Twitter users saw a new trending hashtag when they logged in on Thursday morning — #MuellerGate. According to social media analytics site Trends24, said hashtag reached as high as No. 3 on the United States trending charts as of around 9 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, and was hanging in there at the No. 5 spot shortly after noon.
But beyond being a clear reference to Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller, what was #MullerGate? The trend appears to have initiated with Democratic strategist and podcaster Scott Dworkin, who explained the motivation behind the new hashtag on his Twitter account early on Thursday morning.
Dworkin noted that the #MuellerGate hashtag referred to a “new scandal” stemming from Attorney General William Barr’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Dworkin wrote that “[Barr] never read the underlying evidence for the report, but still determined Trump was completely innocent. That’s ludicrous.”
On March 24, two days after receiving Mueller’s report, Barr penned a four page letter to Congress, which was posted online by The Associated Press via DocumentCloud. In that letter, Barr announces his decision that, on the allegation of obstruction of justice against Donald Trump, “the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient” to charge Trump with an obstruction offense.
But on Wednesday, under questioning from California Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, Barr admitted that he made the determination that “the evidence…was not sufficient” even though he had never bothered to look at the evidence collected by Mueller, as The Inquisitr reported.
After Barr admitted that he personally did not review the evidence uncovered by Mueller, Harris asked Barr, according to a Vanity Fair account, whether “anyone” in the attorney general’s office, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, had reviewed Mueller’s evidence, on which the special counsel based his report.
Barr again said that no one in his office had reviewed the evidence.
“Yet you represented to the America public that the evidence was not ‘sufficient to support an obstruction of justice offense?'” an incredulous Harris asked again.
Barr was scheduled to appear for another session of congressional testimony on Thursday, this time before the House Judiciary Committee. However, as CNN reported, Barr backed out of the testimony date, saying that he did not want to be questioned by a lawyer, as Democrats on the committee had proposed, but only by House members in five-minute increments.
“Barr is a coward. He was a no show for today’s House Judiciary hearing, because he knows he couldn’t get through more questioning,” Dworkin wrote in a subsequent #MuellerGate Twitter post. “I’d rather have the empty chair he was gonna sit in serve as AG.”