Tag Archives: William Barr

William Barr: a profound disappointment

It is time for some disclosure on my part.

Jeff Sessions’ departure as U.S. attorney general was maddening in one respect: Even though I didn’t approve of his selection in the beginning, he did follow the law by recusing himself from the Russia investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign; when Trump fired him, he did so only because Sessions did the right thing and it spoke volumes about the corrupt intent within Trump.

Then came the appointment of William Barr. I was glad to see Barr get nominated. Why? He served as AG during President George H.W. Bush’s term in office and acquitted himself well in the early 1990s. I had hoped that Trump had found another grownup to join the Cabinet.

It didn’t take long for Barr to prove to me that he swilled the Trump Kool-Aid and would become a shill for the Carnival Barker in Chief rather than representing the best interests of the nation he took an oath to protect. How about that sham summary he provided after Robert Mueller issued his findings on collusion with the Russians during the 2016 campaign. You get my drift, right?

The firing this past week of the Southern District of New York U.S. attorney, Geoffrey Berman, sealed the deal for me. Berman was canned because he was investigating Trump’s business affairs. You can’t have that going on, Barr seemed to suggest. He fired Berman, who had refused to resign. Or maybe Trump told Barr to do it. Whatever, it doesn’t matter. The clumsy and ridiculous display of obvious political a**-covering exposed Barr once again as a toadie for Donald Trump.

My understanding of U.S. attorney appointments is that they are recommended by U.S. senators or House members to the Justice Department, which then passes the nomination on to the Senate, which confirms the appointment. The firing of Berman was done far outside the lines of propriety.

So, the drama continues and it will continue to unfold for as long as Donald Trump pretends to be president of the United States.

We need to get him out of the Oval Office … and be sure he takes William Barr with him.

Trump, Barr engage in liar’s contest

This is fantastic!

Attorney General William Barr says he asked Donald Trump to fire Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, so Trump did what he was asked by the AG to do.

You got that?

Wait! Trump said he played no part in Berman’s dismissal; it’s all Barr’s doing, he said.

Who’s telling the truth? Why should we even care to know, given both men’s penchant for lying?

Berman had been asked to resign the SDNY post, but he declined, saying he wanted to stay on the job until the Justice Department found a suitable replacement. However, DOJ or the White House couldn’t wait. So … someone fired Berman.

You see, Berman’s office was eyeball-deep in a probe of Donald Trump’s personal financial matters, including the release of those tax returns that Trump once upon a time pledged to release to the public once he got through what he called a “routine audit.”

Berman is out. The question of the day: Who did the deed?

My guess? Donald Trump told Barr to can the prosecutor. Why? He was getting too close to rooting out the corruption that runs rampant throughout the Trump White House operation.

Barr joins the cabal of disagrace

I had harbored some hope that William Barr would bring some integrity to the Donald Trump administration when he accepted the president’s nomination to lead the Department of Justice.

After all, he had served as attorney general in the early 1990s near the end of President George H.W. Bush’s term in office. He served then with honor and dignity.

I was terribly and tragically wrong. The attorney general’s latest recommendation that former national security adviser Michael Flynn avoid prosecution for lying to the FBI and to Vice President Mike Pence about the Russia attack on our electoral system in 2016.

Flynn has pleaded guilty twice to committing perjury. Now we hear Barr suggest that his lying wasn’t “material” to the investigation into whether Russia interfered in our election.

Here, though, comes a stunner: Nearly 2,000 former DOJ staffers have demanded Barr’s resignation. It reminds me of something a former editor of mine used to say: If someone calls you an ass, blow it off; if others call you an ass, then you need to shop for a saddle.

So now the AG has a couple thousand former DOJ lawyers and others calling him an ass.

As NBC News reports: The letter urges the judge who is in charge of the Flynn case, Emmet Sullivan, to “take a long, hard look at the government’s explanation and the evidence.” Barr is using the Justice Department to further President Donald Trump’s personal and political interests, it says, and “has undermined any claim to the deference that courts usually apply to the department’s decisions about whether or not to prosecute a case.”

The good news is that the judge to whom Flynn entered the guilty pleas must sign off on Barr’s request. Judge Sullivan is known to be an independent thinker, which of course gets to the beauty of the federal judicial system; these judges are appointed for life and, thus, are ostensibly removed from partisan considerations.

As for Barr, the letter signed by those thousands of DOJ staffers asks Congress to censure the AG. Just think, too, that many of those who signed the letter worked in Justice Departments under Democratic and Republican administrations.

