With each day, it becomes clearer that there is ample evidence to impeach Donald Trump on multiple counts, including abuse of presidential power and obstruction of Congress for starters.
The arrest Thursday of two men tied to Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, along with news that Giuliani himself is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, has raised the pressure on Trump, who is lashing out on Twitter and desperately trying to change the topic to something (anything!) else but his high crimes and misdemeanors.
But the person who may be in the most jeopardy at this point in history is Attorney General William Barr, according to attorney David R. Lurie, who notes in The Daily Beast that Barr is being placed in an untenable position: Assist Trump in destroying the Constitution or be painted as a traitor to the president:
“This may be the week that Barr’s balancing act—of simultaneously purporting to enforce the law while defending a president who has contempt for the rule of law—finally collapses. This is because, with a letter ‘objecting’ to the very possibility of his impeachment by Congress, Trump has announced his intention to defy the Constitution itself. The declaration leaves Barr with a stark choice: Will he employ the Department of Justice to defend a president’s open and notorious violation of the Constitution?”
The letter Lurie references was sent by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and it made clear that Trump thinks he doesn’t have to turn over documents or allow witnesses to testify as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. That means the president is openly defying not just Congress, but the U.S. Constitution itself, Lurie continues:
“The president’s position is not only unsupported by law, but absurd. Article I of the Constitution expressly provides that the president may be impeached by the House and removed by the Senate; and the Constitution does not permit a president to avoid the Congress’s exercise of that impeachment power by unilaterally declaring it to be ‘illegitimate.”
And that places Barr in the position of either shredding the Constitution to protect Trump or joining the resistance to the lawless actions of the president. Either way, he’s screwed. He can be a lemming or a goat. But he cannot be both.
Lurie concludes his article with this chilling line:
“If Barr does choose to tether the DOJ to the president’s contention that he can freely defy the law, however, the attorney general will not only risk whatever is left of own reputation, but also the legitimacy of the department he leads.”
If Barr chooses to continue protecting Trump, he will go down in history as one of the biggest villains since Benedict Arnold. But if he decides he doesn’t want to be a fall guy for Donald Trump, he could wind up being a genuine American hero.
Which path will Barr choose?