Speed Reads

changing the subject

Democrats wanted to talk obstruction. Republicans wanted to talk Russian meddling.

The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are focusing heavily on whether President Trump obstructed justice throughout Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as they question Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday. Some have been harsher than others in their questioning, but most are focused on the question of wrongdoing by the Trump campaign.

The Republicans have proven less hostile toward Barr, but quite a few have opted to center their questioning around how to handle election meddling in the future. Rather than discuss the Trump campaign's conduct surrounding Russian election interference, several asked Barr to delve into election integrity more generally.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), in particular, was determined to steer the conversation this way — and he is especially fearful that Russia paved the way for China.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) also eschewed the political aspects of the investigation and instead sought answers about national security.

Even Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), the committee chair, who has just about had it with the whole thing, made it clear that Russian election interference is a top concern, not just obstruction. Tim O'Donnell