Barr hangs tough as political hurricane shakes Dept. of Justice

by WorldTribune Staff, February 19, 2020

Democrats and their leftist media allies had a “stop-the-presses” moment Tuesday when reports surfaced that Attorney General William Barr was fed up with President Donald Trump’s tweets and was ready to quit.

For proper context media consumers had to consider the sources of the Barr rumors — The Washington Post and Associated Press. Per standard operating procedure of the corporate media, the reports cited “anonymous” administration officials.

President Donald Trump said he has ‘total confidence’ in Attorney General William Barr but clarified: ‘I have a voice.’ / YouTube

Conservative analysts noted what was obvious to those not suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome”: The reports of Barr’s imminent departure were the usual anti-Trump propaganda from the usual suspects.

Laura Ingraham on Fox News cited her own sources confirming that the AG was indeed stressed. However his office had a simple response.

“Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec tweeted on Tuesday.

Barr “has his limits,” one anonymous person allegedly familiar with Barr’s thinking told The Washington Post. Its report suggested that Barr wanted Trump to “get the message” to stop weighing in publicly in ongoing criminal cases. An anonymous administration official gave a similar admission on Barr to The Associated Press.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump said he understood his tweets makes Barr’s job harder. Trump said he has “total confidence in my attorney general” but insisted that “everybody has the right to speak their mind.” He added: “And I probably wouldn’t have gotten here without social media because I certainly don’t get fair press.”

“Yeah, I do make his job harder. I do agree with that. I think that’s true,” the president said. “He’s a very straight shooter. We have a great attorney general, and he’s working very hard. … But I will say this: Social media, for me, has been very important because it gives me a voice, because I don’t get that voice in the press. In the media, I don’t get that voice. So I’m allowed to have a voice.”

Trump had thanked Barr for overruling entrenched DOJ prosecutors who recommended that former Trump adviser Roger Stone serve between seven and nine years behind bars on his conviction for lying to Congress.

Trump on Tuesday continued to publicly criticize the handling of the Stone case: “Everything having to do with this fraudulent investigation is badly tainted and, in my opinion, should be thrown out,” tweeted Trump. “The whole deal was a total SCAM.”

Stone is expected to be sentenced Thursday on charges of obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements and witness tampering for lying to lawmakers investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

New York Post columnist Rich Lowry wrote on Tuesday: “Can the republic survive William Barr? The question has seized the media and center-left, which have worked themselves into a full-blown panic over an attorney general who is, inarguably, a serious legal figure and one of the adults in the room late in President Trump’s first term.”

Lowry cited the letter signed by some 2,000 former DOJ employees calling on Barr to resign. He also noted that “an anti-Barr piece in The Atlantic opined that ‘it is not too strong to say that Bill Barr is un-American’ and warned that his America is ‘a banana republic where all are subject to the whims of a dictatorial president and his henchmen.’ ”

Lowry wrote: “This is impressive heavy-breathing over an AG whose alleged offense doesn’t hold a candle to the greatest hits of his predecessors:

“Woodrow Wilson’s attorney general A. Mitchell Palmer carried out raids to arrest suspected leftists in the wake of World War I.

“Bobby Kennedy, serving as his brother’s attorney general, authorized the wiretapping of Martin Luther King.”

Lowry continued: “It’s no wonder that Barr has a poorly disguised contempt for his critics, many of whom are so ¬inflamed by their opposition to Trump that they have lost any sense of standards. In a peppery speech to a Federalist Society conference last year that is now one of the counts against him, Barr rightly warned that ‘it is the left that is engaged in a systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law.’ ”

Meanwhile, the DOJ has appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott Brady, and U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York to oversee matters that could “potentially relate” to matters involving Ukraine.

The DOJ made the announcement Tuesday in a letter sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nalder, a staunch critic of Barr.

“As you know, the Department typically does not provide information relating to ongoing matters,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote. “However, the Department is aware of news reports and public comments from Members of Congress that have significantly distorted the public’s understanding of the Department’s handling of such cases.”

“The Deputy Attorney General’s efforts to coordinate matters potentially related to Ukraine, and to provide for the receipt of relevant information, does not circumvent the Department’s established channels,” Boyd added.

Boyd’s letter was a response to a letter sent by Nadler to Barr, where the House Judiciary Committee chairman questioned if Barr was “in league” with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

“Whether or not you are in league with Mr. Giuliani and his associates, DOJ guidelines, and regulations exist to protect you and the Department from even the appearance of a conflict of interest or any impropriety,” Nadler wrote last week.

Boyd attempted to shoot down the allegations that Barr and Giuliani were coordinating on Ukraine in Tuesday’s letter.

“As Attorney General Barr has repeatedly affirmed, he has not discussed matters relating to Ukraine with Rudolph Giuliani,” he said.

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