For the past several weeks, the big question has been this: if Lev Parnas is so eager to cooperate with the House of Representatives in the Ukraine scandal, why has he apparently not cut a cooperating plea deal with the Feds at the SDNY? Awhile back Palmer Report asked aloud if this meant that Parnas trusted the Democratic-controlled House, but didn’t trust the Bill Barr-controlled Department of Justice.
Now we’re getting at least some of that answer. Even as Lev Parnas’ attorney Joseph Bondy is taking his cooperation with the House to the next level by turning over phone records and documents, Bondy is demanding that Bill Barr recuse himself from the criminal case against Parnas.
The only way that Barr will recuse himself in the Parnas case is if public pressure ends up mounting to the point that Barr starts to worry more about protecting his own backside, than about trying to protect Donald Trump’s interests in the case. If the House takes Lev’s evidence against Trump and holds public hearings around it, that could be enough to convince the public to start pressuring Barr.
We’ll see where this goes. But it’s the latest reminder that Bill Barr, despite his position as Attorney General and his sociopathic criminal ambition, can’t just magically do whatever he wants. If that were the case, Barr would have found a way to make the Lev Parnas mess go away a long time ago. Instead, Lev is working with the House to create a whole new problem for Barr.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report