Bill Barr comes into office, immediately commits felony obstruction of justice in the Mueller probe, gets caught. Now he needs Donald Trump to pardon him. So he’s since been trying to earn a pardon by doing things like meddling in the Roger Stone case. But Trump knows this, so he keeps demanding that Barr commit even more crimes at his behest. Barr keeps digging himself an even bigger hole, and needs the pardon even more.
Of course Barr knows he can’t actually get Stone’s sentence reduced. Sentencing “recommendations” are just that – recommendations. The judge is still going to give Stone whatever sentence she was always planning on giving him. Barr is counting on the judge having always planned to give Stone less than 7-9 years, so Barr can falsely take credit for the (imaginary) reduction. Barr is counting on Trump being clueless enough to fall for this ruse. Then Trump thinks Barr scored a victory for him.
Of course none of these facts fit with the prevailing narrative that Bill Barr is an evil wizard who just waves a magic wand and always gets what he wants. The danger of getting your political analysis from TV is you end up believing silly simplistic false narratives like this. In reality, after his initial victory over Mueller, Bill Barr has struck out with most of what he’s tried. The DOJ Inspector General report. The fake McCabe indictment. Trump is a rube but even he must eventually figure out each of these Barr schemes has been a failure. So Barr just keeps trying to find a way to convince Trump to pardon him on his way out the door.
So you’ve got Barr trying to con Trump into believing that Barr’s lame and ineffective antics are helping. And you’ve got Trump playing Barr, in terms of forcing Barr to commit more and more crimes in endless pursuit of that pardon he needs. This is all incredibly ugly for America. But we’re not watching two criminal masterminds here. We’re watching two bumbling crooks trying to BS each other, as they each try to figure out how not to go to prison after the election. These two clowns deserve each other.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report