ATTORNEY GENERALIZATIONS

Trump Stooge on Trial on the Hill

I’m totally mystified why the new Attorney General, William Barr, released a four-page letter after receiving the full Mueller Report on March 24, 2019. It has been called a summary, but while testifying in Congress, he said it wasn’t really a summary. Are you confused yet?

It was only a few years ago that the Director of the FBI, James Comey, attempted to do the same thing, even though it was against policy to comment on an active investigation. When these officials speak, the nation listens. In Barr’s case, he claimed the letter was intended to provide an overview of the 400-page Mueller report, while waiting for his team and the Special Counsel to redact parts that deal with Grand Jury testimony, ongoing investigations and court cases. His redactions should prevent exposure of those who were not charged with any crime, preserving their innocence, unless and until proven guilty.

I found Barr’s statements to the House and Senate Appropriation Committees didn’t clarify the language or intent of his March 24 letter. He refused to talk about what he wrote, but spoke of “other probes” that might be coming. Didn’t he do exactly what former FBI head James Comey did when right before the election he talked to the American public about the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton? Unlike Trump, his boss, Barr refuses to call the Mueller probe a “witch hunt” or illegal investigation. Yet Barr seemed to laugh with the Republicans about the potential of a leak by Congress should the full report be given to them.

What I found most disturbing was Barr’s lack of candor about the Department of Justice’s reversal on the case against the Affordable Care Act. He made it seem like his own decision to have the act nullified by the courts is so outrageous that no one should worry it will actually happen. Barr said his decision to reverse course two weeks ago was based on what he could legally justify and the President’s wishes. He didn’t say that his intent had anything to do with the good of Americans. Strange isn’t it? He seems to have no concept or regard for the millions of citizens who would surely suffer if that act was torn from them.

Then there’s this convoluted logic. He wrote a letter saying what the report didn’t say, as much as what he thought it said, but didn’t want to include more because people would talk about it. Huh? Let’s read between his lines. That letter was not a favor to the American public.  It was a big, wet, sloppy kiss for Donald Trump.

The more Barr talks, the more I see him as a partisan player who was put into place to do exactly what Trump wants him to do. This is the kind of AG that Trump trusted Jeff Sessions to be but was publicly disappointed when Mr. Sessions followed the law. I don’t know Barr’s exact agenda, but his answers and non-answers make it clear he’s just another creature in the swamp of old-line Washington politics. Remember, he was standing behind President George H.W. Bush when he pardoned all the liars in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Barr also told a Senate panel on Wednesday that he thinks “spying did occur” by the US government on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. He plays right into Trump’s narrative, then adds, “I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that. I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.” The rules he spoke of are those that were enacted many years ago after it was disclosed that Vietnam protesters were the targets of government surveillance. Barr is simply broadcasting misinformation, adding fuel to many of Trump’s most troubling conspiracy theories. This feels more like Nixonian opinion on Presidential power rather than justice for all.

Perhaps William Barr will look better once the Mueller report is released, but the ability to shade the effect of the report by redaction will be closely monitored by the Democrats in oversight committees. Trump thinks he won, but this is but one round in ongoing investigations. Mueller could not exonerate the President because he can’t foresee the future disposition of those cases. The Donald may see Barr’s letter as a personal pardon, but there is more coming.

This isn’t wishful thinking. In another battle, Trump will stonewall the release of his tax returns. He will wait until after the election to pardon his buddies, but if he loses the election he could end up sitting in meetings with lawyers over the next ten years. In the end, he will do no jail time because, as he says, “the system is rigged.” Rich, white, powerful men always prevail in America and that is the reason we need many more reforms that help citizens, not officials. It might be time to get rid of those in government who don’t work in the interests of the people who pay them, we the taxpayers.

BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

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