United States Attorney General William Barr is holed up in a hunting lodge in Alaska, telling a reporter that “everyone dies” in the end, as he refuses a judge’s order and prepares for the possibility of being arrested for contempt of court. This sounds like something out of a Stephen King novel – but every word of it is true.
William Barr traveled to Alaska this week, officially to meet with native tribal leaders about their rights – an important issue that Barr surely couldn’t care less about. The trip did, however, give Barr the opportunity to be about as far away from Washington DC as possible –without leaving the country – for today’s federal court deadline in the Michael Flynn case. Barr’s DOJ refused to turn over the Flynn-Russia phone call transcripts, telling the judge that they weren’t relevant to the case. This is the kind of thing a judge arrests you for.
How convenient, then, that Barr just happens to be on the other side of the continent; local news outlets in Alaska are reporting that as of today, Barr is still in the state. Judge Emmet Sullivan hasn’t yet announced his response to the DOJ’s refusal to comply with his order. We don’t know if that’ll come tonight, over the weekend, or Monday morning when court is back in session. But this is the same judge who exploded with anger when he found out Flynn was being let off so easy, and angrily demanded to know all the details. There’s no way Sullivan won’t come down hard on Barr and his team over this – and Barr knew this was coming today.
This all adds a new layer of strangeness to what was already one of the most surreal moments of the Trump saga, when William Barr sat down with CBS News at the Alaska lodge and gave a sullen interview about how he doesn’t care about how he’s remembered because “everyone dies.” We’ve all seen that Barr is a criminal and a villain, but is this guy even right in the head by criminal villain standards? He sounds like a whackjob who’s decided to finish the job no matter what it costs him. This is all coming closer to defying description.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report