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Russia Probe
weekly primer
May 3, 2019

This Week: Barr Leans Into New Role As Trump’s Personal Lawyer

The attorney general had quite a week. Appearing on Capitol Hill for the first time since the Mueller report’s release, Bill Barr went to bat for President Trump, full-throatedly trashing the entire Russia probe in a Wednesday hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. By Friday, Democrats were calling for Barr’s resignation, alleging that the nation’s chief law enforcement official was acting as President Trump’s personal lawyer. Republicans — including President Trump himself — had kinder reviews, though some aides close to Trump cautioned that the attorney general might have lost credibility with his performance. Barr’s troubles started Tuesday when reports surfaced alleging special counsel Robert Mueller wrote to Barr complaining that the four-page summary of the report that Barr issued to Congress in March did not “fully capture the context, nature and substance” of his investigation, thereby prompting “public confusion.” Barr had maintained in sworn testimony that he didn’t know how Mueller felt about his assessment of the report. Staring down lawmakers the next morning,…

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