I"m questioning this question due to the fact that I was watching the live testimony of exhilaration Director the National knowledge Joseph Maguire prior to a congressional committee and he stated this expression at the finish of the meeting. As soon as asked through the chairman of the committee must the investigation on Donald trumped be carried out he replied:

"The horse has actually left the barn. Girlfriend have every one of the information. You have the whistleblower complaint. You have actually the letter from the ICIG. You have actually the Office of legitimate Counsel opinion and you have actually the transcript from the president".

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I tried to look this up, however it doesn"t seem that this is an established idiom. In mine opinion, the phrase can mean that it"s as wbeer-selection.com late to ask whether one must conduct the investigation because too numerous documents have actually been make public.

I"d it is in thankful for a few examples that"d help me to recognize the meaning of this phrase (or idiom).

phrase-meaning idioms idiomatic-language figurative-language
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edited Oct 25 "19 in ~ 15:19

Ben Kovitz
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The exact phrasing given by OP is relatively uncommon 1 contrasted to what I check out as the two relevant "idiomatic standard" usages...

1: to nearby the stable door after ~ the horse has bolted to have actually tried to protect against something happening, however to have done so too late come prevent damages being done ...and... 2: That delivery has already left harbor / sailed that chance is currently gone; it is too late

Note that although those two meanings are similar, they"re no generally thought about "interchangeable". #1 essentially draws attention to the fact that a potential remedial action is no longer proper (because the point it was supposed to protect against has already happened), whereas #2 is about having missed a chance (it"s currently too so late to take advantage of part favourable opportunity).

OP"s version looks come me favor a "mash-up" that those 2 idiomatic usages.

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1 I sought the two following text strings in Google Books...

after the horse had bolted (23 hits) after the horse had left the barn (8 hits)

I think the ratio is even much more extreme with simple Past (the equine has bolted / left), yet you have to scroll v several much more pages of results to obtain to the last totals because that those, and I doubt Google books becomes less "accurate" in together situations.