Democrats to Bill Barr: Keep John Lewis’ Good Name Out of Your Mouth

Illustration for article titled Democrats to Bill Barr: Keep John Lewis’ Good Name Out of Your Mouth
Photo: CHIP SOMODEVILLA (Getty Images)

When Attorney General Evil Fred Flintstone, aka Bill Barr, agreed to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee, he knew he was going to face some fire. Evil John Goodman has been Trump’s body man since being appointed America’s top cop. He’s made no bones about pushing Trump’s agenda, including freeing Trump’s cronies from prison. In truth, Trump is just another loud voice without Bill Barr to swing the axe, so it was only fitting that a few Democrats had some harsh words for the jolly fat attorney general.

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Members of the committee wanted Barr to answer for the treatment of peaceful protesters who’ve been shown on the news and social media being beaten and pepper-sprayed by federal law enforcement in cities like Portland, Ore.

Barr was evasive and aloof during the majority of the hearing and smug when he wasn’t being an asshole.

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Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), wasn’t trying to hear Barr’s opening statement, which had a sentence of praise about the late great champion of civil rights, Rep. John Lewis.

Barr, in his opening testimony, called Lewis an “indomitable champion of civil rights and rule of law,” and highlighted his “unwavering commitment to nonviolence.”

“You started your testimony with eloquent words about the life and legacy of John Lewis fighting systematic racism,” Richmond said, CNN notes.

“When you all came here and brought your top staff, you brought no Black people,” the Louisiana Democrat pointed out. “That, sir, is systematic racism. That is exactly what John Lewis spent his life fighting.

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“And so I would just suggest that actions speak louder than words and you really should keep the name of the honorable John Lewis out of the Justice Department’s mouth,” (Bitch!) Richmond said.

Richmond didn’t call Trump’s hype man and his favorite attorney general a bitch, but you can’t argue that there wasn’t an implied bitch in that sentence.

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Richmond wasn’t the only Democrat who was tired of listening to the smug attorney general’s bullshit.

From Politico:

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Col.) asked Barr to affirm under oath an earlier statement that the White House was fully cooperative with Mueller’s investigation, Barr said he believed the statement to be true at the time. When he attempted to elaborate, Neguse cut him off. As Neguse sought to continue his questioning, Barr interjected: “You said under penalty of perjury, I’m going to answer the damn question.”

Neguse also pressed Barr on his statement about the removal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, last month. Barr said in a public statement at the time that Berman was “stepping down,” but Berman quickly issued a statement saying he had not relinquished his post and would ensure the cases he oversaw were continuing. Berman later resigned after an assurance that his trusted deputy, Audrey Strauss, would succeed him.

Asked about Barr’s initial false statement about Berman and whether he still stood by it, Barr said, “He may not have known it, but he was stepping down.”

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What the fuck does that even mean?

Barr sounds like a mafioso using coded language to describe a hit.

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The Dems weren’t done with Barr just yet.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) took the attorney general behind the woodshed and gave him the Joe Biden treatment after Barr kept trying to interrupt her. Jayapal wanted to know why Barr sent troops into Black Lives Matter protest but didn’t do shit when “armed militias swarmed government buildings in Michigan and elsewhere to demand the economy reopen during the coronavirus pandemic,” Rolling Stone notes.

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Jayapal wanted to know if Barr felt it was appropriate for federal officers to “tear gas, pepper spray, and beat protesters” in Lafayette Park, in Washington, D.C., so Trump could walk his orange ass to a church for a photo-op with a Bible he’s clearly never seen before. Barr did what he’d done during the entire hearing, which was to argue semantics instead of answering questions knowing that each congress member only had five minutes of questioning wanted to pontificate on whether tear gas was used.

“I don’t accept your characterization of what happened,” Barr said.

Barr tried to interrupt Jayapal—and why did he do that?

Jayapal then went full Bruce Banner on Barr.

“I’m starting to lose my temper,” she said, and yes the “bitch” is implied here too, Rolling Stone reports.

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After dragging Barr over Trump’s comments that he was going to “activate” the attorney general if Black Lives Matter demonstrators weren’t “dominated,” she wanted to know why the AG didn’t seem to care when armed white militiamen, some even wearing swastikas, Confederate flags, and hatred called for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to be lynched.

Barr had nothing.

“The point I’m trying to make,” Jayapal continued, “is that there is a real discrepancy between how you react as the attorney general. When white men with swastikas storm a government building with guns there is no need for the president to ‘activate’ you because they’re getting the president’s personal agenda done. But when black people and people of color protest police brutality, systemic racism, and the president’s very own lack of response to those critical issues, then you forcibly remove them with armed federal officers and pepper bombs, because they are considered terrorists by the president.

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“You are supposed to represent the people of the United States of America, not violate people’s First Amendment rights,” she concluded. “You are supposed to uphold democracy and secure equal justice under the law, not violently dismantle certain protesters based on the president’s personal agenda.”

Bitch!

You can watch the glorious takedown below:

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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DISCUSSION

detroitkidelo
kidelo is tired of voluntary ignorance

I was waiting for this!

I watched this whole hearing yesterday, and it’s worth seeking out. Every time Barr was questioned by a Representative that is a Black man, he was disrespectful. EVERY. TIME. He would interrupt. Argue back. Overtalk.

With the white Republicans, Barr was practically whispering his answers. With the women (Rep. Jayapal excepted) he was careful to be respectful. With the white Democrats he ranged from not paying attention to testy. But with the Black men? It was as if he was insulted that he had to lower himself to speak with them.

Here is Rep. Hank Johnson of GA questioning Barr: