When Donald Trump first nominated William Barr to be his new Attorney General, it sent a lot of us looking over his several-decade record in politics, in the hope of figuring out what he’d do once he got into power. After all, he’d have a hand in Trump’s racist DOJ agenda, and a hand in the Robert Mueller probe.
William Barr’s record suggested two things. First, he’d try to side with Donald Trump in the Mueller probe to the extent that he thought he legally could, but he wouldn’t be willing to commit obstruction of justice on Trump’s behalf. Second, Barr would eagerly get behind Trump’s racist agenda, particularly with regard to immigrants. Sure enough, that’s more or less precisely what we’re seeing play out right now.
It’s repulsive, and scary, that Barr loudly backed Donald Trump this week on his national emergency border wall stunt. It’s a sign that Barr will try to use the DOJ to carry out racist policy in general, just as his predecessor Jeff Sessions did. This is something we need to fight back against every step of the way. That said, it is not a sign that Barr is going to do Trump’s corrupt bidding when it comes to the Mueller probe.
Since William Barr took office, we’ve seen Robert Mueller post various court filings that have made Donald Trump and his regime look particularly criminal. Thus far Barr hasn’t done anything to try to stop those filings from happening. Barr has also, obviously, not fired Mueller. Barr could be behind the persistent media leaks that Mueller is about to “wind down” his investigation at any moment, but even if so, those leaks haven’t translated to anything negative for Mueller. Barr has declined to recuse himself, but he knows that if he did that, Trump would immediately fire him for it.
So far Attorney General William Barr has turned out to be a xenophobe who really wants use his position to stick it to non-white people, and a careful cretin who isn’t willing to risk going to prison just to save Donald Trump’s hide. Barr is Jeff Sessions all over again, just as we were expecting. That’s bad news for America – but it’s also bad news for Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report