The Final Round

CHAIRMAN GRAHAM: Mr. Attorney General, we are going to wrap up here with a quick lightening-round of very short follow-up questions. You, sir, have been extremely forthcoming and direct and we so appreciate that. So, I guess no one on our side is going to take any more time, because you have addressed our most important question – when do the new investigations of Hillary and on the FBI spying on the President begin? And we liked the answers – which is, of course, that they’ve already started under Mr. Whitaker. And we thank him for his service. Now, to my Democratic colleagues. Just make this quick. We have taken a lot of Mr. Barr’s time, and he has not been to a steakhouse even once so far today. We apologize for that, Mr. Attorney General.

MR. BARR: We had a porterhouse delivered from Bobby Van’s for my lunch, so I’m fine.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You are a good sport, sir. (TURNS TO) Mr. Leahy.

MR. LEAHY: Yes, Mr. Barr, it seems to me that you’ve been buying time when answering our questions.

MR. BARR: Um, I’m sorry. Could you repeat the question?

MR. LEAHY: That was not a question.

MR. BARR: But I distinctly heard the word “question.”  Or maybe it was “questions.”

MR. LEAHY: It was “questions.”

MR. BARR: Which would be the plural. Could you repeat the questions?

MR LEAHY: There was no question.

MR. BARR: See, now this time I heard, “question.”  Singular. Not the plural, “questions.”  As a lawyer, I am used to precision in the use of language.  And now I’m hopelessly confused.

MR. CHAIRMAN:  Mr. Durbin.

MR. DURBIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Barr. You said earlier that the President can stop any investigation of himself that he deems inappropriate.

MR. BARR:  Could you repeat the question?

MR. DURBIN: No! You’ve been doing this all day!  You heard the question.

MR. CHAIRMAN: (HITS GAVEL) Mr. Durbin!  This is the kind of harassment that is not becoming of the United States Senate or of this committee.  I myself did not hear the question.  

MR. DURBIN: That’s because you weren’t listening. I saw you over there chatting with Senator Cornyn and smirking.

MR. CHAIRMAN: That is a pejorative, Mr. Durbin. And the use of pejoratives like “smirking” might be hunky dory in a corrupt city like Chicago. But I will not tolerate it. We will move to Mr. Whitehouse.

MR. WHITEHOUSE: Mr. Chairman, I think Senator Durbin has the right to ask his question.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Whitehouse, you can waste all your time arguing for Mr. Durbin.  Or you can ask a question.

MR. WHITEHOUSE: Very well. Mr. Barr.  I want to revisit your conversation with the Special Counsel.

MR. BARR: I’ve had many conversations with Mr. Mueller over the years. You’ll have to be more specific.

MR. WHITEHOUSE: You know the one I’m talking about.


MR. WHITHOUSE: Yes!  The one after he wrote the letter!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Ms. Klobuchar.

MS. KLOBUCHAR: You know, I don’t know what you’re trying to pull off here.  I’ve dealt with recalcitrant witnesses like you.  I used to be a prosecutor. I don’t know if your aware of that.  But I think it —

MR. BARR: I’m just trying to parse the word “aware.”


MR. BARR: You asked if I was aware that you were a prosecutor.

MS. KLOBUCHAR: That was not a question!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Give the witness a chance to answer. 


MR. CHAIRMAN: In my committee, if you ask a question, you have to give the witness the time to answer.

MS. KLOBUCHAR:  Uh, okay…(TO BARR)…well? 

MR. BARR: Could you repeat the question?

MS. KLOBUCHAR: I guess the question was whether you were aware that I was a prosecutor. 

MR. BARR: I believe there was more to it than that.

MS. KLOBUCHAR: Uh. Yes, I stated that I’m used to dealing with difficult witnesses like you because I was a prosecutor.

MR. BARR: I believe you used a different word than “difficult.”

MS. KLOBUCHAR: Uh…okay. Oh God, what was it?

MR. COONS: Uncooperative?


