Attorney General William “Bill” Barr has virtually brought the nation to the doorsteps of a constitutional crisis.
First, Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday in a less than truthful fashion. By definition less than honest manner is a “snitty” way of saying Barr lied to Congress.
Misleading testimony or false testimony before a congressional committee is some heady stuff, especially considering the fact the Judiciary Committee is the first committee established by the Congress. It was founded 103 years ago to serve as oversight of the executive branch of government.
Barr bobbed and weaved his way around questions about items in the Mueller report. He said Mueller did not seek to depose President Donald Trump.
Mueller explicitly stated the efforts his team undertook to get a sit-down interview with the President. All of those efforts failed. If Barr read this report, he would know that his averment was not truthful.
The entirety of the Attorney General’s testimony was an attempt to cover-up the obstruction of the President in the Mueller investigation. Additionally, Barr’s statement is an attempt to obstruct a congressional inquiry into the Mueller investigation.
Secondly, Barr’s refusal to honor a congressional subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee is a flagrant violation of the law and has the effect of bringing the House Judiciary Committee oversight into the Mueller investigation to a halt.
If Congress cannot compel witnesses to come before it and give testimony, Congress cannot perform its constitutional duties. Barr has drawn a line in the sand, testing whether the executive branch has more power than the legislative branch of government in spite of the constitutional dictates to the contrary.
Given the politicization of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, it is anybody’s guess if the balance of powers will long endure.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Medium, and Black College Nines. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org