Tag Archives: William Barr

Barr breaks with POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Attorney General William Barr is about to step away from public life, but before he goes he is dealing Donald J. Trump a punch in the gut.

To which I say: It is about damn time!

Barr today declared — two days before he departs the Justice Department — that there is no need for a special counsel to investigate alleged election fraud; nor is there a need to investigate the dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The gut punch occurs because Trump believes there is a need for a special counsel to look at both matters. Barr, who has been criticized roundly — and with justification — for his fealty to the president, is putting the finishing touches on his Justice Department career by telling us the truth about this bogus special counsel demand.

One is that there is no widespread voter fraud of the type Trump has alleged. Two is that the Hunter Biden matter is being handled responsibly by U.S. prosecutors in Delaware.

As NBC News has reported: “I see no basis now for seizing machines by the federal government — wholesale seizure of machines by the federal government,” he said, adding that he stood by his statement there was no widespread fraud that would affect the outcome of the presidential election.

I expect the Twitter tirade from Donald Trump to be forthcoming.

Barr resignation: perfect metaphor

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s resignation today splashed itself all over the news in a perfect metaphor for what the Donald Trump administration has become.

It symbolizes the chaos and confusion many of us saw coming.

Barr’s letter doesn’t mention the word “resignation.” Indeed, it speaks so glowingly about Donald Trump it leaves many of us wondering whether Trump himself actually wrote it. Would it surprise you if it comes out that Trump penned a resignation letter from the AG? Me neither.

Barr will leave office on Dec. 23. So, the Justice Department won’t have a permanent AG for the final month of the Trump administration. Nor will it have a permanent defense secretary, given that Trump fired Mark Esper a few weeks ago.

Think of this: the nation’s top legal eagle and its defense boss are gone in the waning weeks of an administration that burned through countless Cabinet secretaries and chief advisers and aides.

Trump is staggering out of office, giving way to President-elect Biden’s team that is forming daily.

My head is spinning.

It’s over, Donald … Donald?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Cue the Fat Lady.

She’s the one who sings when the party — or in this case,  the fight to hold onto power — is over.

The Electoral College today cast more than enough votes to elect Joe Biden as the nation’s next president. As I write this brief post, Hawaii has yet to meet, but that state’s four electoral votes will go to the president-elect.

What now for the current president? He says he’ll keep mounting legal challenges. Well, there ain’t any left.

Oh, then there’s this: Attorney General William Barr, about five minutes after President-elect Biden secured enough votes to be elected by the Electoral College, turned his resignation. He’s quitting effective Dec. 23. I am sure he will have a wonderful, joyous Christmas.

I am going to listen for the faint tunes of the Fat Lady. She’s singing in anticipation of the next president taking office.

Oh, yes … she sounds so sweet to me.

Now it’s the AG in the crosshairs?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Listen to the chatter out there.

We hear now that Donald Trump is mad as hell at U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Why? Well … because Barr — who’s been Trump’s water boy for the length of his tenure as AG — has decided to, um, tell the truth about Trump’s assertion of “widespread voter fraud” in the 2020 election.

Barr said he can find no evidence of such fraud. Nothing to affect the outcome of the election. Not even a little bit of fraud. Yes, the Justice Department probe into Trump’s wild accusations have revealed that they are, uh, just wild accusations.

Trump won’t rule out firing Barr just 46 days until the end of his administration. Hmm. I wish I could say it matters now. It doesn’t. Barr has done enough damage to the rule of law already, such as when he misrepresented former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia collusion investigation he conducted prior to Donald Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives. Remember that one? It forced Mueller to issue a statement rebuking Barr’s false narrative of what the report contained.

At this point, it doesn’t matter. Other than firing Barr would reveal the depths of Donald Trump’s narcissism.

Hurry up, Jan. 20. The nation awaits a new president who can restore dignity to this office.

Barr does the right thing … finally!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who’s been accused of acting more like Donald J. Trump’s personal attorney than a defender of the U.S. Constitution, has issued a statement that, to be candid, surprised me.

He said that the Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have any impact on the outcome of the presidential election.

Holy crap, man! Haven’t many of us out here been saying that? Sure we have!

Whatever the case, the AG has made a declaration that is music to me. It likely sounds like fingernails on the blackboard to one Donald Trump, to which I say: that’s just too damn bad!

The POTUS vows to continue his idiotic hunt for results that will turn around an election that President-elect Biden won handily. He is going to bleed funds from his campaign coffers to search for some court somewhere in the U.S. of A. that will declare there to be fraud where none exists.

For that matter, were I a Trump campaign contributor, I would be mighty pi**ed off that Trump is using this money for a foolish quest to prove wrongdoing where none exists.

Barr’s statement now guarantees he’ll get a nasty Twitter blast from Donald Trump. Mr. Attorney General, you should wear it proudly.

Barr set to provide ‘last-minute dump’?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A newspaper editor for whom I worked for many years in the early part of my journalism career had a term I want to invoke here.

He called them “last-minute dumps,” which were letters to the editor submitted by those who wanted to inflict damage on politicians at the end of an election campaign. My boss would refuse to run them in the paper, saying they weren’t fair to the politician upon whom the writer was dumping.

The rules of fairness in journalism don’t usually apply in politics, so I am wondering at this moment whether Donald Trump is going to demand that Attorney General William Barr provide a last-minute dump on Joe Biden.

You see, he wants Barr to release information at the last minute of a losing campaign that will harm Biden’s chances of defeating him.

Were this early in Barr’s tenure as AG, I might be inclined to suggest that Barr wouldn’t stand still for this kind of overt political pressure. I had faith that Barr, who served as AG at the end of President George Bush 41’s term, would act honorably. That was then. Now … I am not so sure.

Barr has said he wouldn’t be pressured by anyone, and that includes the president. He has acted time and again more like Donald Trump’s “boy” than the chief law enforcement officer of the nation.

The race is staggering toward the finish line. Biden and Trump are set to meet again tonight in another televised joint appearance. Only the Almighty knows how Trump will behave.

As for the last-minute dump that might reveal itself between now and Election Day, an AG with honor and respect for the oath he took would resign on the spot rather than do the bidding of an individual who possesses neither “honor” or “respect” for the oath he took.

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?