Attorney General William Barr likes to talk a big game, as if he doesn’t care about the reputational or legal consequences to him for all the coverup crimes he’s committed on Donald Trump’s behalf. He even bizarrely told CBS News over the weekend that none of it matters to him because “everyone dies” in the end. But now that House Democrats are finally about to hold a full vote to formally hold him in contempt of Congress, Barr is giving away that he really, really doesn’t want it to happen.
Three different House committees have been seeking to hold William Barr in contempt, each for different reasons. Last week Barr convinced the House Intel Committee to hold off on contempt charges, in exchange for giving Adam Schiff greater access to the FBI’s ongoing Trump-Russia counterintelligence probe. But the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee are still moving forward on contempt, and yesterday the full House scheduled a contempt vote for next Tuesday.
In response, William Barr has sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, offering more documents from the Mueller probe if the committee agrees to drop its contempt proceedings. This won’t be enough to stop the contempt process from moving forward – but it’s enough to make clear that Barr is trying to find a way to avoid being held in contempt. So why’s he so worried about it?
It’s clear that William Barr doesn’t care about his reputation. And he’s already committed so many obstruction of justice crimes in the past few months, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which he isn’t indicted for it the minute Donald Trump is out of office. Barr is either going to prison after this, or he’s getting pardoned, one or the other. So why would Barr care about a mere contempt of Congress charge in the meantime? Whatever the reason, he’s given away that it’s a big deal to him. House Democrats should keep that in mind as they move forward with finding Barr’s vulnerabilities and ousting him from power.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report