MR. CRUZ: Obdurate?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Jesus, Ted!

MR. WHITEHOUSE: Obstreperous?

MS. KLOBUCHAR: No, but that’s a good one.

MR. CRUZ: Oh, like “obdurate” wasn’t?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Shut up, Ted! I think it was “recalcitrant.”


MS. KLOBUCHAR: OK, Mr. Barr, the question was “Are you aware…??

MR. CHAIRMAN:  I’m sorry your time has expired. Mr. Coons.

MR. COONS: I actually thought obdurate was pretty good.

MR. CRUZ: Well, I certainly appreciate the courtesy of my friend from Delaware. That’s a Yale Law School education right there.  Dare I say New Haven?

EVERYONE: Shut up, Ted.

MR. COONS: Is that coming out of my time?

MR. BARR: I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?

MR. COONS: (STARES) I asked the chairman if that was going to come out of my time.

MR. BARR: I really don’t think that’s a question for me to answer.

MR. COONS:  It wasn’t!

MR. BARR: So, I would suggest that you address that question to the chairman.

MR. COONS: I did!

MR. BARR: I have no problem with that.

MR. COONS: Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Senator Coons.

MR. COONS: Did my exchange with Senator Cruz come out of my time.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Of course not.

MR. COONS: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: But your exchange with the witness just there did. And you’re out of time.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Actually, you went over your time. And I’m taking it out of Senator Blumenthal’s time.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Senator Hirono.

MS. HIRONO: You know what? I have no questions. You, Mr. Barr, are a disgrace to the legal profession, the Department of Justice, and the men and women who fought for our freedom to live under a system of laws. You are a shill for a corrupt, venal, stupid…

MR. CRUZ: Obdurate.


MS. HIRONO: I guess my only question for you, Mr. Barr, is how do you sleep at night?

MR. BARR: I eat a twenty-four-ounce Wagyu filet at around 9:30 and I’m usually out like a light by ten.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Booker.

MR. BOOKER: I want to turn your attention to page 117 of volume two of the Mueller Report.

MR. BARR: Just a moment, Senator.


MR. BARR:  Page 17?

MR. BOOKER: 117.

MR. BARR: Ah. See, I thought you said 17.

MR. BOOKER: I said 117.

MR. BARR:  Page 117…wait a minute.  I’m close, I’m close.  Wait, wait, Aaaaaaaand… I have it!  Page 117.

MR. BOOKER: Okay, it says…if you go about two thirds of the way down the page.

MR. BARR: Two-thirds?

MR. BOOKER: Uh huh. The paragraph that starts with…”The President ordered the White House Counsel…”

MR. BARR: Ummm…hmmm.   Do not see it.

MR. BOOKER: It’s about two-thirds down, after the paragraph that starts with, “Mr. McGahn chose not to order Mr. Rosenstein to fire the Special Counsel.”  Do you see that?

MR. BARR: Ummmmm…(SIGH)…page 117?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Please do not scream at the witness.

MR. BOOKER: Sorry…Yes. Page 117, Volume 2.

MR. BARR: Ohhh, Volume Two? (starts flipping ahead)

MR. BOOKER: Mr. Barr, do you really feel that you can run out the clock in this hearing?

MR. BARR: I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Ms. Harris.

MS. HARRIS: Yes, I want to get back to the fact that you did not look at any of the underlying evidence. And that the Special Counsel wrote you two letters and met with you objecting to the fact that you misrepresented his work. And, that you were asked in both the House and the Senate, after your meeting with Mr. Mueller had occurred, whether you knew how he felt about your four-page letter. I only have one question for you and I want a simple yes or no.

MR. CHAIR: (HITS GAVEL) I think now is a good time to adjourn. 


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Barr, thank you.  I think this is a good time to wrap up.  Could the Capitol police hustle the Attorney General into his SUV as fast as possible so he can get to Bobby Van’s and his usual table?  We’ll be back next week for another hearing on Bahrain’s contribution to the Clinton Foundation. We stand adjourned.