Bought and paid for, partisan to his very core.
Well, I had a very small hope in the beginning that William Barr wouldn’t be the Trump-loyal hack that many feared. What we know for a certainty is that there would be no William Barr as our attorney general today, were it not for a hyper-critical opinion piece he authored that slammed Robert Mueller’s work on the Russia probe.
Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey for loyalty.
Trump repeatedly excoriated former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not protecting him from the Russia probe.
For the last two years, President Trump has wailed and ranted about the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the possibility that he, or members of his campaign team were at least on some level, complicit in a foreign attack on our republic. He has acted exactly like a man with the long shadow of imprisonment looming over his future.
He acted desperate.
Why wouldn’t he actively work to get someone in place to be his puppet, rather than a servant of the law and the nation?
Ultimately, there was nothing (to our knowledge) in the final Mueller report that leapt out. That doesn’t mean there was nothing there, and no matter what Trump and his sycophants say, he was not “completely exonerated.”
As a matter of fact, Judge Andrew Napolitano, the legal analyst for American Pravda (also known as Fox News), took it a step further on Wednesday morning, suggesting that not only is there nothing in Mueller’s report, or William Barr’s 3 to 4 page summary, that plainly states Donald Trump is exonerated.
“I have argued for a couple of weeks that the Barr summary, the four-page attorney general summary, did not say no evidence of conspiracy,” Napolitano said on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”
“It did not say no evidence of obstruction. It said not enough evidence to establish the crime. Establish is lawyer-speak for prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Napolitano added that “there must be some evidence of something” in the report on Mueller’s investigation.
“If there was no evidence of any criminal activity whatsoever then the attorney general would have said that in his four-page summary and he didn’t,” he said.
This wasn’t the first time Napolitano has cautioned Trump-loving revelers to slow their roll.
“In the 700-page summary of the 2 million pages of raw evidence, there is undoubtedly some evidence of a conspiracy and some evidence of obstruction of justice,” he said in March. “Just not enough evidence.”
He’s right, and given Trump’s continued hysterics about the probe, it becomes quite clear that he’s worried about what could have emerged.
But let’s get back to William Barr.
Barr gave testimony before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department on Wednesday. During that time, he fielded questions from Senator Jeanne Shaheen, (D-N.H), in regards to news that he was putting together a team to examine the FBI and why they opened a counter-intelligence inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
It’s not as if someone isn’t already on top of this, because they are. The Office of Inspector General is already working on it. Unfortunately, the inspector general isn’t a Trump stooge, so he can’t be trusted to come up with what the administration needs him to come up with.In his answer to Senator Shaheen’s questions, Barr stripped away any illusion of being a non-partisan arbiter of our nation’s laws.
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal,” Barr said, an apparent reference to GOP allegations that the FBI misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor former Trump 2016 campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
“I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated — I need to explore that. I think it’s my obligation. Congress is usually very concerned about intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane,” the attorney general added.
Barr said he “believed” that Trump’s campaign team was spied on, in spite of the results of an earlier investigation by our intelligence community that concluded nothing of the sort had went on.
He suggested that this new move of his was to keep a promise made during his confirmation hearing to examine how the investigation began, as well as the conduct surrounding the start of it.
“And a lot has already been investigated and is being investigated by the Office of Inspector General at the department,” he said. “But one of the things I want to do is pull together all the information from the various investigations that have gone on, including on the Hill and in the department, and see if there are any remaining questions to be addressed.”
Barr also clarified when pressed by Shaheen whether he would redact parts of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his findings from the federal Russia inquiry to protect President Trump’s privacy and reputational interests.
“No, I’m talking about people in private life, not public office holders,” Barr said.
Color me skeptical.
Barr was pretty cagey in his testimony today, but don’t be mistaken about his intent. He wants those waters muddied and for further doubt to be cast on a lawful investigation that was intended to protect our nation from a hostile act by our geopolitical foes.
By prefacing his statement with “I believe…” he buys himself room to claim he never disparaged our nation’s top law enforcement division, or our intelligence community. He was simply expressing an opinion.
The statement, however, coming from the attorney general of the United States gives the frothing MAGA forces, already teetering dangerously close to an uprising against our nation, in favor of installing an authoritarian dictatorship, the blunt instrument they’ve longed for to further press on to that end. They did not hear “I believe,” nor would they acknowledge the subtle reference to opinion, not fact.
Barr can claim to have clean hands, no matter what comes next.
Unfortunately, the fabric of our nation will pay the price, and partisans like Barr do nothing to help us.