Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Attorney General Bill Barr's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was another high-stakes Rorschach test of Washington's views about special counsel Robert Mueller's report.
Barr defended himself against the latest bombshell surrounding his work, yesterday's revelation of a letter that Mueller had sent to the attorney general objecting to how his 4-page summary of the report had characterized its contents.
Addressing his decision not to proceed with obstruction charges against Trump, Barr said that if Mueller felt as if he could not make a prosecutorial decision on the issue, then he "shouldn't have investigated it. That was the time to pull up."
The bottom line: Both parties will come out of this hearing feeling like they hit their talking points well, but Barr also has to feel good about his performance. This isn't his first rodeo as attorney general. He's poised in the hot seat and escaped a brutal five-hour day with no major slip-ups all as he remained unrepentant about his work on the Mueller report.
Just as Barr sat back down to resume his testimony after a lunch break, the New York Times published a blistering op-ed against him penned by former FBI Director James Comey:
But more often, proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. I think that’s at least part of what we’ve seen with Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein. Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from. It takes character like [former Defense Secretary James] Mattis’s to avoid the damage, because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.
The "Game of Thrones" cast at the season 8 premiere in Belfast. Photo: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Sky Atlantic UK
In the age of "Game of Thrones" and "Avengers: Endgame," Variety's Michael Schneider asked around Hollywood in an attempt to answer one of the most daunting questions of our time: "When Will It Be OK to Share Spoilers Online?"