Lastly, take a good look at the picture attached to this blog post. Barr is standing in front of a bust of the man after whom the Justice Department building is named: Robert F. Kennedy, the AG from 1961 to 1964. I can say with absolute certainty that RFK would be aghast and appalled at where William Barr has taken the Department of Justice.

RINO in chief is angering real Republicans … finally?

Donald John Trump is the quintessential Republican In Name Only.

Of that there ought to be little discussion. He is the RINO in chief of the party under whose banner he ran for president in 2016.

Now some of the actual Republicans within the GOP are urging the current president to leave his mitts off of William Barr’s Department of Justice apparatus.

Is the RINO in chief going to listen? Will he cease denigrating the Justice Department professional prosecutors? Will he let the AG do his job, which is to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement official — contrary to what Trump has said, declaring himself to be the nation’s top cop. No. He won’t do any of it. Not ever.

One of those actual Republicans, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, said this: “The president does have a tendency to lash out and I think in this case he would be well advised to try to temper that.”

No kidding, senator? Cornyn has just “advised” him to do what he suggests.

As for Barr, he has disappointed me terribly. I had high hope that he’d take his post as AG and restore its integrity, which had been sullied by the incessant berating of former AG Jeff Sessions by the RINO in chief. After all, he had served as attorney general near the end of President Bush 41’s term in office. He brought experience running the DOJ the right way.

It hasn’t happened. The RINO in chief is worsening the Barr era at Justice by tweeting constantly about pending criminal cases. Barr reportedly is threatening to quit; other media reports say he isn’t going anywhere.

Meanwhile, the DOJ career prosecutors and their legal staffs are being whipsawed and buggy-whipped by the turmoil.

I am wondering at this moment: How in the world does the attorney general actually stomach all this tempest if he is serious about the expression of angst over Trump’s Twitter tirades?

Just go ahead and quit, Mr. AG

The word is out via the Washington Post that Attorney General William Barr is so fed up with Donald Trump that he is considering taking a hike from his post.

He is tired of POTUS’s tweets about current cases and is tired of Trump’s attempts to undermine the legal pros who work for Barr at the Department of Justice. Or so it is being reported.

The quit-now chorus is growing in Washington, for those reasons and for others relating to the work he has done as attorney general, namely his seeming loyalty first to the president and his apparent rejection of the oath he took to defend and protect the Constitution.

I am generally in the latter camp. I am greatly disappointed in the job Barr has done. He has acted far more like Donald Trump’s personal lawyer than a man who took a sacred oath to protect the nation’s governing document.

However, if he wants to quit and cite the president’s interference, well, that’s fine with me, too.

William Barr would be entitled to use whatever reason he chooses to use. Indeed, the apparent burgeoning tension between the president and the AG would seem to be reason enough for Barr to call it quits on the guy Trump reportedly wanted to be his “Roy Cohn.”

And, just who was Cohn? He was the infamous attorney who stood up for the equally infamous Sen. Joseph McCarthy who launched the anti-commie tirade in the early 1950s. Cohn ended up getting disgraced and disbarred over the manner in which he conducted himself while McCarthy sought to ferret out communist infiltrators in our federal government.

In any event, William Barr likely needs to go. Count me as one American who’s all-in on the attorney general hitting the road.

Trump is correct: It is ‘legal’ for him to interfere with DOJ … but it’s not right!

Here’s a flash for you: Donald John Trump happens to be correct in saying that his meddling in U.S. Department of Justice criminal matters is “legal.”

It doesn’t make it right. However, what Trump is doing with his meddlesome tweets about DOJ cases and his undermining of the attorney general’s authority on certain matters doesn’t break any laws.

So, this president now freed of the threat of impeachment — at least for now — has embarked on a new campaign of heightened abuses of the office he still occupies.

Trump fired off a Twitter message that disparaged a sentence recommendation for his old pal Roger Stone, whom a jury convicted of multiple felonies. Attorney General William Barr then responded by reducing the recommendations. The line prosecutors who authored the initial request quit in protest.

Barr then told ABC News that Trump should stop tweeting about these matters, saying it makes it “impossible” for him to do his job.

Trump has kept tweeting messages. Barr is thought to be angry about it. Trump then said what he’s doing is “legal.” Yes. It is legal.

It is wrong, nonetheless. It is wrong for Trump to throw his weight around in this blatant manner. It is wrong to interfere with the attorney general’s duties. It is wrong to meddle in the nuts and bolts of sentencing, which is handled in this case by a federal judge … who also has drawn brickbats hurled at her by the president. Whatever happened to the “independent” federal judiciary? Trump is undermining that independence, too!

Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing in real time a president who is seeking to reconfigure the relationship between his office and the rule of law.

I am frightened at what we are seeing.

