Throughout 2019 we’ve all watched Attorney General Bill Barr do whatever Donald Trump wanted him to do, no matter how illegal, deranged, or just plain idiotic. But now it turns out Trump has taken things so far, even Barr couldn’t stomach it – and he’s drawing a weird line in the sand against Trump.
Bill Barr has committed felony obstruction of justice by dishonestly “summarizing” and redacting the Mueller report. Barr has conspired against the United States by urging foreign governments to make up phony scandals about Donald Trump’s political adversaries. Yet the Washington Post says that when Trump asked Barr to hold a press conference and announce that Trump was innocent in the Ukraine scandal, Barr refused to do it. Why?
Let’s be clear here: Bill Barr has committed so many felonies in Donald Trump’s name this year, Barr is guaranteed to spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement unless Trump pardons him. In that sense Trump seemingly owns Barr. Trump can keep insisting that Barr commit even more ludicrous crimes, or else he won’t pardon him. Maybe Barr thinks a pardon is coming and maybe he doesn’t, but his life is over if he doesn’t get a pardon, so he ostensibly has to keep angling for one.
And yet Bill Barr just choked when Donald Trump told him to go hold a press conference and announce that Trump is innocent on Ukraine. Barr clearly has no conscience, no soul, no legal or ethical line he won’t cross. But for some reason, Barr won’t do this. Has Barr decided that because Trump is now very likely to go down, he needs to hedge his bets? If nothing else, Barr is leaving the door open to eventually flip on Trump himself, if he has to. Barr is not to be trusted, obviously. But maybe Trump can’t trust Barr either.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report