Impeachment Inquiry Tests Ties Between Barr and Trump

The attorney general has not jumped in to publicly defend the president against the Democratic inquiry as he did with the Mueller investigation.

Comments: 220

  1. Recently Gail Collins had a column about Trump’s cabinet, etc. Readers commented and Barr’s name came up a lot. My comment was actually that maybe a bigger question is who is going to replace Barr? I wasn’t actually presuming to be this soon, but looks like we certainly are on the path. Ah, Trump is so predictable!

  2. @MIMA Trump isn't unpredictable at all. When it comes to deciding between the right choice and the worst choice he will ineviably choose the worst choice.

  3. @MIMA Trump should force his sister into service since he has no trouble breaking down the best who cannot refuse his request.

  4. Would you please call the Congressional House Impeachment Investigation something other than Democratic inquiry ??

  5. @Joseph Corcoran CHII, sounds really powerful to me. So much energy. Teacher says when we move together, we magnify chi a hundred times over.

  6. @Joseph Corcoran Why? That's what it is. The President should be gone. He's clearly unfit to serve. The Constitutional process is not impeachment its the 25th amendment. His cabinet, including the AG is protecting him for their own love of power over country.

  7. @HL Don't get me wrong; I agree with your opinion about Pres T. However your response to @Joseph Corcoran seems incoherent to me. He is only criticizing the NYT for its headline on the House Impeachment process and I suspect that he is on our side about the president's behavior.

  8. Trump may, unfortunately, be president longer than most people would like. But he won't be president forever, and I'm pretty sure Barr is thinking about his own future and career first. If he is smart, he will not continue to protect a corrupt leader indefinitely.

  9. Jonathan Turley, Barr’s pal, says the reason Barr hasn’t come out to defend Trump’s handling of the July 25th call is because of ongoing litigation. That’s just a convenient excuse. Maybe Barr refuses to defend behavior that is indefensible? Who knows how many times Trump has asked Barr to do things that are improper for an AG to do? Trump still doesn’t understand that Barr is not his personal lawyer. Maybe Barr didn’t anticipate the furious reaction to his show and tell when the Mueller report was released. Barr may be thinking, “I have my reputation as a lawyer to think of, never again.” Ask Turley what he thought of the phone call. It’s a jaw dropper. Only someone bought and paid for by Trump could defend that call.

  10. The MSM seems desperate to present that Barr has a moral line he won't cross for Trump. He's distanced himself from Trump at present because Barr is off in Europe strong-arming our allies into manufacturing dirt to discredit our own intelligence agencies and the Russian investigation - and replay his unconscionable deception about the Mueller report - all in craven and immoral service to Trump. Barr's not remaining "out of the fray" - he's deep in, and will soon surface, I venture, from the dark cesspool that is this present administration to go on attack again against truth and decency, when he presents his "report" on the investigation into Russian interference in 2016 - all in service to Trump's criminal aims.

  11. @Undoubtful Guest I suspect that you are correct. And if he does eventually come out with a "report", the MSM will cover it with balance and will be complicit in muddying the waters even further.

  12. Our top corrupt cop has a conscience . He knows the witnesses are telling the truth and if he were to defend Trump like Miss Conway is he can and must be investigated also. I hope the above people never end up in leadership positions once Trump goes to jail for felony treason.

  13. @D.j.j.k. - He doesn't have a conscience. He's just looking out for his own hide.

  14. This piece is hiding the big story. Barr is privately engaged in a quest to fabricate phony evidence saying the DOJ and FBI somehow did something wrong in starting its investigation of the many ties between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russians. Barr isn’t making any public statements absolving Trump of his many illegal actions with Ukraine while he focuses on his phony international quest to destroy the FBI and DOJ to undermine the Russia (and, by implication, Ukraine) investigations. He is saving himself for this big Trump wish. Don’t ever believe Barr has limits on how far he will go to disgrace himself and the office of Attorney General. He has none.

  15. @Demosthenes Yes, I thought that this was what he was doing. Well , not fabricating, I thought he was just mooning around, doing whatever you do when you ask people to investigate things which don’t exist.

  16. “When the Justice Department said it would release a statement rather than hold a news conference saying that it found no campaign finance violation, the White House did not push back, according to an administration official.” An opinion of observation that seems to have little to do with the impeachment inquiry. Sort of like saying, I found no spelling errors so it was a perfect call. Substantial improper use of office, but no spelling errors. Perfect.

  17. This is not credible: “Mr. Barr said that he could not recall whether Mr. Trump asked him to hold a news conference, according to an administration official.” That’s not something an AG would forget. Someone’s lying.

  18. Barr and Trump are joined at the hip and Barr will do everything in his power to obstruct justice and at the same time use the power of his office to intimidate witnesses.

  19. AG Barr may be trying now to distance himself from Trump, but it’s too late. When the whole sordid story of this presidency is written, Barr will always be identified as Trump’s attorney general. Barr was willing to carry Trump’s water during the Mueller probe and on other occasions; it’s too late now for him to claim his independence.

  20. "...Mr. Trump’s turnover-heavy administration, a countdown clock begins ticking from the moment they are appointed..." The Oval Office must sound like a clock shop of old. To most America, the loudest tick comes from the time bomb we hope to stop in 2020.

  21. Barr will back Trump to a point--show him in the best light, use him as a test case for executive privilege--but won't go to jail for him and won't have his own reputation ruined beyond repair. Barr is undoubtedly aware that he is portrayed as Trump's Roy Cohn, and I assume Barr doesn't want that to be his legacy. Donald Sr. and Jr. will pressure Barr more and more to defend Trump. Barr will do a balancing act until, inevitably, he either falls or is pushed off the tightwire.

