December 13, 2019

The DOJ's Inspector General's report came out on the origins of the Mueller report. Led by IG Michael Horowitz, the report's findings concluded that the investigation into Russia's interference in our 2016 elections WAS justified, and not predicated on political bias. This made Republicans SAD, so the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings to try to discredit the Mueller report ANYWAY.

Republicans forgot they had people like Senator Kamala Harris on the opposing team, and she subjected them to her lethal witness-questioning, all designed to tie the GOP into knots, paint them into corners. Sen. Harris took the opportunity to go after Bill Barr's slavish and completely improper devotion to Trump, Rudy Giuliani's despicable and illegal activity as Trump's personal lawyer, and even got the Inspector General to come out in favor of legislation that would change the law to give the IG even MORE power to investigate the Attorney General.

Probably not exactly what the Senate Republicans were hoping for.

After establishing that FBI director Christopher Wray fully accepts the IG Report, including the findings that mistakes were made in the investigation and procedures need changing, Sen. Harris moved on to ask Horowitz about AG Barr's criticism and dismissal of the report.

SEN. HARRIS: On the other hand, Attorney General Barr has been highly critical of your findings. During the final stages of your investigation, he even embarked on his own personal investigation by meeting with foreign leaders in foreign lands. Apparently, in search of evidence that contradicts the fact that Russia interfered in the 2016 United States presidential election to benefit Trump. Clearly, Barr's investigation, which was launched to do the bidding of President Trump, has two objectives. One, to undermine the integrity of our intelligence community. The goal, to cast doubt on the finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in order to benefit the Trump campaign. And, two, to intimidate the men and women of our intelligence community by suggesting that our national security professionals will face serious consequences if they investigate wrongdoing on the part of this president or his operatives. So, General Horowitz, I appreciate your extensive work and the work that your office has devoted to this investigation. But, in addition, you have the power and the duty to investigate misconduct committed by the attorney general of the United States, who is doing the bidding of the president to undermine our intelligence community. And I trust you take that duty seriously.

Whoa. Here is the best questioner on the committee nailing Bill Barr to the wall in absentia, backing the IG into a corner, and demanding he investigate the Attorney General. Then she gets him to admit under oath that he does have the power to investigate, but not to initiate an investigation. She asks if he would support changing the law to give the Inspector General that power, and he said, "Absolutely, 100%."

With that out of the way, Sen. Harris moved onto Rudy Colludy.

SEN. HARRIS: So it was recently reported that the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, asked Ukrainians to help search for dirt on the -- of the political rivals of the president. In exchange for the help, Giuliani offered to help fix criminal cases against them at DOJ. Giuliani and his associates, two of whom have been indicted and are now in federal custody, allegedly reached out to a Ukrainian energy tycoon, who faced legal problems in America. In exchange for helping find dirt on the president's political rivals, Giuliani's associates reportedly connected the Ukrainian with lawyers who could get a top-level meeting at the United States Department of Justice. In essence, Giuliani's scheme was an attempt to trade get-out-of-jail-free cards for political favors. As part of Giuliani's plan, Attorney General Barr met with the Ukrainians' lawyers, who asked that the Department of Justice withdrawal evidence in the tycoon's bribery prosecution. Earlier today, you said you are not investigating matters related to ongoing Ukraine issues. Does that mean that you have decided not to investigate these incidents?

Well, then.

Shorter version: Sen. Harris: "Rudy Giuliani is a criminal colluding with the Department of Justice. Are you gonna do your job and investigate this sh*t?"

IG Horowitz stammered a bit, mentioning fellow IGs with whom he'd been in touch, and that he's waiting to take cues from them, and from any matters that arise from the impeachment proceedings. He also mentioned his uncertainty about the lines drawn around his jurisdiction when it comes to initiating his own investigation, but basically, Sen. Harris extracted from him an admission that he thought Giuliani's actions were extremely alarming. She also got him to admit that an attorney general who acted solely for the benefit of the president, and not on behalf of the American people was highly problematic.

She finished with her signature rallying cry on behalf of the principle of equal justice under the law. Something for which she has always fought, and the thing that makes her questioning of witnesses so powerful. Enjoy the (nearly) full clip of her questioning above.

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