Published in Salon
on Wednesday, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, with an assist from an anonymous leaker, successfully proved that Donald Trump’s recently appointed attorney general-cum-cover-up artist, William Barr, is a liar.
Twice, in testimony earlier this month to Congress, Barr played dumb regarding special counsel Robert Mueller’s opinions about how Barr handled Mueller’s report into Trump’s connections to Russian efforts to undermine democracy. First, Barr told Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., that he was unaware of Mueller’s opinion of Barr’s declaration that Trump had not obstructed justice. The second came when Barr told Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., that he had no knowledge of the Mueller team’s frustrations with his efforts to spin the contents of the report before it was released.
A letter leaked to the press Tuesday night exposed these comments as lies. It turns out that Barr had received two letters and one phone call from Mueller complaining about Barr’s spinning. Most observers assume that a particular stress point was Barr’s denial that any obstruction had occurred when the Mueller report lays out 10 separate incidents that any fool could see constitute obstruction of justice.
This has all understandably led to calls for Barr’s resignation. But soon, the p-word — perjury — started getting tossed around, leading to the hope among many liberals that Barr could face stiffer consequences than being forced out of office and publicly outed as a lying scumbag. Perjury could mean disbarment. Perjury could mean jail.