Barr: Partisan lackey or principled conservative?

Barr: Partisan lackey or principled conservative?

 Now that William Barr has announced his resignation, said Scott Lemieux in NBC News.com, it’s fair to call him “the worst attorney general in American history.” To special counsel Robert Mueller’s dismay, Barr dishonestly spun Mueller’s report to downplay its findings that the Trump campaign welcomed Russian interference in the 2016 election and that President Trump committed 10 probable instances of obstruction of justice in trying to block the investigation. 

Barr dropped charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, and forced out U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman because of his office’s investigations into Trump associates. Let’s not forget that Barr told Trump the president’s constitutional authority was virtually unlimited, said Bill Blum in Salon.com, or that he ordered Lafayette Park violently cleared of protesters so Trump could have a photo op with a Bible. No doubt about it: Barr transformed the Justice Department “into a neofascist ministry of the interior dedicated to advancing the personal interests of the president.” Barr was never the “corrupt crony” that Democrats made him out to be, said Eli Lake in Bloomberg.com. 

He was not obligated to release the Mueller report at all—and the version that he did release was “lightly redacted.” His investigation into how the FBI conducted its probe of the Trump campaign “uncovered real abuses,” including the filing of a falsified application to the FISA court. Barr was “the right man for the job,” said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. A true constitutional conservative, he proved that Flynn was railroaded, and defended houses of worship when governors tried to shutter them during the pandemic while keeping stores open. In the end, he also “had the guts” to stand up to Trump’s most outlandish demands. Barr finally did “draw a line,” said Harry Litman in the Los Angeles Times, but that does not exonerate him from shamelessly serving as “Trump’s lackey” for nearly two years. 

Yes, he refused to support Trump’s “cockamamie” claims of election fraud and didn’t reveal Hunter Biden’s federal tax investigation prior to the election. But Barr was an über- partisan who denounced secular progressives, demonstrated a “pit-bull dedication to the president’s political fortunes,” and ran roughshod over the rule of law. He will be remembered for his “dishonorable record in service to Trump.”

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