Some Americans will say it’s better late than never; others will say it’s too little too late.
The “it” is a just-published memoir entitled “One Damned Thing After Another” by former U.S. Attorney William Barr, who worked under Trump for two years. In that book, Barr divulges what he claims were his thoughts during the last weeks of the Trump presidency – thoughts that any conscientious attorney would have shouted from the rooftops to alert the American public.
Why should we care? Because every American should pay scrupulous attention to the assaults against the Rule of Law by the Executive Branch and some Justice Department employees during the last presidential administration.
Barr is yet another kiss-and-tell exile from the Trump Kingdom – one of those who either quit the circus or were thrown under the clown car. A common theme of many of their books and interviews is this: that they stayed on with Trump because they knew he was uninformed, hot-headed, fickle and at times so unhinged as to be dangerous. And so, they claim they stayed on board like glorified babysitters to keep “Tantrum Trump” on track, to protect him from himself, to protect our country.
Now that Trump’s magic has worn off, at least for them, they are distancing from him in efforts to clean up their reputations so besmirched by their complicity among chaos.
Barr says he confronted Trump in the Oval Office by shouting that claims of massive election fraud were “Bull . . . .!” Trump became “livid.” Barr said he’s ready to submit his resignation. Trump, said Barr, shouted, “Accepted!”
Barr’s survival instinct was flashing warning lights because he knew voters had rejected Trump. Barr knew he could no longer keep his power via presidential osmosis; he knew he was about to become forever branded as a fawning Trump enabler. As top lawman in the nation, he twisted laws and procedures to favor Trump. Here are just some examples:
In a three-page summary written by himself, he distorted Robert Mueller’s special investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russian operatives. Barr concluded there was “no collusion,” thus implying the president was utterly blameless. That is not what Mueller’s report concluded.
Barr put the squeeze on subpoenas from Congress for documents that could expose wrong-doing and for details of a whistleblower’s report that spawned the first impeachment of the president.
Barr tried to help stop federal prosecutors from getting their hands on Trump’s long-concealed tax documents.
Many times Barr has said he believes presidential power is – or should be –nearly unlimited.
In the months before the 2020 election, Barr was busy making media appearances to warn about the chance of voting fraud, concocting outlandish alarms about mail-in ballots and other nefarious voting schemes. He was blatantly echoing Trump’s fake predictions of a fake election, which later segued into the Big Lie.
Barr’s book shocks readers with a surprising conclusion: “Trump cared only about one thing: himself. Country and principle took second place.” Takes one to know one.
In a March 7 TV interview with Savannah Guthrie, Barr said he would not support Trump as the Republican nominee in 2024. But what if Trump IS the nominee?, Guthrie asked.
Barr stumbled verbally a bit: “Well, let me put it this way. I believe the greatest threat to the country is the progressive agenda put forth by the Democratic Party . . . It’s hard for me to conceive that I wouldn’t vote for the Republican nominee.”
Unlike Barr, many think the greatest threat to this country is the re-election of Autocrat Trump and his power-seeking toadies who will scurry, once again, to his side.
Maybe by 2024, Trump will claim he is a kinder, gentler, wiser man. Fat chance! But if he’s nominated, Barr with renewed confidence can then surely vote for him. And then, once again, those two peas in a pod can continue to sabotage the Rule of Law.