  22. Was Barr offended at being publicly lumped together with Rudy as part of Trump's political defense team or was the offense taken because Trump himself viewed him as just another henchman? I wish the article had expanded on this. Barr made a deal, in support of his own political fortunes, with Trump, to hold a press conference announcing Trump's false spin, sacrificing the honor of the truth-tellers. Which is what Rudy was dirty trickstering about, what Bannon is all about, what Roger Stone is all about, what the National Weather Service, for heaven's sake, was forced to do.... Now Barr's side is leaking his self-protective spin. How could Trump, or the public, view Barr otherwise?

  23. The face that trump was naive enough to release the call - thinking it would BENEFIT him - tells us that he does not believe he can do anything wrong. This is clearly a man who only did it because he believed it would be of assistance to him. Just like a true narcissist who only does things and has people surrounding him who can be of assistance to him....until they aren't. And I was disgusted to learn about the millions he raised claiming it was "for veterans": and then spent on his own campaign......how do the active military and veterans of our country feel about him now? This man has no soul, no moral compass, no loyalty or love for country other than how useful anything might be to advance his wealth and power. He will try to take down everyone who is no longer useful to him.....I'm guessing Barr knows he could be next on the chopping block and is treading lightly.

  24. @JG Remember, he released a phony call, a call that Pence, Graham, Jordan and others continue to refer to and depend upon as if it were the Gospel. These people never mention the Colonel's input. I think Trump knows he was wrong, just as he knows that the Trump tower meeting was wrong, and he personally established the cover story for that. And, just like the tower story, the phone call story he made up is being shredded.

  25. Barr would do well to stay out of the impeachment inquiry as he appears to have been a political participant on the periphery. Enough so, that in more sane times he would have already publicly recused himself. But what of his political investigation into the initiatives that led to the Russian involvement in the 2016 election and the subsequent Mueller investigation. It appears Barr has enmeshed himself into several unseemly situations in political defense of Donald Trump. When will our duly confirmed attorney general paid by taxpayer dollars begin looking out for the interests of the American people and following the. rule of law?

  26. Impeachment is a double edged sword. Yes, if followed through, it will be a stain on President Trump forever. On the other side, unless something so dramatic comes up that even Lindsey Graham calls for Trumps ouster, the Republicans will vote against it. If Trump manages to win in 2020, American will become a “Banana Republic” and Trump will Never leave office!

  27. Barr was forewarned. I assume he thought he was smart and special and that he could handle the moral and legal challenges that AG of the US would confront. Of course he missed the point. With Trump it is all about the moral and legal dissembling that a sycophant AG must confront. Time to prepare to pay the piper.

  28. History will not treat Mr Barr kindly.

  29. I'm surprised that it has taken Mr. Barr this long to realize just how dangerous associating with Trump is; a competent attorney would have been aware of the ample evidence long before joining the Trump Administration.

  30. "... Rather than publicly join the fight against House Democrats pursuing the president, Mr. Barr has remained out of the fray, resisting requests by intermediaries from Mr. Trump to go before the cameras to say no crime had been committed. …" Barr is old enough to remember where AG Mitchell landed. Barr's 4 page trump 'exoneration' memo completely and totally wrecked his reputation, his honor has been trashed. He lied to every citizen in the land. I feel as if he lied to my face. Again, now, today, his lack of courage honor and integrity is on full display. His silence is deafening. This man is much more than a pathological liar, he is a coward. He needs to be impeached, then put on trial. Move over AG Mitchell (yes, I know Mitchell has passed on).

  31. Ari hasn't an email hook up, so I hipped Rachel to this Fall Back Friday story. But why would I expect either MSNBC mentee to rat on a Universally wise guy like Lew Wasserman? In the early 1980s, Lew Wasserman, head of Universal, was having trouble explaining why a Mob connected guy was leading MCA, his recording division. Reagan saved his hide by riding in with a declaration from the Justice Department advising Lew was NOT under investigation, thus removing Lew from the list of witnesses the FBI could talk to. The FBI guy in charge of that massive con was still miffed last time I checked. Trump undoubtedly knows this open secret about NBC/Universal history, in fact he can likely go way back to when Jules Stein was the wisest guy in Hollywood. Confidentially, Trump is the worst mentee of that company in human history, and I'm including Matt. Now, why fall back? My husband was one among hundreds of victims of that skim monster at MCA. Honey was shamelessly underpaid on a session so he took it to the Hit Man! EARL PALMER was not only the LA Musician Union's president in the early 1980s, he's Rolling Stone's #25 in the hit list of drummers. From New Orleans Royalty to LA's Wrecking Crew! Earl socked MCA right in the pocket. Back pay was restored in the next paycheck. So, Trump just wants what Reagan gave Lew, a ticket to ride out of this nightmare. Barr is not so stupid. That is Barr's ticket to obstructing justice.

  32. If Barr shows an ounce of integrity I will be amazed.

  33. TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK 😝 Can anyone imagine how it feels to be related to William Barr?

  34. Why are so many grown men willing to prostrate themselves in front of Trump? He treats people around him like dirt. If they would all simply be loyal to the truth they, and our country, would be far better off.

