For some time, William Barr was a hero of the Trump administration. As a result he was reviled by Democrats. But near the end, he had a falling out with Trump, which I take it related mainly to Trump’s insistence on questioning the results of the (highly questionable) 2020 election. Now the enmity between the two men has grown bitter, as Barr is a subject of, and a collaborator in, a book by Jonathan Karl titled Betrayal. Evidently the betrayer was Donald Trump.
To say that this battle among former political and ideological allies is unfortunate is an understatement. Another friend, Roger Simon, takes up the case and sides with Trump:
I doubt it’s an accident only days before we are supposed to learn some of the results of the epochal recount in Arizona’s Maricopa County, an article has popped up in The Atlantic—“Inside William Barr’s Breakup With Trump.” The subtitle is: “In the final months of the administration, the doggedly loyal attorney general finally had enough.”
The article that seeks to assure us of this is by Jonathan Karl, ABC’s White House correspondent and among the more prominent members of the mainstream media nomenklatura, ergo militantly anti-Trump from the start….
Karl’s new book, due in November, is called “Betrayal,” or, as its publisher puts it, “the story of Trump’s downfall, complete with riveting behind-the-scenes accounts of some of the darkest days in the history of the American presidency.”
More January 6 hysteria, apparently.
Karl himself writes in the article (obviously also a promo for the book):
“In a series of interviews with me this spring, Barr spoke, for the first time, about the events surrounding his break with Trump. I have also spoken with other senior officials in the Trump White House and Justice Department, who provided additional details about Barr’s actions and the former president’s explosive response. Barr and those close to him have a reason to tell his version of this story. He has been widely seen as a Trump lackey who politicized the Justice Department.
Seen as a lackey by political hacks like Karl himself, that is. A “politicized” DOJ is one that serves under a Republican president.
But when the big moment came after the election, he defied the president who expected him to do his bidding.”
Generally speaking, of course, the Attorney General is supposed to do the bidding of his boss, the president. But there are limits, as with any cabinet officer.
Roger questions whether Barr was ever a particularly loyal servant of his president:
[W]hy would Barr choose to state his case with, of all people, a journalist who has been, for all intents and purposes, a major propagandist for the other side?
A parallel and ultimately more important question raised inadvertently by the article is why, back on Dec. 1, 2020, Barr told the Associated Press beat reporter Michael Balsamo (mumbling, so it had to be repeated, if we are to believe Karl) “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
The Democrats seized on this observation by their former bete noire as proof that Republicans’ claims of election fraud–which unquestionably occurred, the issue was its extent–were baseless.
[W]orth asking is where Barr got his information so early in the game, only a few days more than a month after the election?
The answer is from the same Department of Justice and FBI that brought us the endless lies about non-existent Trump-Russia collusion and the consequent despicable and possibly traitorous behavior regarding Gen. Michael Flynn, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos—the same DOJ and FBI Barr had promised to fix but seems absolutely the same as it always was, maybe worse, something painfully close to our own homegrown NKVD, if not already there.
Why would he (or anyone) trust information from such people after all we have gone through? And so quickly that a thorough investigation could not possibly have taken place? What was wrong with him? Or is Barr an entirely different man than we thought, someone more akin to, well, Jonathan Karl?
I don’t think so. But Roger makes the case that Barr is a swamp creature:
This is also the same William Barr who told us early on that Barack Obama and Joe Biden were off limits in the investigation he had assigned John Durham in order to put the whole Trump-Russia fraud to rights (by 2060 at the latest, evidently).
I confess that I had almost forgotten John Durham. Is he still out there? Still investigating? Who knows? The truth about the Democrats’ concocting of the Russia collusion hoax is now pretty well known, but there obviously will never be a public accounting.
And it is probably the mootest of points, given what transpired with Durham’s Lost Investigation, but why were Obama and Biden off limits? Was Barr pulling his punches from the start? Did he declare Obama and Biden off limits because the Democrats scrupulously refrained from investigating President Trump?
Just kidding. Roger continues:
It’s a dance many of us outside the Beltway and the coasts recognize, a kind of preservation/elevation ritual for the Deep State and all those who profit from it. That includes the mainstream media, a key participant if there ever were one, whose best known members do exceptionally well under the existing system. (Karl’s net worth is an estimated $11M. Rachel Maddow is said to be worth $25M off an annual salary of $7M).
Doing even better is longtime Beltway attorney William Barr whose net worth was estimated by Forbes at $40M. If this is about Barr saving his own skin, he has a lot to save.
The Deep State clearly has a vested interest in the status quo. Indeed, the whole concept of the Deep State, Republican and/or Democrat, all parts, is about preserving the status quo so its participants can continue to profit.
Trump may be richer than practically all of them, but he obviously stood for a different economic class, a much more average one most of whom don’t live in the Beltway and have never been part of that gravy train.
For his part, President Trump, with his usual penchant for hyperbole, sent out this email earlier today:
Jonathan Karl’s story on Slow Moving Bill Barr is made-up beyond any level imaginable. It is, in other words, Fake News! I lost confidence in Bill Barr long before the 2020 Presidential Election Scam. It was when he dismissed and didn’t act on the very powerful Horowitz Report, and instead gave everything over to John Durham, who has seemingly disappeared from the planet. Can you even believe a report coming out during the Biden Administration? We caught them but unfortunately didn’t have an Attorney General who was capable of acting and wouldn’t go against his friends in Washington, D.C. Barr was a “swamp creature” who was devastated when the Radical Left wanted to impeach him. He, and other RINOs (you see it all the time!), always fold. If he becomes “less” for President Trump, maybe they will leave him alone. It takes a very strong and special person to go against the “mob”. Bill Barr was not that person. Despite evidence of tremendous Election Fraud, he just didn’t want to go there. He was afraid, weak, and frankly, now that I see what he is saying, pathetic. The facts are rapidly coming out in States and Courts about the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, and let’s see if Bill Barr, a man who was unable to handle the pressure, was correct? The answer will be a resounding, NO!
As happens so often these days with President Trump, the question is whether he is merely over the top, or has actually gone around the bend. Putting aside the bitterness between former allies, which I think is profoundly sad, and more or less damaging to the conservative cause, the substantive issue is whether President Trump had good grounds to assert that the 2020 election had been stolen, as a great many Democrats asserted about the presidential elections of 2000, 2004 and 2016.
I don’t think we know the answer to that question. As I have said more than once, I don’t know whether the Democrats stole the 2020 election, but I do know that they tried hard to steal it. Minnesota is just one of a number of states where I can give you chapter and verse in support of that proposition. But did the Democrats’ larceny and promotion of lax voting standards make the difference? I doubt that we will ever know for sure. The same lax standards (on mail-in ballots, for instance) that made it easy to cheat, also made it more or less impossible to prove cheating after the fact. That was the Democrats’ plan in the first place.
Meanwhile, if there is a ray of hope, it resides (I think) in the fact that Mollie Hemingway, one of the top journalists of our era, is working on a book on the 2020 election, to be published in the Fall. I doubt that it, or any other work, will definitively answer the question of who actually won the election, but I expect it will give us a good idea of what we know, and what we don’t.
A final question: Is it time to distribute a milk carton with John Durham’s picture on it?
Probably not. It’s all over now.
PAUL adds: Trump says of Barr, “we. . .didn’t have an Attorney General who was capable of acting and wouldn’t go against his friends in Washington, D.C.” He derided Jeff Sessions in similar terms.
My question is: Who is the fool who kept selecting “swamp creatures” and “weaklings” to be Attorney General?