Week In The News: Barr And Congress, Synagogue And College Shootings, Venezuela

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Attorney General William Barr is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Attorney General William Barr is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

With David Folkenflik

Barr challenged by Mueller — grilled by Congress. Deadly shootings at a synagogue and a college campus. Chaos in Venezuela. The roundtable is here.


Eugene Scott, political reporter for the Washington Post covering identity politics. (@Eugene_Scott)

Molly Ball, national political correspondent for Time. (@mollyesque)

Sadie Gurman, Justice Department reporter for the Wall Street Journal. (@sgurman)

From The Reading List

Wall Street Journal: "William Barr, Democrats Clash Over Robert Mueller’s Report" — "Attorney General William Barr criticized Robert Mueller’s decision not to reach a conclusion about whether President Trump obstructed justice during a contentious hearing that laid bare a rift between him and the special counsel over the politically charged investigation.

"In his first congressional testimony since releasing a redacted version of Mr. Mueller’s 448-page report, Mr. Barr faced pointed criticism from Senate Democrats over his handling of the findings on Russian election interference in 2016.

"'If [Mr. Mueller] felt he shouldn’t go down a path of making a traditional prosecutive decision, then he shouldn’t have investigated,' Mr. Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. 'That was the time to pull up.'

"Meanwhile, the Justice Department late Wednesday told House Democrats that Mr. Barr wouldn’t appear at a Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Thursday over disagreements about the format of the appearance—and that an unredacted version of the Mueller report, which had been subpoenaed by the committee, wouldn’t be provided."

Washington Post: "A news report says right-wing activists made false sexual assault claims against Buttigieg. It’s a charge rooted in homophobia." — "Ever since South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg jumped into the Democratic presidential primary, he’s been surpassing expectations. Buttigieg has risen steadily in the polls. He has been a regular feature of favorable media coverage, and he has spoken to standing-room-only crowds.

"His early surge has led some to suggest that his sexuality — Buttigieg is an openly gay, married man — would be a non-factor for many Americans. As I wrote previously, nearly 70 percent of Americans say they’re okay with a gay president.

"But a recent alleged attack on Buttigieg from Internet provocateur Jacob Wohl and lobbyist Jack Burkman show how his opponents could use homophobia to gin up fear and anxiety over his candidacy."

NPR: "2 Dead And 4 Injured In Shooting At University Of North Carolina, Charlotte Campus" — "Two people died and another four were wounded, three critically, in a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on Tuesday.

"The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department announced in a tweet that a suspect, Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22, was in custody. Terrell, a former student at the university, now faces charges of murder and attempted murder in the attack.

"On Wednesday, the school identified the victims who died as students Ellis Parlier, 19, and Riley Howell, 21, according to member station WFAE."

Miami Herald: "Venezuela’s Maduro warns of civil war amid power struggle" — "In an unusual morning appearance, Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro Thursday asked his military for “loyalty” and warned them that the United States was stoking discontent to create division in the ranks and spark a civil war.

"Addressing several thousand troops in Caracas alongside Defense Minister Vladimir Padrnio López, Maduro said the Trump administration was playing with fire by trying to divide the armed forces.

"'How many dead would there be if a civil war started here because of the foolishness of coup mongers and traitors?' he said. 'And how long would the war last if there was an invasion? Because we would never surrender.'

"Maduro rarely makes appearances before noon, and some local media speculated the video could have been prerecorded."

Vox: "Poway and Pittsburgh: the rise in murderous anti-Semitism, explained" — "Exactly six months apart, two different shooters went into American synagogues during services with an intent to kill Jews. The Pittsburgh shooting on October 27 claimed 11 lives, the worst act of anti-Semitic violence in American history. The Poway shooting on April 27 — the last day of Passover — claimed one, a woman named Lori Gilbert Kaye, who threw herself in front of the synagogue’s rabbi and saved his life.

"The attackers in both cases had something in common beyond a hatred for Jews: They were motivated by a very specific kind of anti-Semitic ideology, one focused on a fictional Jewish plot to destroy America by encouraging mass nonwhite immigration. Like the marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia, who chanted 'Jews will not replace us,' they believe that Jews are masterminding a plot to undermine white supremacy in America by bringing in literal boatloads of nonwhite migrants."

Washington Post: "For some women, Joe Biden’s delayed apology to Anita Hill is just a start" — "The day after former vice president Joe Biden officially announced that he was running for president, he was confronted with a key moment in his past: his handling of the Anita Hill hearings.

"Thirty years ago, Hill testified before the Senate that Clarence Thomas, then a Supreme Court nominee, had sexually harassed her in the workplace. At the time, Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and presided over Thomas’s confirmation hearings. Biden’s committee rushed through Hill’s comments and did not allow other women to offer corroborating testimony. Thomas was ultimately confirmed in a 52-to-48 vote, one of the closest votes on a justice in a century.

"Biden and his team seemed to understand that they would have to explain and atone for the way Hill was treated, in light of the #MeToo movement and the lingering Democratic outrage over the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. But he’s struggled to take responsibility for his role."

Tania Ralli produced this hour for broadcast.

This program aired on May 3, 2019.



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