer, he’s talking about a classic here.
“I don’t believe in this Homeric idea that immortality comes by having odes sung about you over the centuries.” He’s basically saying, “I don’t care what this town says or thinks ’cause that doesn’t matter in the end. I took this job knowing exactly what was gonna happen, and I took this job because things are not right here. Things are really out of whack.” He’s not saying this. I’m telling you. This is my interpretation. I’m gonna be up front. This is my interpretation.
“I knew I’m gonna get beat up, I knew I’m gonna get castigated, but what I really care about is being destroyed, and I want to try to fix it. And they can say about me what they want because I knew that that was gonna happen.” But in Washington, what they say about you? Oh, that’s all that matters. That dictates how you live. That dictates what you say. It dictates what you tell people you think. So she’s kind of surprised. (sputtering) “Well, your career’s almost over? You… you…” She was having a tough time relating, as anybody in Washington would.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, hey, folks, no question in my mind that Jan Crawford was hoping to intimidate Barr, that he was at risk of losing his legacy if he did anything to help Trump. I mean, that’s what she was trying to tell him. (Crawford impression) “Do you realize what you’re doing? You’re at the risk of losing everything by defending this reprobate!” She didn’t call him a reprobate, but I know what’s in their minds.
This concern for legacy, that’s what happens to people like John Roberts. John Roberts is confronted with an unconstitutional piece of legislation called Obamacare. He’s worried about his legacy. (imitating Roberts) “Oh, my God. I can’t be the chief justice that says the primary signature legislation of first black president is unconstitutional.” He rewrites it to make it legal. That’s what pursuing legacy does for you. It really is no more complicated than that.
Chief justice of United States has got health care, it’s unconstitutional, but it’s Obama’s, first African-American president. “I can’t declare this unconstitutional. What will this do to my legacy? I don’t want to be in the history books as the modern-day Roger Taney. I don’t want to be the guy that said the first black president’s health care bill is illegal.” So he rewrites it.
But Barr is saying, “It doesn’t matter to me, my legacy is not in terms of having this be done right.”