Rachel Maddow: Bill Barr May Have Accidentally Approved Mueller Releasing Trump’s Tax Returns

Rachel Maddow explained on Thursday how attorney general William Barr, caught off guard by Democrats this week, may have accidentally given the green light for Robert Mueller to hand over Donald Trump’s tax returns to Congress.

During a quick final round of questions during his testimony on Wednesday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar got Barr on the record saying she is free to request the president’s financial documents and any other underlying evidence connected to the special counsel investigation.

On Thursday, the Democratic senator and 2020 presidential candidates did just that by sending a letter to Mueller.

“She gets Barr on the record not objecting when she notifies him that if Mueller did look at Trump’s taxes and financial statements, she and the committee will expect to be furnished with those since that is underlying evidence relevant to Mueller’s investigation,” Maddow said.

Video:

Maddow said:

So, get him on the record in this case suggesting that the senator should go directly to Robert Mueller on this question and get him on the record. I mean, get Mueller on the record. She should go to Mueller directly on this matter to find out what the underlying evidence was that Mueller looked at, and she should be asking him to obtain it. Okay. And to the extent it matters, she gets him on the record. She gets Barr on the record not objecting when she notifies him that if Mueller did look at Trump’s taxes and financial statements, she and the committee will expect to be furnished with those since that is underlying evidence relevant to Mueller’s investigation. William Barr struggles to keep up and then swallows his tongue and then says nothing. It was this very quick exchange. That’s kind of what you need to move these things forward sometimes and in this case, that moved it forward. That gave Senator Klobuchar an opening, in fact, an invitation by the attorney general for her to start communicating directly with Robert Mueller rather than going through him or rather than going through the Justice Department. And so Amy Klobuchar has now written directly to Robert Mueller and opened up that line of communication with his office. We shall see.

Democrats are starting to bypass William Barr

Sen. Klobuchar’s letter to Bob Mueller on Thursday isn’t the only example of Democrats working directly with Robert Mueller. House Democrats, too, are bypassing the corrupt attorney general.

As I noted earlier, NBC News reported on Thursday that the House Judiciary Committee is negotiating directly with the special counsel’s office  – not the Justice Department – on setting a date for Mueller’s congressional testimony.

So William Barr may have thought he was doing Trump a favor by acting as his personal henchman during Wednesday’s Senate hearing, but it appears that Democrats took it as an invitation to ignore the Justice Department and start working directly with Robert Mueller.

It’s about damn time.

Follow Sean Colarossi on Facebook and Twitter