Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) absolutely loves carrying water for Donald Trump. He’s such an eager, obedient little lap dog, always willing to do whatever Trump or his administration ask of him.
But Graham got a stern rebuke from his fellow Republican colleagues Thursday when he attempted to give Attorney General William Barr even more power than he already has.
During a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee — which Graham is the chairman of — there was an effort by Graham to allow Barr to veto any investigation of Justice Department attorneys by an any inspector general working for the Justice Department, according to Bloomberg:
“Graham said the attorney general, as the head of the Justice Department, should have discretion to overrule the agency watchdog in such cases. Under Graham’s failed amendment, which he said was crafted in consultation with current Inspector General Michael Horowitz, any dispute over what to investigate would be reported to Congress.”
In essence, Barr or any of his associates at the DOJ would have been immune from oversight, free to break any rules or laws they wish, with no oversight from an inspector general because the attorney general would have the right to deny any investigation. That would mean Barr had absolute power to do as he pleases, no matter how questionable or possibly illegal.
Oddly enough, the Republican most opposed to Graham’s amendment was Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who also happens to be the seniot member of the committee and former chairman.
Grassley made his thoughts known in no uncertain terms during debate of the failed amendment, remarking:
“I don’t care what the attorney general says on this IG thing. We designed IGs to be very independent.”
The ranking Democrat on the committee, Sen. Diane Feinstein concurred with Grassley, noting that such a change would be the ultimate example of the “fox guarding the hen house.”
Late Thursday evening, a report from The New York Times made clear why William Barr cannot be trusted to uphold the law, at least when it comes to Donald Trump.
According to The Times, the attorney general has directly undermine case under investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY):
“After Mr. Barr was sworn in, one of his first actions was to seek briefings on politically sensitive investigations in the office and elsewhere, people briefed on the discussions said.
“One matter that Mr. Berman’s office described to Mr. Barr early on was the growing investigation into Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born businessmen who were helping Mr. Giuliani unearth potentially damaging information in Ukraine about Mr. Trump’s political rivals.”
William Barr may well be the second most dangerous man in Washington, behind only the president himself. Both of them need to be sent into retirement come November 3.