How much more is there to Barr’s dispute with POTUS?

Oh, how I want to believe Attorney General William Barr’s declaration that Donald Trump’s tweeting about pending criminal justice matters makes it “impossible” for the AG to do his job.

It’s just that whenever anything emerges with Donald Trump’s fingerprints on it, one must look for the rest of the story.

Barr told ABC News that he wants the president to stop tweeting about pending cases. He said the president is interfering with Justice Department officials doing their job.

Barr also said that his decision to recommend a lighter sentence for Trump pal Roger Stone than the one that prosecutors had sought had nothing to do with Trump’s tweet that called the prosecutors’ recommendation a “miscarriage of justice.”

However, I am left to wonder whether that is the whole truth. He could make that declaration without acknowledging any sort of pre-arranged agreement with Trump … correct?

I want to get back to the key point, which is that if Trump is going to continue to tweet and commend openly about matters that require discretion, that Barr’s job will remain an impossibility.

What does the AG do? He should just quit. Walk away. Go back to private practice. Leave the chaos and confusion to the next sucker who is willing to take the thankless job of reporting to the current president of the United States.

I had hoped that William Barr would be the grownup in a Cabinet full of sycophants and toadies. He has proven me wrong. Barr could restore some of that hope simply by quitting.

Hey, Mr. AG: POTUS isn’t going to stop tweeting; so just resign

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has laid down an important marker.

He said in an ABC News interview that Donald John Trump’s tweets make it “impossible for me to do my job.” He added that “I think it’s time to stop tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”

Yep, the AG said that. He told ABC correspondent Pierre Thomas that very thing.

Trump has been tweeting about Justice Department recommendations that his pal Roger Stone should get a seven- to nine-year prison term for lying to Congress and for witness intimidation.

He also has been chiding the federal judge presiding over the case. The president has been interfering directly in the criminal justice process.

So, Barr says the president’s interference makes it “impossible” for him to continue as attorney general?

Here’s a thought, Mr. AG: You should grant yourself and the rest of us a profound public service … by resigning. 

What? AG is showing spunk, actual integrity?

What in the name of judicial integrity has gotten into U.S. Attorney General William Barr?

The AG consented to an interview with ABC News and criticized Donald John Trump for commenting on pending judicial cases, for criticizing federal judges, for using his Twitter account to set policy.

When pressed by ABC News correspondent Pierre Thomas about how the president will react to being criticized by a member of the Cabinet, Barr said he will resist being “bullied” by anyone, and that includes the president of the United States.

Trump has been on a Twitter tirade of late, criticizing former White House chief of staff John Kelly over the ex-chief’s criticism of Trump over his handling of firing Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and other matters relating to the Ukraine matter that led to the House impeachment of Trump.

Now comes the attorney general, who’s been a disappointment to many of us who had hoped he would be the grownup among Trump sycophants. He has proved to be little more than a Trump toadie … at least until right about now!

Barr is saying what he should have been saying all along, that Trump is behaving badly and is putting the country in dire jeopardy with his irresponsible assertions via Twitter about pending legal matters. The president’s interference in the Roger Stone sentencing recommendation from DOJ prosecutors is just the latest example.

Stone faces a prison sentence after a jury convicted him of lying under oath and intimidating witnesses related to the Russia election attack probe. DOJ attorneys recommended seven to nine years in the slammer. Trump called the recommendation a “miscarriage of justice”; Barr responded by reducing the recommendation.

My sense, though, after hearing his ABC interview, is that he doesn’t like Trump meddling in these matters.

Read my lips, Mr. POTUS; here is what your pal Roger Stone did

What are you talking about, Mr. President?

You went off on that White House rant about Roger Stone being humiliated, ruined, framed by “corrupt” Justice Department prosecutors. I’ll get right to the point, Mr. President.

You, sir, are full of sh**.

Your railing against the sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years is based on clear-cut charges that the jury convicted Stone of committing. Yet you said “no one knows” what the charges are. Really?

The jury convicted your pal of lying to Congress — under oath; of witness tampering; of witness intimidation. It’s on the record, Mr. President. If you took the time to read anything, you would know it.

Aw, but what the heck. That wouldn’t stop you, as near as I can tell, from blathering idiocy, which is what you did in the presence of the Ecuadoran president.

Stone is a convicted felon. He deserves to spend time in prison. The sentencing recommendation was appropriate. And yet you interfered with sentencing policies. It looks to me as if you cowed the attorney general into reducing the sentencing recommendation.

As for the prosecutors who quit in protest, they showed considerable courage and commitment to the rule of law.

Unlike you and so many of your Republican allies in Congress.

Shameful.