The Corner

Politics & Policy

Barr Wins the Day

Attorney General William Barr appears before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, July 28, 2020. (Matt McClain/Pool via Reuters)

The Barr hearing wasn’t very edifying, in large part because Democrats were utterly committed to keeping him from saying anything. One of them would make a sermonette, pause to ask Barr a hostile question, and then angrily interrupt him when he started to answer, accusing him of taking up valuable time. Then, the sermonette would start up again.

One thing was definitely established, though — Democrats fervently believe that federal officers are attacking peaceful protesters in Portland.

Here is a typical riff from Representative Pramila Jayapal complaining that federal officers weren’t called in to crack down on anti-Whitmer protesters in Michigan:

Jayapal paints a highly misleading picture of the Michigan protesters, but, whatever you think of them, they weren’t attacking federal property or federal officers — the rioters in Portland are.

In general, Barr is an excellent witness. He’s sober, usually doesn’t let his irritation show (although he will spin his pen faster), never says more than he has to, and knows more than anyone else in the room.

It’s a tribute to how good he is that Democrats were desperate never to get caught up in a genuine back-and-forth with him.

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