“President” Donald Trump always has a hidden motivation for making his cabinet and leadership picks, and it always quickly comes to the surface. Trump had originally chosen Matt Whitaker to be his Acting Attorney General, and it was apparent that Trump had hired what he thought to be a loyal stooge, somebody who had written op-eds supporting him, and had said Special Counsel Robert Mueller had gone beyond his mandate. We now see Trump attacking Whitaker, whose days are numbered, apparently for having not been enough of a toady. In recent days, Trump named William Barr as his permanent Attorney General nominee.
This week The Wall Street Journal reported that Barr, in an unsolicited manner, had submitted a twenty-page memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, attacking elements of the Mueller investigation. The memo is extensive in its criticisms of the probe, specifically for attempting to hold Trump responsible for his obstruction of justice. For twenty pages, it attacks various elements of the probe and suggests that a president can end investigations into the president.
The WSJ summarized the memo: “Mr. Barr’s memo is peppered with strongly worded phrases about the peril he sees in Mr. Mueller’s reading of the law, as he understood it. He described Mr. Mueller’s approach as ‘grossly irresponsible’ with ‘potentially disastrous implications’ for the executive branch. He also wrote: “Mueller should not be permitted to demand that the President submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction.”
Barr opens forcefully, making it clear Mueller should not be able to pursue obstruction, stating, “Mueller should not be permitted to demand that the President submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction.” We now understand why Trump picked Barr, who was Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush. It is now clear: Barr is another perceived loyal stooge who will do Donald Trump’s bidding.