The United States No Longer Has an Attorney General

There is no doubt that Executive Branch officers, including the Attorney General, serve at the pleasure of the president, and to implement the policies of the president. But they do not work for the president.

They work for the United States of America.

Like the president and members of Congress, they too take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, from all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is their job to enforce the law and ensure that the protection and the reach of the law is fair, equitable, and just.

This is true for all cabinet officials, but especially for the Attorney General of the United States, who heads the Department of Justice. There is no more important job for the Attorney General than to ensure that the laws of this nation are executed faithfully and fairly, and that no one, including his boss, is above the law.

William Barr is the modern history’s greatest failure at that job.

From the moment he was appointed, Barr entered office with the clear intent to provide cover and make excuses for Donald Trump’s crimes. When Special Counsel Bob Mueller finished his work on investigating the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia as Putin invaded the 2016 US elections, Mueller transmitted the report, as required by department regulations to Barr. Adhering also to a DOJ Office of Legal Counsel opinion - and only because of that opinion - Mueller did not recommend charges against Trump or explicitly judge whether such charges would be appropriate. To anyone reading the report, however, it is clear that the only thing keeping Trump out of the Big House is the White House.

But Barr got to read the report before anyone else, and he abused the powers of his office to falsely claim that Trump had been exonerated by it. Barr substituted his judgment for Mueller’s and wrote a summary that was in complete contradiction with the facts and evidence contained in the report.

Barr then began to pursue the same conspiracy theory that is getting Donald Trump impeached: that all the American and western intelligence agencies were out to get Trump, that Russia did not intervene in the elections in favor of Trump, and that Ukraine tried to tilt it in favor of Hillary Clinton. He even appointed a special prosecutor to look into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigations in order to de-legitimize its findings.

This is a common theme with Republicans woven into the Trump-Russia-Ukraine thread. On Monday, for example, Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee spent most of their time feigning outrage over how it was revealed that Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee was personally involved with a criminally-charged associate of Trump’s personal lawyer and a corrupt, pro-Putin Ukrainian prosecutor. The entire Republican side of the dias seemed unconcerned that their colleague was involved in an illegal foreign plot to aid the re-election efforts of an American president.

But I digress.

Even Barr’s hand-picked appointment to dig into the Russia investigations, US Attorney John Durham, told the Inspector General of the Department of Justice that he could offer no evidence, after months of digging, that the Trump-Russia investigation was a setup.

That IG report from the Justice Department is now out, and as expected, it confirms that a set of four Trump-Russia collusion investigations was predicated on properly vetted intelligence information, not, as Trump and Barr have charged, political motivations. In fact, the IG report revealed post-election celebration among pro-Trump people in the FBI.

And yet, Barr repeated his performance from the Mueller report saga. Barr issued a statement precisely contradicting the IG Michael Horowitz while still claiming that Horowitz’s report formed the basis for his opinion. What Horowitz found to be ample, legal and “authorized purpose” to conduct the investigations was dressed up as a “thinnest of suspicions” in Barr’s statement. Durham, who couldn’t find words when told to actually provide evidence to shut his trap, fluffed up Barr’s comments.

Bob Barr has made it clear that he sees Donald Trump, not the American people - and certainly not the United States constitution - as his client. Bob Barr has abused his power, belittled his own department, and abdicated his responsibilities as the Attorney General of the United States.

We no longer have an Attorney General of the United States.

Rather, Trump Has Two Personal Lawyers: Rudy Giuliani, and William P. Barr. Now that we know that, it is even more clear that Donald Trump’s instructions to President Zelensky of Ukraine to “talk to Rudy"… and “the Attorney General” were an attempt to extort Ukraine for the personal, political, gain of Donald Trump and in every way divorced from legitimate US foreign policy.

Note: This article is crossposted on Medium.

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