Democrats have grown infuriated by Attorney General
William Barr’s indifference to their hysteria over the Trump-Russia collusion
Barr recently released a brief summary of special
counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions that President Donald Trump did not
collude with the Russians to warp the 2016 election.
Barr added that Mueller had not found enough evidence to
recommend that Trump be indicted for obstruction of justice for the non-crime
Progressives, who for 22 months had insisted that Trump
was a Russian asset, were stunned—but only for a few hours.
Almost immediately, they redirected their fury toward
Barr’s summation of the Mueller report. Yet few rational people contested Barr’s
synopses about collusion and obstruction.
Both the Mueller report and Barr’s summation can be
found on the internet. Anyone can read them to see whether Barr misrepresented
Again, there have been few criticisms that Barr was
wrong on his interpretation that there was no collusion and not enough evidence
to indict on obstruction of justice.
But now Democrats are calling for Barr to resign or be
impeached for not regurgitating the unproven allegations against Trump.
In other words, Barr acted too much like a federal
prosecutor, rather than a tabloid reporter trafficking in allegations that did
not amount to criminal conduct.
The besmirching of Barr’s conduct is surreal. He
certainly has not done anything even remotely approximating the conduct of
former President Barack Obama’s two attorneys general.
Has Barr dubbed himself the president’s “wingman” or
called America a “nation of cowards,” as former Attorney General Eric Holder
Has Barr’s Department of Justice monitored reporters’
communications or ordered surveillance of a television journalist? Has Barr
used a government jet to take his family to the Belmont Stakes horse race, as
Has Barr met secretly on an airport tarmac with the
spouse of a person his Justice Department was investigating, as did former
Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who had such a meeting with Bill Clinton?
The Mueller report ignored the likely illegal origins of
the Christopher Steele dossier, the insertion of an FBI informant into the
Trump campaign, the unlawful leaking of documents, and the conflicted
testimonies of former high-level intelligence officials.
All of those things were potential felonies. All in some
way yielded information that Mueller drew on in his investigation. Yet Mueller
never recommended a single indictment of any of the Obama-era officials who
likely broke laws.
Mueller was instead fixated on possible collusion with
Russia. But it is a crime to knowingly hire a foreign national to work on a
presidential campaign—in other words, to “collude.” That’s exactly what the
Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee did when they paid
British subject Steele to smear Trump.
Did Mueller argue that the possible crimes of John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and other former government officials—lying to federal investigators, perjury, obstruction of justice, deceiving the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, planting an informant into a political campaign, unmasking and leaking the identities of individuals under surveillance—were only peripheral to his investigation?
After all, Mueller indicted Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort,
George Papadopoulos, Roger Stone, and others for crimes that had nothing to do
with collusion and were far less serious than the improper behavior of top
Obama administration bureaucrats.
So, what really explains the furor now directed at Barr?
One, progressives are terrified that a number of Trump’s
critics—Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe—may soon be indicted.
They apparently seek to pre-empt such indictments by
attacking Barr, a seemingly no-nonsense prosecutor who will likely follow up on
any criminal referrals from any inspector general that reach his desk.
Two, the 2020 progressive agenda—whether defined as the
Green New Deal, a wealth tax, Medicare for All, or open borders—will not
compete well with Trump’s currently booming economy.
Impeaching Trump for collusion and obstruction is seen
by progressives as the best (or perhaps only) way to return to power. That
effort so far is failing, causing even more hysteria.
Three, the Mueller investigation is over, finished after
22 months, $34 million, and a 448-page, two-volume report.
There will be no indictments of Trump for either
collusion or the obstruction of justice during the investigation of that
non-crime. So, now what?
Since late 2015, Trump, as the supposed Russian puppet or the Machiavellian obstructer of justice, was nightly cable TV news fare. Now, such fantasies are shattered. But progressives are not willing to let the Mueller investigation rest in peace and move on with their lives.
Perhaps they feel in the political sense that there is
nothing to move on to. And they are probably right.
2019 Tribune Content Agency LLC