Schiff: Barr must step down and Mueller's testimony won't mean much

Oh, must he? Naaah. Even Adam Schiff “has no expectation” that William Barr will resign simply because Democrats are sore at him over his letter regarding the report from Robert Mueller. The House Intel chair tells CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that he’s committed to “hold this president accountable” for obstruction and campaign fraud, but doesn’t offer much evidence of either — or many options for it, either:

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff on Wednesday called for William Barr to resign, joining other Hill Democrats who believe the attorney general is biased toward defending the Trump administration.

Barr, “in the interest of the department, should step down, but I have no expectation that he will,” Schiff, a California Democrat, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day,” responding to a question about reports that special counsel Robert Mueller expressed concerns to Barr in a letter that the attorney general’s four-page summary to Congress didn’t fully capture Mueller’s report.

For all of his huffery over Barr’s supposedly misleading letter and Robert Mueller’s follow-up letter, Schiff weirdly discounts the idea of Mueller testifying. Being the “institutionalist,” Schiff suggests that Mueller would likely back up the narrative from the Department of Justice. “I don’t think you’re going to see him at odds with the department,” Schiff tells Camerota, unless the DoJ continues to “misrepresent” his work.

It’s a long way down from Heroic Robert Mueller, eh? The DoJ released Mueller’s brief letter this morning ahead of Barr’s testimony, by the way, and nowhere in it does Mueller accuse Barr or “misrepresenting” his report. Mueller argued that Barr’s letter “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions,” not that Barr misrepresented them:

At any rate, the Barr letter no longer matters. We have the full report, or as much of it as we can see, and the summaries are nearly redaction-free. Lindsey Graham made this point clear in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing during Barr’s testimony, holding the report and saying, “For me, it is over.”

In that sense, Schiff may well be correct, but not in the way he intends. Mueller’s testimony is the report. If he appears before Congress, Mueller will likely restate the findings in the report and not go beyond it, whether a DoJ lawyer sits with him at the table or not. With the report in hand, Barr and Mueller are no longer needed. It’s Congress’ issue now, and the voters’. Everything else is just a strategy for work avoidance by the former, and a tiresome distraction for the latter.