For some reason Attorney General Bill Barr keeps being portrayed as an evil genius who can magically pull off whatever corrupt scheme Donald Trump wants to happen. But Barr’s scorecard – from Flynn to Cohen to Stone to Bannon to Lev and Igor and beyond – keeps revealing that Barr is a middling bumbler who strikes out with most of his corrupt antics.
Earlier today Bill Barr’s poorly conceived Durham scheme began unraveling when one of John Durham’s top aides resigned in protest. Now Barr is getting more bad news. Remember when Barr tried to dismiss the DOJ case against Michael Flynn, even though Flynn had already confessed and pleaded guilty in detail? Now retired Judge John Gleeson, who was appointed to advise sitting Judge Emmet Sullivan in the case, has concluded that Flynn’s guilt is “obvious” and that Barr acted corruptly.
This kicks the door wide open for Judge Sullivan to go ahead and send Michael Flynn to prison, which he’s seemingly wanted to do all along. In fact, considering that Flynn sabotaged his own cooperating plea deal in a manner that allowed his former business partner to go free, the judge could end up giving Flynn far more than the six months that his deal called for.
Yes, Donald Trump can still pardon Michael Flynn or commute his sentence. But considering how far Trump and Barr have gone out of their way to try to make the Flynn case go away without a pardon being involved, it’s clear that Trump really doesn’t want to have to pardon Flynn this close to the election. After all, it would become the centerpiece of a dozen TV ads against him. And even if Trump does pardon Flynn, if Trump then loses the election, the post-Trump DOJ can hit Flynn with the more serious criminal charges he avoided by cutting his plea deal to begin with.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report