With the news that Attorney General Bill Barr will soon be former Attorney General Bill Barr, questions abound. The question I’ve had since first hearing the news that Donald Trump might let Bill Barr go was whether Barr would turn on Trump once he’s out of office. Answer: maybe.
The Independent reports that Barr has likened Trump to a “deposed king,” which doesn’t exactly sound like the words of a man content with his boss. The fact that Barr wasn’t willing to play “election fraud” ball much when Trump wanted him to also suggests that Barr, at the very least, has a mind of his own when he wants to.
But the most important thing that gives us any indication that Barr might turn on Trump and tell all to prosecutors comes from one simple fact: Barr isn’t willing to go to jail for Trump. If Barr were to be implicated in a criminal investigation, which is eminently possible considering his record as AG, prosecutors would, as prosecutors do, tempt the underlings with reduced sentences to go after the head honcho (i.e., Trump). Would Barr be willing to do that? It certainly seems like it.
Barr seemed to have been pretty clearly clued in during recent weeks on the fact that his time in the moribund Trump administration was coming to an end. Who knows if he decided to take notes or even retain evidence that could act as an effective get-out-of-jail-free card were he to find prosecutors knocking on his door. Even if Trump pardoned himself or if Pence pardoned him in some kind of presidential musical chairs wherein Trump would resign for the last day of his presidency, state level prosecutors could go after Trump (and of course Barr) all the same, so long as they were to have a colorable case.
Trump’s decision to fire Barr fairly ignominiously could have made Barr one of Trump’s worst enemies. Time will tell.