Barr has disgraced himself in his written summary of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump — and in his evasive and inaccurate testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Instead of performing his sworn duties as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, Barr has morphed into Trump’s personal defense attorney, raising questions about who is representing the American people.
Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s report released in March was quick to exonerate Trump and his associates regarding any conspiracy with Russia leading up to the 2016 election. Barr also said Trump did not obstruct justice even though Mueller’s report documented 10 acts that could constitute obstruction.
Barr also stammered through — and did not deny — questions from Harris as to whether Trump has ever asked him to investigate his enemies — like he did with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It was an alarming exchange for an attorney general who is supposed to be guided by a government of laws and not of men.
Instead Barr has chosen to mislead Congress and the public. At a House hearing last month, Barr testified under oath that he was not aware of any concerns Mueller’s team may have expressed about his four-page letter. But in March, Mueller wrote a letter to Barr complaining that his summary mischaracterized the findings in his report following a two-year investigation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Barr of lying to Congress and threatened to hold him in contempt for his failure to turn over an unredacted version of Mueller’s report. On Wednesday, he refused to testify before a House panel, further stoking contempt threats. Other leading Democrats have called for Barr to resign.
As the legal pressures have mounted, Trump has turned to a series of lawyers to make his problems go away. At one point, he asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” — a reference to his former mentor, fixer, and Sen. Joseph McCarthy henchman who was later disbarred. Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani have taken turns as Trump’s fixer. Three attorney generals later, Trump has found a lackey in Barr.