Liberal Law Prof: In Contempt Charge Against Attorney General, House Democrats Hurting Themselves, Not Barr

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley is a liberal but has often been critical of the way Democrats have handled their attacks on all things Trump.

Now that House Democrats are holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt, Turley suggests this this reflects poorly on them, not Barr.

He writes at The Hill:

Democrats showing contempt by holding William Barr in contempt

The House Judiciary Committee is voting to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress and to secure a vote of the entire House of Representatives in order to send the matter to federal court.

The problem is that the contempt action against Barr is long on action and short on contempt. Indeed, with a superficial charge, the House could seriously undermine its credibility in the ongoing conflicts with the White House. Congress is right on a number of complaints against the White House, including possible cases of contempt, but this is not one of them.

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As someone who has represented the House of Representatives, my concern is that this one violates a legal version of the Hippocratic oath to “first do no harm.” This could do great harm, not to Barr, but to the House.

It is the weakest possible case to bring against the administration, and likely to be an example of a bad case making bad law for the House…

Democrats have struggled to focus attention on the summary Barr wrote rather than on the actual report. While Democrats claim the summary misrepresented the report, the report tracks the conclusions referenced in the letter Barr sent.

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Barr said Mueller did not find evidence of a crime linked to collusion or conspiracy with the Russians. That is true. He said Mueller did not reach a conclusion on obstruction. That is also true.

Another law professor, conservative William Jacobson of Cornell University, recently explained why Democrats are going after Barr.

From the Legal Insurrection blog:

Bill Barr is going to expose Spygate, and the Democrat-Media Russia Collusion Complex is panicking

Something has changed. Attorney General William Barr has become Public Enemy No. 1 for the Democrats and supportive mainstream media…

What is going on here? Why are they going after Barr with such ferocity?

It has nothing to do with the Mueller Report, or the four-page summary, or the timing of the release of the full report.

It was Barr’s comments about spying on the Trump campaign, and his pledge to investigate that spying, that explains the frenzy to take down Barr. That spying, regardless of whether lawful, has the potential to be a scandal that could touch deep into the Obama administration, and some former officials who loom large in the anti-Trump resistance.

It also could reach deep into the media, with the involvement of Fusion GPS in feeding Russian-provided, Clinton/DNC paid-for, disinformation to the mainstream journalist community.

That is spot on.


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