The new Attorney General is no fan of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And with good reason.
Mueller is crooked, and Barr knows it. According to ABC,
Barr has been somewhat critical of special counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and has claimed there is more basis to investigate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her role in approving the 2010 acquisition of U.S. uranium stockpiles by a Russian energy company — a complicated deal that has come to be known simply as Uranium One.
“To the extent it is not pursuing these matters, the department is abdicating its responsibility,” Barr told the New York Times.
He also supported President Trump’s move to fire former FBI Director James Comey, writing in an Op-Ed in the Washington Post that Trump made the right move.
“Unfortunately, beginning in July, when he announced the outcome of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, he crossed a line that is fundamental to the allocation of authority in the Justice Department,” Barr wrote in the 2017 article.
Barr also at one point took issue with the political affiliations of those on Mueller’s team, telling the Washington Post in July of 2017 that “prosecutors who make political contributions are identifying fairly strongly with a political party.”
Barr was referring to reports in the Post that eight of Mueller’s prosecutors had donated to Democrats in the past.
I asked this question of the selection of Barr:
Why would President Trump reach that far back into the archives to dust off Barr? I don’t have the answer. But I suspect now that Trump found his sea legs, he navigates the treacherous DC waters with much more ease.
Now it appears other news outlets are starting to question what comes next for Mueller.
As Newsmax reported,
William Barr, President Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, blasted special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into potential obstruction of justice by Trump in a 20-page memo to the Justice Department back in June, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
In the unsolicited document, which was reviewed by the newspaper, Barr called the obstruction of justice inquiry a “fatally misconceived” theory that would cause lasting damage to the presidency. Barr wrote in the memo that he was submitting it as a “former official.”
“As I understand it, his theory is premised on a novel and legally insupportable reading of the law,” Barr wrote.
And he added: “I know you will agree that, if a DOJ investigation is going to take down a democratically-elected President, it is imperative to the health of our system and to our national cohesion that any claim of wrongdoing is solidly based on evidence of a real crime—not a debatable one,”
Barr knows exactly what’s happening. And he’s the type of AG President Trump needs: one who will enforce the law. This means putting an end to this farce.
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The Wall Street Journal covered the memo as follows:
Matthew G. Whitaker, who was installed last month as acting attorney general by President Trump, has cleared himself to supervise the special counsel’s investigation, rejecting the recommendation of career Justice Department ethics specialists that he recuse himself, a senior department official said on Thursday.
The development came soon after the disclosure that the president’s nominee for attorney general, William P. Barr, had written a memo this spring in which he strongly criticized one of the main lines of inquiry by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III — whether Mr. Trump had committed obstruction of justice. Disclosure of the memo raised questions about whether Mr. Barr would order Mr. Mueller to shut down that component of the inquiry if the Senate confirmed him.
Together, the developments underscored the potential threats to Mr. Mueller’s ability to complete his work without interference at a time when his inquiry appears to be drawing closer to the White House and the president’s most trusted associates.
Barr is under no obligation to play the game. He called it like he sees it. Moreover, unlike former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Barr will not recuse himself.
Chuck Schumer immediately tried to run interference. According to the Wall Street Journal, Schumer says the memo disqualifies Barr. So he undoubtedly will fight Barr on confirmation. Personally, I look forward to learning more about Barr during his eventual hearing.
One thing is clear. Democrats fear the appointment of Barr. From everything I can tell, they have reason to fear him. He doesn’t appear to mince words. And he’s far from being a Jeff Sessions.
We will follow this development closely.