William Barr has spent the past year dishonestly attacking Special Counsel Robert Mueller while essentially insisting that Donald Trump can’t be investigated for any of his crimes, so the bar was set pretty low when he showed up to testify today during his Senate confirmation hearings. It turns out Barr is even more of a disaster than we thought.
Senate Republicans have the votes to confirm him, but Senate Democrats are busy doing their best to expose William Barr for the freak show that he is, so a few of the Republicans might think twice about marrying themselves to the guy. Barr has a single valid selling point: he was previously Attorney General under President George Bush, so at least he knows the law, and he knows how the job works, which is not the case for 99% of the people Trump nominates. The trouble: Barr revealed today that he actually doesn’t know anything about the law, or he’s good at pretending.
For instance, when Senate Democrats asked Barr whether he believed that Donald Trump has violated the Presidential Records Act, Barr said that he doesn’t know what the Presidential Records Act even says. When asked whether Trump violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, Barr said he didn’t even know what that was. So we’ve got a guy who was previously Attorney General, and he’s applying to be Attorney General again, but he supposedly has less familiarity with the Constitution than the average cable news viewer.
There were numerous other freak show moments. But the above answers alone were more than enough for disqualification. Either he has no familiarity with the law and the Constitution, or he wants us to think he doesn’t, and neither one of those is okay. The good news is that it’s far too late for Donald Trump to insert someone into the Department of Justice who can magically stop the Robert Mueller freight train; that window closed a long time ago. But Barr is complete disaster.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report