  35. "In for a penny, in for a pound" - William Barr

  36. William Barr is the emperor's best friend. He urged Trump "to release a reconstructed transcript" which turned out to be the equivalent of a heavily photo-shopped photo of Trump weighing 100 pounds less than he really weighs. The "reconstructed transcript" was equivalent to Nixon's doctored Watergate transcripts that edited out all the actual crimes committed. And then Barr’s Justice Department advised the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, to keep the whistle-blower complaint from Congress !! Barr's Justice Department tried to sweep the entire impeachable offense under the rug and make it disappear ! 'Thank God' for Adam Schiff, the whistleblower and other patriotic Americans who still have a sense of right and wrong and refuse to go along the nation's leading lawbreaker and sycophants. William Barr proved that he supports Presidential law-breaking when he advised Bush Sr. in 1992 to pardon all of the Iran-Contra criminals. After the Barr-Bush 1992 Iran-Contra pardons, Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh, who headed the investigation of Reagan Administration officials' criminal conduct in the Iran–Contra scandal, stated that "the Iran–Contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed." William Barr has always supported Presidential law-breaking.

  37. @Socrates after the next election if Trump is gone will the next president do something about this lawlessness?

  38. But unless he slavishly obeys Trump's every order, to the letter, he's toast.

  39. Barr has not changed, he would just prefer Trump go to jail rather then himself. He has not earned our trust, nor does he deserve it. We don’t have to be Charley brown trying to kick the football while Barr holds the ball.

  40. It's good to know that SOMETHING has stopped Barr from his ongoing disgraceful behavior thus far (though we do not know what the future will hold). P.S. I have lost all respect for Jonathan Turley, Barr's friend.

  41. It may be that even Barr cannot abide shaking down American allies for personal political gain. Rebublican defenders will somehow try for justification but the "Justice" Department ?

  42. Mr. Barr is still publicly defending POTUS, albeit through the underling he sent out to publicly defend the Ukraine call; who avowed on behalf of the DOJ nothing further needed to be done. In Barr’s opinion the President has free reign to act and Is immune from prosecution.

  43. Two questions: This article states that the President wanted an investigation of Vice President Biden and “and other Democrats”. Who are the other democrats that were being investigated? I have only read in any paper about investigations into 1) the supposed Ukraine interference in the 2016 election and 2) Burisma, Hunter and Joe Biden. You don’t mention who these “other democrats” are here. Probably Hunter Biden is registered as a Democrat, but that is not really relevant to the way you state it - makes it sound like there are multiple, politically involved Democrats that the President pushed for investigation of. Second, this article does not state any source or basis for the debate between the President and AG Barr. It states it happened (without source) and states that an administration source denied it happened. Curious if/who there is a source that stated it happened. Perhaps this is also intended to be Professor Turley from GW, but that’s not clear in the writing.

  44. @Kelly L. The other Democrats are the Clintons.

  45. @Kelly L. there is NO distance between Trump and Barr. They are partners in crime. Barr merely declined to take part in the pathetic charade that Trump dreamed up. - Barr is criminally complicit with Trump and would NEVER do anything to undermine his position.

  46. @Kelly L. : The “other Democrats”, let me guess: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, plus DNC officials at the time of the 2016 election...

  47. Why do so many people stand in line to get a job in Trump's cabinet? Why would anyone seek employment in this toxic environment that has you leave your soul at the door? Are they unemployable elsewhere? Would a stint in the White House look good on their resume? Or would the stint leave a blemish on your resume?

  48. @Roger There are incredable numbers of important openings that are unfilled because that line you refer to doesn't really exist. Another issue is why so many of the ones who work there are only "acting" and have not been confirmed by the Senate. It is my opinion that Congress should put a time limit on how long a person can work in a sensitive and powerful position in government without being confirmed. These people have only been chosen by Trump and not properly vetted by Congress. This is one of the Senate's Constitutional responsibilities. We again see the equality of the three branches of the government being subverted.

  49. Notice with Trump everything is a quid pro quo, it’s his real estate DNA. Barr wants to release Mueller Report, Barr has to publicly state Trump did nothing wrong. Nonetheless, these guys are all worthless, ego-maniacal, self-interested traitors. Basically the entire senior State Department staff for that region has testified to the absolute disgrace of the call and the process, and Pompeo claims that he was concerned the release of the transcript would undermine the diplomats ability to do their job. Classic! I guess Giuliani was there to help out. What Patriots. Oh wait, they all where lapel flag pins, so they must be patriots.

  50. Apparently, William Barr isn't totally caught up in the "Cult of Trump." Just an opinion, but for me it is inconceivable to believe Donald Trump would impune and call into question the New York Times and Washington Post, two of the finest journalistic endeavors on this Earth. Such is Trump's modus operandi. This man is a threat to Democracy and must be removed from office either by impeachment or by the ballot in November 2020. Even a criminal mind like Richard Nixon never assaulted the Freedom of the Press in public like Trump does.

  51. If the glove don’t fit you must acquit. Barr went to the Johnny Cochran school of law. And Barr knows that the accusations of illegal activity against Trump fit like a glove.

  52. Barr has shown himself willing to compromise his integrity so as to serve the corrupt interests of President Trump, beginning with his lies during the confirmation hearing, to his false conclusions of the Mueller report, to a second false "nothing to see here" conclusion of the memo of Trump's Ukraine phone call, and now his active leadership into a bogus investigation that wants to exonerate Russia for its 2016 hacking campaign to interfere with US sections. Barr is corrupting the Justice Department and the Office of the US Attorney General. He deserves condemnation, not manufactured hope for a change in behavior.

  53. @DonD absolutely and despite what this silly article says, he will continue to do so. ( there is NO distance between Trump and Barr. They are partners in crime).

  54. Does Trump ever do any actual work? Or does he spend all day every day on Twitter, watching Fox, and fighting with everyone in sight? (Rhetorical question)

  55. @old goat -- Every once in a while he hosts a reluctant championship sports team to get another XXXL jersey.

