Former Attorney General Bill Barr is a career criminal with zero morals who’s always had a sense of just how much political corruption he could get away with. So when he abruptly resigned near the very end of Donald Trump’s term, just before the January 6th insurrection plot played out, it was fair to presume that he bolted because he had at least some sense of what was coming – and didn’t want to go down for it.
This past week we all learned about a draft order which, if Donald Trump had signed it, would have instructed the military to seize voting machines. This laughably unconstitutional draft order would have been immediately struck down by the Supreme Court, just as it struck down his other efforts to overthrow the election. But the draft order was still a seditious conspiracy on the part of everyone who helped write it and even considered putting it into play. The timing of this draft order lines up closely with Bill Barr’s abrupt departure, meaning it could have been the thing that caused him to bolt for the door in order to insulate himself from the legal fallout.
To that end, January 6th Committee Chair Bennie Thompson appeared on the Sunday morning talk show circuit and confirmed that the committee has indeed been speaking with Bill Barr. Although it was widely presumed that Thompson meant the committee has been speaking with Barr about the draft order, Thompson has since made clear that he’s not revealing what these conversations have specifically been about.
But here’s the thing. Palmer Report has predicted from the start that the most useful cooperating witnesses in the January 6th Committee probe would be the ones who were fairly close to Donald Trump’s inner circle and thus knew what was going on, but didn’t actually participate in the crimes. These are the folks who can avoid any legal troubles by simply telling the committee what really happened. Bill Barr, at least with respect to January 6th, appears to fall into this category.
There is every reason to expect that, with the January 6th Committee having come calling, Bill Barr would rather sell out Donald Trump than risk going to prison for contempt of Congress. Barr can’t be trusted to do the right thing for its own sake. But to the extent that the right thing just happens to line up with what’s selfishly best for him, Barr’s cooperation won’t come as a surprise.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report