Make no mistake: Attorney General William Barr is a seasoned political actor and spin doctor with lots of experience in getting Republican presidents out of serious trouble. Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush owe their reputations to this man after he spun support for their cause following the Iran-Contra scandal, which should have ended Reagan’s presidency and prevented H.W.’s. No matter how many platitudes he spins about his dedication to this country and the unfair assessments he’s under in interviews, he was appointed to the office of attorney general by Donald Trump for exactly this reason.
Barr vs. Barr
May 1 to Congress: “We accepted the Special Counsel’s legal framework for purposes of our analysis…in reaching our conclusion”
May 31 to CBS: “We didn’t agree with …a lot of the legal analysis in the Report…So we applied what we thought was the right law.” pic.twitter.com/l6xFvNT7m6
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) May 31, 2019
This spinning of the facts is becoming more and more evident in a political environment where American voters are paying close attention and catching the contradictions. Barr directly contradicted himself numerous times during a CBS interview on Friday morning, and the walk back from his earlier statements was glaring.
Despite this, Barr played the victim in all this during the interview, saying that all criticism of him is simply partisan games.
‘They only care about who it helps, who benefits, whether my side benefits or the other side benefits, everything is gauged by politics. And as I say that’s antithetical to the way the department runs and any attorney general in this period is going to end up losing a lot of political capital and I realize that and that’s one of the reasons that I ultimately was persuaded that I should take it on because I think at my stage in life, it really doesn’t make any difference.’
Barr confessed under oath in a congressional hearing to not having even read the underlying evidence in the Mueller report regarding Trump’s 10 separate proven violations of the law, saying that he and his team simply took Mueller’s legal conclusions at their word. During the interview, however, he said that his team disagrees with Mueller’s conclusions. Of course, he also said when the report was released that it fully exonerated the president. It clearly did not.
Barr continued during the interview to give the soft-spoken defense of his second tenure in the Department of Justice, saying that while he’d rather be home, he felt the need to “protect” the country. He’s doing this by ignoring a criminal president, lying to the American public, and refusing to hold the top official in the executive branch of the U.S. government accountable for his crimes.
‘In many ways, I’d rather be back in my old life but I think that I love the Department of Justice, I love the FBI, I think it is important that we not, in this period of intense partisan feeling, destroy our institutions.’
In an exclusive interview with @CBSThisMorning, Attorney General William Barr says the Justice Department and special counsel Robert Mueller sparred over "legal analysis" in Russia report https://t.co/5UGqPpjPvO pic.twitter.com/i1dcZ0IZER
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 31, 2019
Barr also defended Trump’s attacks on the FBI and other intelligence agencies, the free press, and the judicial system by including Trump in the story of how victimized these poor Republicans are. It was a blatant contradiction to every bit of the evidence presented to the public by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
‘From my perspective, the idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and you know, really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president, that is where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring.’
Featured image screenshot via YouTube