  56. While intentionally sowing chaos may not be an impeachable offense it may finally result in Trump's exit. Ultimately evidence is evidence and crime is crime and even Donald finally gets his due. Removed so he can be indicted.

  57. What are you talking about? There is no light between Barr and Trump on this. Barr’s DOJ didn’t follow accepted DOJ procedures when investigating the whistleblower’s complaint. Barr’s DOJ didn’t forward the complaint to the FEC - breaking the law - so they could determine whether any election laws were broken. Barr’s Office of Legal Counsel retroactively classified documents related to the call as Top Secret after it came out that Barr was mentioned. Barr had a DOJ spokesperson come out and publicly say that after the DOJ’s shoddy investigation “no further action was warranted.” Bill Barr is in this up to his eyeballs. To claim that he’s distancing himself from Trump during the impeachment investigation, for any reason let alone that Barr may be having doubts about the legality or suitability of Trump’s actions, is simply ignoring the facts.

  58. As Michael Cohen and Rudolph Giuliani before him, when the history is written Barr will go down as just another disgraced power-hungry attorney who made the fatal mistake of getting too close to Donald Trump.

  59. @Dan Herman Moths to the flame as they say,

  60. Please NYT do not focus on gossip, there is nothing here but speculation and innuendo that just reinforces Trump's story: that the press is fake and out to get him. When you have something real and verifiable then print it with the accompanying background and context, but until then it is fodder for Trumps' cannon.

  61. @Harry Please NYT, do not focus on gossip. Anonymous sources should not be trusted. People who refuse to identify themselves are suspect. Signed (courageously) : Harry.

  62. @Harry So, please inform everybody which part is “innuendo”? Speculation is one of the rational thought processes that would naturally occur following each new revelation in the Ukraine story. “It could be this...or it could be that....we’ll wait and see” is not a dishonorable thing to publish, unless one wants to hide one’s head in the sand.

  63. No, I am not talking about honor or anything like that, the gist of the article is talking heads of whatever the source making broad assumptions because Barr hasn't said anything therefore he must be against Trump. My point is that this is bridge too far and only helps trump with his narrative of the free press. He understands one thing: Propaganda (making the 5% of story the whole story true, and taking 5% of the true story that maybe questioned into the whole story).

  64. After Bill Barr misrepresented the findings of the Mueller report—and then delayed the report’s release while his lies to the American public got traction—I find it hard to believe he has a “line” Perhpas he’s distancing himself from the parts of this sordid story that could slop back over on him personally, but I’ve see nothing to make me think he’s forsworn his defense of Donald Trump. My guess is that he’s furiously pushing his own “investigation” into the supposed conspiracy underlying the Russia investigation, with a view toward releasing his findings just in time for the impeachment vote. Even if that’s not the case, I seriously doubt we’ve seen the last of Barr’s Roy-Cohn-ization of the Justice Department. The worst may be yet to come.

  65. When Trump was extorting Ukraine, he did mention Bill Barr by name. Now Trump wants his minion to give an opinion. That Trump is not guilty, again.

  66. When Barr caves and tells the truth, he will be fired but will seal the impeachment deal.

  67. After Barr misrepresented the findings of the Mueller report (and delayed the report’s release while his lies got traction), I find it hard to believe he has a “line.” Perhaps he’s distancing himself from the parts of this sordid story that could slop back on him personally, but I’ve seen nothing to make me believe he’s forsworn his ultimate defense of this president. My guess is that he’s working furiously on his own ”investigation” into the supposed conspiracy behind Russia investigation, looking to release his findings just in time for the impeachment vote. I simply cannot believe we have seen the last of Bill Barr’s Roy Cohn-ization of the Justice Department. The worst may be yet to come.

  68. @Steel Magnolia That's exactly what I see happening. Barr is still firmly attached to Trump. This article is just wishful thinking.

  69. I can hear the bus warming up and can see Barr slowly stepping away from the grille. The next episode of The Celebrity President will feature the slaughter of the underlings as Trump throws staff, lawyers and other appointees under the bus. This is of course the penultimate episode in the lead up to the defeat and disgrace of this con man carnival barker’s reign of stupidity and arrogance.

  70. When Trump was extorting Ukraine, he did mention Bill Barr by name, Now Trump wants his minion to give an opinion That Trump is not guilty, again.

  71. @rich Nice, rich. It scans perfectly, which gives the humor in the final line its punch. Long Live Limericks.

  72. @ritaina LLL When Trump set up the Quo There was something that he didn't know True patriots knew that the Quid wouldn't do And indeed the whistle did blow.

  73. but Barr IS an interchangeable part of his personal defense team. Also, please do not describe the "reconstructed transcript" as such: it was a blatant fraudulent editing job.

  74. Barr knows how this will play out. And once Trump understands that there is a limit (finally) to what Barr will say &/or do for him.....Trump will sever those ties. And it won’t be pretty. Barr should have Jeff Sessions on speed dial to compare notes.

  75. Bill Barr is a bundle of contradictions and maybe even falling off the Trump stump-broke fan club. Billy-boy also went to Europe and embarrassed himself trying to have intelligent conversations about hoaxes with foreign officials and was summarily dismissed as a kook. This embarrassment made him feel stupid and he began to wonder how far behind did he leave his empiric mind for fantastic, invented wonderment. Further, in this gambit and when mentioned unique to Ukraine he was jolted into an obvious treasonous conspiracy and decided that he was far too settled to go to jail for Trump. He goes home every night and writes and rewrites his resignation letter trembling in his slippers worried about the Russian and US mobs.

