You may choose to believe this . . . or you might choose to disbelieve it. I don’t care. I’ll offer this anyway.
I really want to believe that Attorney General William Barr takes seriously the oath to which he swore when he vowed to uphold the rule of law and to defend the U.S. Constitution.
My hope is being strained almost to the point of snapping.
The report from The New York Times from part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team that Barr might have shaded the team’s work is most disturbing.
The Times reports that some of Mueller’s team have complained that Barr’s four-page summary of the 22-month investigation into whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians doesn’t adequately express the team’s view of what it found. They are saying that Barr is soft-pedaling some of the more troubling aspects the conclusions drawn.
This does force me to join others in wondering whether Barr is more loyal to the president than he is to the law. The oath he took was not to pledge loyalty to Donald Trump. He put his hand on a Bible and swore in the name of God Almighty that he would be faithful to the law. Isn’t that what all our federal officials pledge?
My hope when the president nominated Barr to be AG after he fired Jeff Sessions only because Sessions did what was proper — which was to recuse himself from the Russia probe — was that Barr would emerge as a grownup, as a serious public servant.
I still want to believe that’s the case. He served as AG under a previous Republican president, George H.W. Bush. He is a known quantity. Barr possesses a first-rate legal mind.
Did he, though, “audition” for the AG’s job with that memo declaring that the president couldn’t be prosecuted for any crime because he is the president?
I do not want to believe that.
The NY Times, though, has cast serious doubt on all of that with the report from members of Mueller’s team that the AG has, um, shaded their findings to protect the president.
Say it ain’t so, Bill. More than that, prove it ain’t so. Release the full report to the public.