CNN (the conduit for most leaks) is reporting that Mr. Mueller is wrapping things up and will deliver his report to new Attorney General William Barr very soon. An intriguing coincidence that this would happen within weeks of William Barr assuming the job.
Mr. Barr has a big job ahead of him. Never before has the reputation of DOJ and FBI been so sullied. The soft coup plotted by people at the highest levels of the Department look like a poisonous brew of treason and sedition. Both offenses carry the potential of long prison sentences. For treason, it can be death.
The new A.G. has been outspoken concerning the way the investigation of Hillary Clinton was handled as well as aspects of the Mueller investigation. He criticized the investigation, raising questions about potential conflicts among members of Mueller’s team who have made political donations to Democratic campaigns.
Saying, “In my view, prosecutors who make political contributions are identifying fairly strongly with a political party,” Barr told the Washington Post in July 2017. “I would have liked to see him have more balance on this group.”
General Barr may have sent word to Mueller that it was time to show his cards or give a good reason to continue the probe. It was clear that the days of unchecked power and unlimited budgets were numbered. We assume that Barr has been following this melodrama closely. Justice demands that investigators should be unbiased while searching for evidence of real crimes, not conducting obnoxious, abusive expeditions. It’s hard to imagine that 5:00 AM raids by agents in full commando gear squares with Mr. Barr’s view of equal justice under the law.
General Barr hasn’t been shy in sharing his opinions concerning the President’s right to request investigations either. Even an investigation of a former political adversary.
In an interview with the New York Times, he said: “there is nothing inherently wrong about a president calling for an investigation.” Mr. Barr went on to say that he saw more basis for an investigation of the Clinton uranium deal than one over any connection between the Trump campaign and Russia. Concluding, “To the extent, it is not pursuing these matters, the department is abdicating its responsibility.”
Already Mr. Barr is giving every indication that he will not be cowed by the media. Democrats showed begrudging respect during his confirmation hearings. Though the Dems circled and growled, like a genuine lion tamer he showed no fear. He gives the impression of a man who understands the stakes and what must be done to restore trust and credibility to the agency he now leads.
Unless he gets to the bottom of the soft coup that was plotted in Andy McCabe’s office, this stinking scandal will hang over his head like a rotting carp. Does he have to find out what really triggered the far-fetched investigation in the first place? People who intentionally misled the FISA Court in order to spy on the Trump campaign must be held to account. This cannot be whitewashed or simply swept under the rug.
William Barr is a very smart guy. He has to know that his every move will be dissected and critiqued by people who are not friendly. The Left is shameless. They have invested heavily in the Russian Ruse. Like junkyard dogs, they will not give up their bone without a fight. Their pet parrots in the media can be counted on to repeat their objections loudly, with little objectivity. Only the facts and the law will be his friends.
The stakes are huge. Two great institutions have been compromised. Our entire legal system rests on the rule of law and the respect that we Americans have for it. If high ranking Justice officials can undermine that bedrock to advance their personal political agendas, the whole system is imperiled. Without serious consequences, it will surely happen again.
Our new Attorney General Barr has a big job ahead of him. Early indications suggest that he is more than up to the challenge.
Gil Gutknecht served six terms each in Minnesota and the U.S. House of Representatives. He writes about healthcare and political issues of the day.