  76. Trump asked Barr to exonerate him and Barr refused. Well, at least we know now why Barr has been racing all over the world with this goofy mission to hunt down the “origins” of the Russia probe. Anything to stay out of the office as much as possible for awhile!

  77. It will take a lot more than some "distance" to convince me that Barr is actually capable of doing the right thing. Maybe he will emerge as a principled man of integrity, but I suspect that would occur at the moment that best benefits him and his brand. I.e. let's wait and see if those rats will abandon ship.

  78. Remember, D. Trump is the proverbial mob boss here. He has something on all his “lieutenants” if it should ever come to that.

  79. @Oliver, remember what happened when the real Mafia lieutenants were arrested in the day and offered deals. The bosses fell like dominoes, as it turned out, and the structure of the underworld shuddered. Even "loyal" minions were endangered simply for knowing too much. The fear roiled all, and the Feds offered a way out. The kingpins were perp-walked while the "snitches" were sent to Arizona or Utah to begin new lives in real estate or what have you. And Trump? He's the sort that makes those near him need to have an exit plan. Cronies already in jail, others abandoned by the man going down talking. His own belief that lawyers can always get him off--as they have all his coddled life--is crumbling, as is his mental and emotional state. It's a sinking ship, and no mistake. His lieutenants? Just watch them swim.

  80. @Oliver Except for those, like Barr, who have a bizarre ideology supporting an Imperial Presidency (only Republican, of course), and are still livid about Nixon.

  81. Barr, Pompeo, Mulvaney and Pence are all neck deep in this dollars for dirt caper. It's too late to pretend they weren't in the loop or distance themselves from this - the stink won't wash off.

  82. Is it possible Barr might really think there is a crime and will flip on the so-called president, I do. Think positive.

  83. AG Barr proved himself to be the biggest puppet of Trump . He is just shameless . He wants to be a Roy Cohn. He is acting like a personal lawyer for Trump.

  84. The good news in this appears to be that Trump realized that he could not simply pick up the phone and ask Barr to violate law endorsing Trump's lawbreaking. So Trump floated the message as opposed to a request. That seems to reflect a heightened new level of sensitivity on Trump's part. But for as long as Barr has family members working in the office of the White House Legal Counsel, it is probably too early to assume that Trump has realized that neither the White House Counsel nor the AG are his personal lawyers. Giuliani's hands and feet appear to be caught in major beartraps for having tried to blur roles in the same manner, so the odds that Trump will start bashing Barr into compliance seem slim.

  85. @Sequel Whenever I hear the phrase "Trump's personal lawyer Giuliani," I think the more accurate noun would ge polyp.

  86. @Sequel This article completely mischaracterized what happened. Which is that Barr released a transcript that left out incriminating evidence of Trump's crimes and the NY Times treats that as if Barr was doing something honorable. This is like the NY Times fawning over Richard Nixon for releasing the White house tapes with all those minutes of conversations erased! Can you imagine if the NY Times kept praising Nixon for releasing the tapes even after testimony under oath that the tapes were not complete??! That's what the NY Times does here. We know the tapes are not complete and we know there is testimony under oath that incriminating evidence was left out, and yet the NY Times fawns over Barr for releasing it!

  87. @RJ I have to check, but I don't think it was Barr that released the "transcript". That was the White House, I believe.

  88. If the president really wants us to "Read the transcript" then why not give the public the full transcript that was immediately locked away in the White House's top secret server? I think the answer should be clear, even to his republican enablers.

  89. A rare attack of conscience on the part of Mr. Barr, or just self-preservation? Barr is hoping not to tank his reputation and career as so many before him have done when they've agreed to be Trump yes-men (and women). Just how many ex-White House lackeys can Fox News hire? Barr has to be careful, or like Sean Spicer, he could find himself dancing with the stars to earn a living.

  90. "Mr. Barr has spoken with pride about how much Mr. Trump relies on him and treats him as a confidant." Barr foolishly thinks he's special, and that Trump will never turn on him. His time will come, like it did for the many others.

  91. This is all a waste of time. Bill Barr is busy running an investigation into the origins of the Russia counter intelligence investigation. There isn’t anything bill Barr can say or do that can save president trump from impeachment because it is a political event. Where are the high crimes and misdemeanors? So far all of the witnesses have whines about policy differences and processes. Where are the crimes? This is a serious question. Where are the witnesses providing proof that the president actually committed a crime? Again this has been a waste of time

  92. May I suggest you pay attention.

  93. @D.E.R. May I suggest you point me to which laws were broken. All I have read was people's opinions about foreign policy direction and how it was implemented. No one has suggested laws were broken. Asking a foreign nation to look into the biden situation is not a crime. Asking a foreign nation to make a public announcement about investigations is not a crime even if the president used aid as bait. You would have to prove the president wanted it for personal political purposes, and so far none of the witnesses have done that. Where is their proof? Is there a letter, email, phone call, video or, witnesses corroborating each other's testimonies, that they heard the president say he wanted to end biden's campaign? Nothing!

  94. @E Robichaux, 8: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State. That’s because federal elections law prohibits any person from soliciting, accepting, or receiving anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a US election. The law doesn’t just apply to money — investigations or political dirt that benefit a particular campaign counts as “things of value” too. And in case Trump is unclear about this, the current chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has gone out of her way to try to explain it to him.

  95. There is only one concern for Donald Trump and that is Donald Trump. Anyone who associates with a narcissist does so at great peril to themselves. I learned that lesson when I was around twelve years old. But no one in that GOP cabal appears to have matured past that age.

  96. It makes no difference both are going down, one for criminal activities and the other for complicity and cover up the crimes of the former.

