Attorney General William Barr had it all planned out.
From the moment he was confirmed as AG, Barr had a clear strategy of how to not only protect President Donald Trump, but also how he would pull a jiu-jitsu move and blame the entire Russia investigation on someone else.
First of all, Barr issued his infamous “summary” of the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That summary omitted key facts of the report and even tried to suggest that Trump had done nothing wrong.
Problem was, Mueller testified before Congress and destroyed the Barr-Trump talking point that there was “no collusion, no obstruction.” Mueller made that crystal clear when asked a direct question about whether or not Trump would be charged when he left office. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) asked the special counsel:
“Okay. But could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?”
Mueller replied, “Yes.”
Buck then got specific with his follow-up question:
“You believe you could charge the president with obstruction of justice after he left office?”
That’s when Barr’s office charged former top Obama administration attorney Greg Craig with making a false statement to the Justice Department.
Craig had connections to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is serving time in federal prison and is about to go on trial in New York, too. So Barr thought he’d charge Craig and try to divert everyone’s attention back to Obama. He was planning to get a conviction of Craig and then claim the “real” Russia scandal was in the Obama administration, not the Trump White House.
But Barr’s plan fell apart in September when Craig was found not guilty by a jury in Washington, D.C. As CNN reports:
“Greg Craig, a top lawyer in the Obama administration, was acquitted by a federal jury in Washington on Wednesday afternoon of allegedly making a false statement to the Justice Department.
“It was a stunning rebuke of the Justice Department’s recent efforts to spin off a lobbying probe from the Mueller investigation into an equal opportunity comeuppance for a top former Democratic official.”
So where does this leave Barr? Well, he’s still trying to find dirt via an inspector general report that has already cleared former FBI Director James Comey, whom both Trump and the AG wanted to see prosecuted for daring to open a counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.
It’s beginning to look like AG Barr is almost as much of a clown as his boss. No wonder they get along so well.