eYe update and commentary. Happy Bombshell Fridays. Marginalizing the Barr! 10/25/19
As some of you know, I've been saying for weeks SDNY MUST expand its investigation to look at what Giuliani, Parnas, and Fruman are doing to help Trump on the UKR side of things (the left hand). To date, SDNY is only looking at what Giuliani/Parnas/Fruman did to funnel illegal foreign money into GOP House and state campaigns and to use those donations to buy influence and get certain things done.
Well, as I read the tea leaves this morning of DOJ related news, I think we're finally seeing the first signs that the DOJ's UKR investigation IS expanding and that Barr is being marginalized.
First, as to this NYT piece that Barr is expanding his "oranges of the investigation" (as trump would say) witch hunt to a criminal probe, while it may sound menacing, I think it was Barr fronting that he really has nothing. Yesterday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stiff armed Barr's global dirt-digging mission, reportedly telling him that Italy did not play a role in the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.
(Side Note: These are the type of things that are going to occupy the majority of the next President's time, trying to repair both the diplomatic and intelligence relationships with these allies. And permanent damage has probably been done. Because we cannot say, "It won't happen again".)
The NYT article also said he hasn't gotten anything else from UKR, Australia, or the UK. He has nothing but there's no way he can tell that to Trump. So what he did is buy time and leak some news to the always eager NYT:
The move is likely to open the AG up to accusations that he is trying to deliver a political victory for President Trump, which will be looked upon favorably by his boss.
Second, this Politico piece about the SDNY investigation expanding with DOJ's criminal division getting involved in the Rudy matter is the real deal. The only way to expand the Rudy probe is to expand it to the UKR matter (the left hand). That's where all the crime is going on. The rest are just fringe benefits.
This is the DOJ looking to CYA because there is so much evidence of crimes. That's usually the case when you have illegal foreign money, mobsters, and people confessing or testifying in DC every day to Congress or the Press. If you're DOJ (main justice) you look pretty damn exposed. If Barr wanted to control the SDNY investigation, he could just do it through Berman. He wouldn't need to add his own lawyers into this. Rather, I think this is Main Justice realizing that Barr can't be trusted, that their collective rep is on the line, that Schiff's inquiry is exposing a vast array of criminal activity, and they look worse by the day.
The way for DOJ Main Justice (DC) lawyers to check Barr without actually confronting him is to tack on to this SDNY probe. That appears to be what they are doing. I suspect they're going to use the statements of Mulvaney and Sondland to say, "well, based on new information that we didn't have before…blah…blah, we’re going to look into campaign finance, bribery and extortion claims". In other words, this thing is proceeding more rapidly than I had thought and Trump is likely going to be the subject of a new DOJ/SDNY criminal investigation by way of Rudy.
Barr throws his weight around like a King, but the position of AG is not all powerful. Just look to history. They get fired, impeached, jailed, marginalized, sidelined, recused, and ignored.