  97. @Nelson And Jim Jordan and his ilk will be right behind them...metaphorically gurgling as they drop under water.

  98. He sees the bus headed directly towards him, and he will do anything to avoid landing underneath it. No morals or ethics here, folks.

  99. I believe that what Mr. Barr is *not* saying and *not* doing is obstructing justice in support of Mr. Trump. How many Congressional subpoenas has the Executive Branch ignored so far? and what action has the Justice Department taken?

  100. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always found the truth is strong enough to stand on its own merits without any artificial propping up such as asking the Attorney General to state “no laws were broken in Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president” although for Barr to "urge" Trump to "release a reconstructed transcript of that call" makes me think that Barr is shrewd enough to avoid perjury when asked to do so, even by the president. It's becoming more crystal clear each day how desperate Trump is becoming. One by one, people are no longer standing beside him, blindly, doing his dirty work. His attempts at discrediting witnesses are proving unsuccessful, and even his blatant request for the AG to perjure himself are signs of the veneer not only cracking but slowly pealing off. Hopefully more and more key individuals will continue to come forward to tell the truth while the rest of the country AND Republicans begin to see and believe Trump’s guilt as well as witness him becoming unglued and unhinged.

  101. So, Barr is getting cold feet after he realizes that sticking too close to Trump is dangerous. Perhaps he will soon realize that it is too late for him. He did not heed Michael Cohen's words "if you stay loyal to Trump you will end up like me". Barr has already taken too many actions to support Trump's lawless acts. It started with the attempted whitewash of the Mueller report then he started the investigation of the bizarre conspiracy theories around the start of the Mueller investigation. Now he has not clearly stated that Trump's staff must comply with Congressional subpoenas. Just dodging a press conferee to declare Trump's innocence is not enough. Barr has destroyed his reputation and will always be remembered and as a Trump enabler like the rest of Trump's cabinet. What he and the rest of them do not seem to realize is that in the end they may literally end up like Michael Cohen for obstructing justice.

  102. Anything is possible. I hope you’re not holding your breath while you wait.

  103. That last paragraph says it all. "But for every cabinet officer in Mr. Trump's ……….., a countdown clock begins ticking ……… For Mr. Barr, it is still ticking, at least for now. Everyone who works for The Donald ends up being casted aside and discarded. No matter how supine or spineless a cabinet official is, he/she will be forced at some point to disagree with The Donald (aka The Very Stable Genius). That is the beginning of the end. It has probably occurred to Barr that he won't be Attorney General forever. What if in 2020 or 2024 the democrats win the White House and investigate some of these matters which took place during The Donald's administration. If Barr commits a crime he could be prosecuted in the future. All of these people -- Barr, Pompeo, Lindsay Graham, etc. -- think that they are different from everyone else. Each one thinks that he can manage/work with/save The Donald. What they don't realize is that no one manages The Donald and no one tells him what to do for very long. The day that The Donald thinks he doesn't need them, out they go. Check back on how he treated his great friend and mentor, Roy Cohn. After Roy got AIDS and was of no more help to The Donald, The Very Stable Genius dropped him.

  104. Hope trump has found his Roy Cohn. In 1986, a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court disbarred Cohn for unethical and unprofessional conduct. Fate unfolds itself you just never know how long something will take. Hopefully trump will get his just punishment, too, and soon...as well as Barr. I still can't comprehend anyone working for a crook and madman. Serious consequences arise eventually, it's time.

  105. Trump is his own Roy Cohn. Everyone else are simply sycophants and bobble heads… Just as the president desires.

  106. The rats are making for the life boats. The route they are taking is being kept a secret for the moment, until they get off the ship.

  107. Behind Barr's sober facade is a right-wing Roman Catholic zealot allied with the shadowy, militantly conservative church-within-the-church known as Opus Dei. His recent incendiary speech at the Notre Dame Law School, in which he blamed secularists and progressives for all the ills of modern society, showed him to be an enemy of our constitutional separation of church and state, as well as a conspiracy-minded advocate of authoritarianism. In other words, a good match with Donald

  108. @Charles Michener Didn’t know that about him but it definitely makes sense. By aligning himself with Trump, he’s giving right-wing Roman Catholic zealots a bad name.

  109. @Charles Michener Well put!

  110. Not buying it. Barr is working overtime to discredit our intelligence agencies’ findings on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

  111. The only purpose of this article is to drive a wedge between the two of them. Just like when yesterday the press ran with a story about how Mike Pence would have sign off on a 25th amendment thing to remove Trump. The press is attacking his most loyal henchmen in hopes that they can sow the seeds of mistrust within the administration. Journalism-ing today is less about reporting the news to you and more about trying to influence a preferred political outcome.

  112. @Kev I have no idea if Pence "would have sign off on a 25th amendment thing to remove Trump", but I'm pretty sure he is salivating about the possibility of becoming President.

  113. @Kev Journalism can be more than reporting on a shortage of garbage trucks to deal with demands. It can, with integrity, raise questions that may in fact, as in this situation, drive a wedge between aprties, e.g. T&B. Do you disagree with the questions raised or just what you perceive as the intent?

  114. @Kev — you talk of “loyal henchmen” being attacked, as if this is a bad thing. Obviously you have never consulted a dictionary on the meaning of “henchman”: “A faithful follower or political supporter, especially one prepared to engage in crime or violence by way of service.” God bless Barr, the loyal henchman?

  115. So Barr negotiated what he was permitted to release from the Mueller report with trump ? So trump had input into what was redacted ? And this is not impeachment material for both of them?

