Prior to the election of Donald Trump, my nominee for the worst human being to ever hold public office would have been Dick Cheney (Newt Gingrich and Mitch McConnell would certainly be contenders). The moment that captures my sentiments about the former vice president came when Martha Raddatz asked him to respond to the fact that two-thirds of the American public did not think the Iraq War was worth fighting. Cheney grinned and said, “So?” There are those who would suggest that his behavior at that moment was indicative of a sociopath.
I say all of that because I see a similarity between Cheney and Attorney General William Barr. Just a month ago, a federal judge criticized Barr for the “lack of candor” in his initial four-page summary of the Mueller report. The message from the judge was clear: based on the serious discrepancies between Barr’s statements about Mueller’s findings and the actual report, the attorney general can’t be trusted.
Regardless of that unprecedented rebuke, here is what Barr said about the Mueller investigation during an interview with Laura Ingraham.
Preview of pt 2 Barr interview with Ingraham: “What happened to POTUS was one of the greatest travesties in American history, no basis for this investigation, what’s even more concerning is what happened after the campaign, a whole pattern of events… to sabotage the presidency” pic.twitter.com/85YLJU6IIZ
— Luke Goldberg (@LukeGoldberg4) April 9, 2020
In effect, Barr’s response to being repudiated by a federal judge for his dishonesty was to say, “So?”
While it is not new for Barr to question the investigation, Aaron Blake demonstrates how he ramped up his rhetoric during that interview.
While he called it a “travesty” before, he is now calling it “one of the greatest travesties in American history.” While he said that the evidence was “insufficient” before, he’s now saying the probe was “without any basis” whatsoever. While he said that he couldn’t yet say if it was done in “bad faith” before, he now says it was done “to sabotage the presidency — or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency.”
Keep in mind that Barr announced these conclusions while U.S. Attorney John Durham is supposedly in the midst of an investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. What Barr is telling us is that the outcome has been pre-determined. The attorney general isn’t interested in gathering information. His goal is to vindicate Trump and find dirt to smear those he has already determined to be guilty—primarily former CIA Director John Brennan.
The ramifications of that are chilling. Not only do we have an attorney general who is completely dismissive of a rebuke from a federal judge, we also have a man in charge of the Justice Department that has no interest in actual justice, but is driven by political retribution.