In a wide-ranging interview with Laura Ingraham, who clerked for Clarence Thomas but now makes a living pretending not to understand the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, Attorney General Bill Barr promised that arrests of those Deep State Obama Justice Department Trump haters are coming soon!
“My own view,” Barr said Thursday when the topic of the Russia investigation came up, “is that the evidence shows that we’re not dealing with just mistakes or sloppiness. There is something far more troubling here, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it. And if people broke the law, and we can establish that with the evidence, they will be prosecuted.”
If people broke the law, one might expect that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz would have mentioned it in his 400-page report. Instead he found that the investigation was properly predicated and conducted without bias. But never fear, because Barr is priming the pump for an October surprise from Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, whose “primary focus isn’t to prepare a report. He is looking to bring to justice people who are engaged in abuses if he can show that there were criminal violations, and that’s what the focus is on.”
“Without any basis, they started this investigation of his [Trump’s] campaign, and even more concerning, actually is what happened after the campaign,” Barr told Ingraham. “[There was] a whole pattern of events while he was president … to sabotage the presidency … or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency.”
Hey, remember when the Trump administration pretended they were firing James Comey because he made public statements about Hillary Clinton’s BUT HER EMAILS in the absence of an indictment? LOL forever!
Barr also had #Thoughts on the firing of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, whom Trump trashed at one of his daily MAGA pressers this week, saying, “He took a whistleblower report, which turned out to be a fake report — it was fake. It was totally wrong. It was about my conversation with the President of Ukraine. He took a fake report and he brought it to Congress, with an emergency. Okay? Not a big Trump fan — that, I can tell you.”
Unsurprisingly, Bill Barr agreed, insisting that “[Atkinson] is obliged to follow the interpretation of the Department of Justice, and he ignored it.” Nowhere in the statute does an obligation to run investigations up the flagpole for approval make an appearance, but perhaps it’s written in invisible ink that only Federalist Society Members can see.
Having mangled the law, Barr moved on to loyally flogging Trump’s plan to reopen the economy at the end of the month, describing the social distancing measures supported by medical and public health officials as “draconian.”
“We cannot keep for a long period of time our economy shut down just on the public health thing. It means less cancer. Cancer researchers are at home. A lot of the disease reaches researchers who will save lives in the future. That’s being held in abeyance,” he said, confusingly. “The money that goes into these institutions, whether philanthropic sources or government sources, is going to be reduced. We will have a weaker health care system if we go into a deep depression. So it just measured it in lives. The cure cannot be worse than the disease.”
Look, the “public health thing” is all well and good, but if you don’t let Donald Trump kill you with covid, you’re going to die of cancer, okay?
“It’s very disappointing because I think the president went out at the beginning of this and really was statesmanlike, trying to bring people together, working with all the governors,” Barr rhapsodized. “Keeping his patience as he as he got these snarky, gotcha questions from the White House media pool and the stridency of the partisan attacks on him has gotten higher and higher.”
Remember when Donald Trump joked about being “under” a model, but not like a coronavirus model, HAR HAR? Why can’t the press be less snarky when confronted with such gravitas and statesmanship, that’s what Bill Barr wants to know!
And then the nation’s top law enforcement officer accused the media of being on a “jihad” against the unproven antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. Because, on top of everything else, Bill Barr is a doctor now.
This is your brain on Fox News. Clearly the only way we’re going to survive this pandemic is through collective action. Quick, take your mask and gloves, sneak into your parents’ house, switch the channel to PBS, and STEAL THE REMOTE. It’s our only hope!
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.