  116. Just in case anyone missed it, there is a revolution taking place in America. The republicans have endorsed a man that is devoid of ethics and morals in their desire to purge the nation of non-whites and return the nation to a time when immigrants were all white and largely from Eastern Europe. Black immigrants came to America in the cargo holds of ships as slaves. Those that are reaching out to Trump and his henchmen are those that are largely poor, not well educated, don’t read well, get their news from conspiracy propagators like Fox News and are at their hearts, very fearful of things they don’t understand. Americans are being led by Vladimir Putin’s delegate in the White House. Trump is the right guy for Putin to cultivate. Trump is not particularly smart but most importantly his narcissism leads him to do things that benefit him personally as opposed to the nation that he is president of. Go figure. And now we see that Jeff Sessions wants his old Senate seat back. Sessions TV ad was a message to Trump ‘please, please, please don’t criticize me Mr. President’ ions has, of course, revealed himself, agin, as a man with few moral values. His sense of personal pride is missing as his grovelling message to Trump attempts to let him make a return to the Senate. America does not need men like him. America needs men and women of substance, with a strong sense of right and wrong and a desire to serve America, not themselves. History will not treat him well.

  117. @Lew Not a religious sort and I do pray you are right re history not treating Sessions, Trump or any of the GOP sleaze well. And I hope those historic notes will be evident to the greater public this year and through the decades to come.

  118. @Lew Well-put. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is steering through 150 appointments of federal judges across the land, some of whom have little actual trial experience and are politicized rather than being noted for independence, impartiality and integrity, the three key tenets of the national model rules of ethical conduct for judges.

  119. @Lew Only truth Trump has ever spoke was when he called Jeff Sessions "beleaguered". Mr. Sessions is a joke. But Alabama will probably vote for Sessions along with Roy Moore.

  120. Barr's rationalizations: It's OK to pronounce Trump innocent of collusion and obstruction, in the name of my pet theory of executive privilege. It's OK to then turn around and dupe Trump into believing the transcript's release would show he had done nothing wrong, in the name of bringing down this particular resident of the Oval Office whom I actually detest. It's OK for me, the Attorney General, to go myself to foreign countries, rather than to my own country's investigative agencies who report to me, to examine possible dirt on the Democratic Party whom I also detest, in the name of .... hmm .... in the name of "because I can."

  121. It is difficult to believe that a competent attorney, familiar with the impact innuendo and wink-wink comments can have on a jury, would recommend that Trump release the "reconstructed" phone log of 25 July. Several possible scenarios develop from that observation: First, Barr did not read it himself, only told someone to check to see if there were any obvious smoking guns in it, perhaps to maintain a hint of "plausible deniability". This option, however, opens him up to an incompetence of counsel claim. Second, Barr has forgotten what it is like to represent a single individual rather than an institution. See above. Third, Barr did read a version of the record, but not the one that was ultimately released, the difference being in the "Do me a favor" language. If Barr kept a copy of that which he read, he should be OK, but, if not, he will have to make known either that he was duped, or that his "OK" comment only went to the question of campaign funding violations as the DOJ opined. Finally, Barr himself read what was finally released, and believed that it exonerated Trump without a doubt. Now we are back to "what competent attorney could do that?" land.

  122. I haven't agreed with all of his decision making, but AG Bill Barr is a good man and will try to do the right thing.

  123. @Michael That's one of the advantages of living in parallel universes, the facts and outcomes can be so incredibly different. I wish our universe had an AG Barr that is a good man and will do the right thing.

  124. @Michael He has already proven his willingness to do the wrong thing.

  125. @Chuck I don't think we live in such different universes, I just don't believe in using dehumanizing language to describe people I disagree with, or gaslighting them as you appear inclined to do.

  126. This article fails to note that what Hogan Gidley said is NOT TRUE: "Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, said, “It was President Trump who decided to release the entire, unredacted phone call showing everyone he’s done nothing wrong..." Trump released an EDITED PARTIAL transcript, which was incriminating even though not complete. If I had to make a bet, I'd bet on the complete transcript being even more incriminating.

  127. That’s why the transcript now lives in that super secure server.

  128. @Sheila but will we ever see it? I sure hope so!

  129. Correct. As much concern there us about what we know, it is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. This administration and majority of the Republicans are thoroughly corrupt and treasonous across all three branches of government. Watergate was a speed bump compared to this band of traitors to the constitution, rule of law, our values and their legal obligation to the American people

  130. First of all, it was NOT the complete and unredacted transcript of the phone call that Trump released. It was a carefully edited version which purported to show Trump in the best possible light. We have Col. Vindman testifying that he wanted the parts he had heard included. And it looks like AG Barr did try to stop the whistle blower complaint from going public albeit it was not a concerted effort. Most likely, Trump lumping Barr with Giuliani as cohorts in purpose did not sit well with Barr. They probably were feeding off each other with information learned but the publicity would ruin Barr's 'investigation' into the investigators. IMO Barr wants to deliver his devastating blow to the Democrats with as little taint on it as possible. He needs to keep Giuliani far away from his efforts. Mitch McConnell and his GOP cabal are hoping that Barr will deliver the goods. Talk about witch hunts. Everyone from Trump on down want some Democrat to be blamed for the whole 'Rusher nonsense' and to unmask the evil leftie 'deep state' before the election. Meanwhile, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous has reappeared. Just who or what now defines the 'deep state' Trump is so paranoid about? Some one in the Oval Office has different ideas. Where are the calls for outing Anonymous?

  131. Barr is slippery enough to know that he can’t do another “nothing to see here” press conference. Rest assured, he’s working behind the scenes to throw a wrench into the impeachment proceedings or at least create a distraction. As we are already aware, his efforts will not be constrained by facts or ethical considerations.

