Barr Refuses to Say If Trump Has Asked Him to Investigate Anyone

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

The Republican-controlled Senate might not be allowing their committee counsel to question Attorney General William Barr, but they can’t stop the next best thing: having former prosecutor Kamala Harris question him. Maggie Haberman of the New York Times provides the play-by-play:

Harris now asks Barr whether the president or anyone else has suggested that the Justice Department open an investigation into someone.

Barr is hedging. “They have not asked me to open an investigation, but…”

“Hinted?” Harris says. “Inferred?” She, then, moves on.

We all know the answer. Barr just can’t figure out a way to deny it entirely in a way that doesn’t quite constitute perjury. But I wonder why Harris didn’t press him further?

UPDATE: This post originally included a tweet that summarized the exchange between Harris and Barr. However, it’s been deleted, presumably because it wasn’t completely accurate. I’ve replaced it with Haberman’s account.

UPDATE 2: Here’s the full exchange:


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend