In the last week, we learned that Bill Barr spoke cooperatively with the Select Committee, more than once. It is difficult to conceive of a witness that could be as dangerous to Trump as Bill Barr. Barr, despite the despicable character, displayed as Attorney General, was and remains a brilliant attorney. And Barr is not just any brilliant attorney, he is one who may face some criminal exposure for things he did while in office and may want to come to some sort of understanding with the Committee, and through the Committee, DOJ. He also doesn’t owe Trump an ounce of loyalty.
Combine all that together, a brilliant attorney, trying to steer clear of criminal liability, trying to pin it all on his boss, and not an ounce of loyalty between the two men, and it all sets up a dangerous scenario for Trump. According to Maggie Haberman on CNN:
“They don’t have a relationship now. They haven’t had a relationship in quite some time.
“I think that, you know, there are things that the former president accomplished that I think that the former attorney general, you know, supported and certainly was against, as Jonathan said. He was not in favor of the Mueller investigation. That’s part of why the former president brought him in, to end that moment in time. There were things they agreed on. There were a number of things they didn’t agree on over time. That began, you know, frankly, long before Election Day. Their relationship is nonexistent now.
Much more below:
It does not take an attorney to identify the most devastating testimony that Barr might offer against Trump. Immediately after the election, Trump instructed Barr to look into whether there was any fraud in the election. Barr took the appropriate amount of time, surely (knowing this would be an issue), set up the appropriate sort of investigation and it came back without finding fraud. Smartly, Barr announced his findings before going to the White House to be berated.
That screaming temper tantrum could become evidence like plastic cling-wrap against Trump. It is entirely possible that Trump – at any point – screamed that he didn’t care if Barr actually found any fraud. The entire point was to find something they could finger as “fraud,” or say looked suspicious and required more investigation, the type of evidence that later acting-Attorney General Rosen said Trump told him to find. Remember? “Just sign this letter and leave the rest to me and Congress.”
Trump almost surely said something similar to Barr. It would be further evidence as to Trump’s state of mind. It would be evidence that Trump knew that they hadn’t found anything significant at all but didn’t care. They simply needed an issue that could cast doubt that would then make it easier to steal the election as they tried on January 6th.
Bill Kristol interviewed Jonathan Karl some time ago and Karl noted that he spoke to Barr in preparation for his book, Betrayal, The Last Act of the Trump Show and noted that not only did Barr repudiate “everything Trump said,” it was how Barr repudiated it. It was so powerful that Karl wanted to see Barr on a witness stand.
NEW: @jonkarl on the Jan. 6 Committee.
“I was so amazed by what I heard from [Bill Barr]…It’s one thing to see the words in my book. I want to see him at a witness stand before the cameras saying exactly what he told me. It’ll have so much more impact.”https://t.co/PlOXobDUYg pic.twitter.com/26mqg8Y5Ul
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 22, 2022
It would be amazing to see. A brilliant attorney that must protect himself, somewhat, helping to cut down a man he likely deeply resents – given the way they departed. Barr would also know exactly how to testify, having prepped witnesses much of his life. If Barr testified to the Select Committee live on television – as we’ve been told to expect this spring – it would be utterly devastating to Trump.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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