It’s no exaggeration to call Attorney General William Barr the second-most dangerous person in the federal government, behind only his lord and master, President Donald Trump. After all, it’s Barr who has provided cover for many of Trump’s illegal and unethical actions, willingly obfuscating the most damaging portions of the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and even interfering in ongoing Justice Department investigations.
Last May, when he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr made it sound like he would never allow Trump to pressure the DOJ into doing his political bidding.
“Has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested you open an investigation into anyone?”
“I’m trying to grapple with the word ‘suggest.’ I mean, there have been discussions of matters out there that… they have not asked me to open an investigation but…”
Harris rephrased her question:
“Perhaps they’ve suggested? Hinted?” Inferred?”
Rather than answer directly, Barr merely responded:
“I… don’t know.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 1, 2019
But as we recently learned, Barr has indeed been running interference for the president and his allies when it comes to criminal investigations that might implicate Trump or those close to him.
The latest revelations regarding the attorney general suggest that he has lied under oath and lied to Congress, both of which are criminal offenses he could be charged with as soon as he leaves office. And given the downward spiral of his boss in recent weeks, both of them may be headed out the door sooner rather than later.
Two former U.S attorneys were asked about Barr’s culpability on charges of perjury and contempt of Congress by MSNBC host Joy Reid on Saturday:
“Is what we saw from William Barr when questioned by Kamala Harris perjury or contempt of Congress, in your view?”
Former Eastern District of Michigan U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade replied:
“Well, we have to know the facts. It’s very difficult to prove perjury. You have to prove that he, then and there, knew what he was saying was false. With further investigation, a case could be made.”
Joyce Vance, who served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, agreed with Vance, commenting:
“I agree with Barb. This turns on what conversations Barr had with people inside of the White House, or perhaps with people at DOJ, on this same timeline. If he, in any way, had the suggestion planted that he should open investigations — and we know that he did, by the way, in his early days as attorney general, he began to revisit all of these key steps in the Mueller report investigations — so, if there is evidence that he lied in response to Kamala Harris, he could open himself up to prosecution.”
How sweet it would be to see both Trump and Barr in the dock, having a criminal indictment against them read aloud in court! And if Joe Biden is president, we don’t have to worry about him pardoning either of them, or any of the other many criminals from the current administration. He’s already said he won’t.
Lock them all up!