William Barr is acting like Trump’s henchman | Austin Sarat | Opinion | The Guardian

William Barr has shown himself to be a loyal foot soldier for the president who appointed him. From his 24 March summary of the “principal conclusions” of the Mueller report to his press conference on the day he released a redacted version of the Mueller report to Congress, to his testimony on Wednesday before the Senate judiciary committee, Barr’s recent performances have demonstrated the extreme loyalty Donald Trump found wanting in his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

And what is good for the president is bad for America.

Barr’s appearance before the Senate judiciary committee and his refusal to appear on Thursday at a House judiciary committee hearing were just the latest disappointments for those who hoped his nomination and confirmation would once again make the office of attorney general a bulwark of the rule of law.


Source: William Barr is acting like Trump’s henchman | Austin Sarat | Opinion | The Guardian

William Barr to Dems: ‘Ludicrous’ to say my Mueller memo was a bid for AG job : NBC News

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee, William Barr, said Tuesday that the idea that a memo he wrote last year criticizing the Mueller investigation was a veiled job application is “ludicrous.”

Shortly after Barr’s confirmation hearings got underway Tuesday, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. told Barr that some have said that the memo was intended to draw the president’s attention to his potential as a possible attorney general.

“That’s ludicrous,” Barr responded. “If I wanted the job and was going after the job, there are many more direct ways of me bringing myself to the president’s attention than writing an 18-page legal memorandum.”

Barr faced a barrage of related queries about — and criticism of — his views on Mueller’s Russia probe from the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday as proceedings began, including a memo he sent to the Justice Department last year in which he criticized Mueller’s investigation.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee — including at least three potential 2020 presidential contenders — had been expected to zero in on that memo.


Source: William Barr to Dems: ‘Ludicrous’ to say my Mueller memo was a bid for AG job : NBC News

Trump’s pick for AG says he’ll protect the Mueller probe. But what if his boss disagrees? : NBC News

WASHINGTON — At 9:30 am ET today, the Senate Judiciary Committee holds its confirmation hearing for Trump’s pick to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, William Barr, who has promised to protect the Mueller investigation.

“I believe it is vitally important that the special counsel be allowed to complete his investigation,” Barr is expected to tell the committee, according to a released copy of his opening remarks. “If confirmed, I will not permit partisan politics, personal interests, or any other improper consideration to interfere with this or any other investigation. I will follow the special counsel regulations scrupulously and in good faith, and on my watch, Bob will be allowed to complete his work.”

He adds, “I also believe it is very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the special counsel’s work. For that reason, my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law. I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made by me, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and will let no personal, political, or other improper interests influence my decision.”

But two hours before Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the man who nominated to be attorney general tweeted this: “The rank and file of the FBI are great people who are disgusted with what they are learning about Lyin’ James Comey and the so-called “leaders” of the FBI. Twelve have been fired or forced to leave. They got caught spying on my campaign and then called it an investigation. Bad!”

Over the weekend, President Trump added this: “My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop … who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats – leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee.”

And, of course, Trump said things like this to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the Russia probe: “‘Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.’ Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the “other side” including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks, Mueller conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr……”

It raises this essential question for Barr: What happens if his boss doesn’t want an independent attorney general and transparency regarding the Mueller probe? Would he resign?


Source: Trump’s pick for AG says he’ll protect the Mueller probe. But what if his boss disagrees? : NBC News