  132. Barr is learning. With Trump there are no guardrails. If you have any integrity at all you'll get to the point where you have to leave. He will keep pushing until he gets you to that point. For some, like Comey, it take about 5 minutes. For others, like Sessions, it takes a couple years. But sooner or later.....the only ones left are the flunkies and and the newbies, who come in thinking it's a path to exerting influence. Then with them the process starts all over again.

  133. Normally I would disagree with Trump but I have to admit I am confused about Barr's actions. Barr initially reviewed the whistle blowers complaint and apparently determined that no crime was committed but did not want the complaint released to Congress. Now apparently Barr will not publicly exonerate Trump on this matter of wrong doing? Was Barr setting up Trump all along by urging him to release the transcripted letter? What am I missing here?

  134. @kevin cummins It might well be that Machiavellian but it might also be Trump's twitter impulse, albeit not a twitter, wherein no one could contain the child from writing and posting the letter. Barr and other DT staff might get off with mild scoldings unless Barr and gang are prosecuted and found guilty during the impeachment.

  135. @kevin cummins I have had the same thought, but the narrative slams us around so well that I fear we are all going to have brain damage.

  136. When Barr expresses pride "about how much Mr. Trump relies on him and treats him as a confidant," he expresses better than I possibly could why he is unfit to be Attorney General.

  137. We essentially have two reads. 1) Barr is silent because he can't publicly exonerate the President when he knows the President committed a crime. 2) Barr is silent because the investigation is ongoing. Public comment would be inappropriate at this time. I'm going to lean towards the first explanation. First, Barr can publicly state he can't comment on an ongoing investigation. He hasn't done so. Second, Barr can comment on a House investigation. DOJ policy has nothing to do with House impeachment inquiries. This isn't a criminal investigation. Appropriate or not, Barr chooses not to comment. Third, Barr is considering his own legal exposure in this mess. Barr is likely silent because he, personally, is caught up in the House investigation. Congress is eventually going to want to know if Barr had any conversations with the President about Ukraine. I imagine any smart lawyer would take the opportunity to ask Barr whether he thought a crime had been committed. That's a very awkward position to find yourself under oath. Silence is a better option than going on record publicly and having to recount in Congress. If you can't say the same thing in testimony as you did on television, you probably should't say it on television.

  138. @Andy Fourth, he just prefers not to comment. Avoids a lot of questions/analysis.

  139. @Andy Well said. Will add that most of the GOP will happily say anything on TV knowing that they can completely change it later on claiming they were positive that black was white. Remember, Barr said things on TV about the Mueller report that were complete falsehoods.

  140. @Andy 3) Barr, like most people, knows what Trump did was illegal, and a public statement that it wasn’t is not the best way to defend the president. Barr has something trickier up his sleeve. When you are taking care of a toddler, you can’t always give him exactly what he wants, but you always look out for his best interests. Especially if he is The Toddler King. Barr put all his eggs in the Trump basket - there is no future for him outside of Trump’s administration. You can be sure what he is doing is calculated to protect Trump and himself, not the constitution, not democracy, and not American citizens.

  141. Well, the Attorney General shall uphold the laws of the land, even after, he realizes his boss is a 2-bit grifter.

  142. @rford Would suggest that he's known Trump is a 2-bit grifter from the git-go. It takes one to know one on the kindred, foul, level these two and most the GOP work from.

  143. It is difficult not to draw parallels between the Trump administration and a crime family. Oh, maybe there is no distinction at all. Who are the targets of this corrupt enterprise? We, the American people who dutifully pay taxes to fund this scamming enterprise.

  144. So even Trump's tame attorney general won't go so far as to defend his "perfect" extortion of Ukraine's new leader. Sorry but it doesn't redeem him in my eyes. He has been a disgrace from the gitgo, Not My Attorney General.

  145. @Christy Barr is just laying low until he unloads his report about the (conspiracy theory) origins of the Russia investigation and how Ukraine actually hacked the DNC server.

  146. If we are perfectly honest, Bill Barr is doing exactly what he was hired to do...protect Trump. Trump made it publicly clear he was looking for a yes man/attorney general, this is exactly what he got. Trump wanted someone who would protect him and even go as far as bending the laws to benefit him, this is Bill Barr. Barr mis-characterized the Mueller report, he said exactly what Trump wanted him to say, Barr even threw in the line 'Trump was illegally spied on". If anyone believes Barr is going to go against Trump they are sadly mistaken.

  147. I think you have it backwards: Barr has been waiting in the wings for years (albeit in a cushy corporate law job) to find a dupe well-primed to be groomed and massaged into becoming a king, so that he, Mr. Barr, Esq., can rule as regent from behind a brocade curtain. Barr found such a chump in President Trump and his rock-ribbed loyalist base and moved in for the kill. He is Machiavelli, he is Torquemada, he is Bormann. Barr elevates Trump above the law, puts him on a throne, and makes him a puppet with a crazy coiffure for a crown. If push comes to shove, it will be Barr, the 21st Century answer to Benedict Arnold, who cancels or nullifies the next election and who comes up with 19 well-phrases pages to set Trump up as president for life. Point out even one example that shows AG Barr is working for us, the American people, and not to use Trump to satisfy his own objectives.

  148. With Trump consistently claiming "no collusion" during the Mueller investigation, Barr had a fig leave to cover his sycophantic defense of Trump. But Trump has admitted breaking the law this time. So, there is no defense Barr can mount without be totally exposed

  149. I think this is a stint to make Barr appear more independent before he releases his report into the 2016 election and FBI investigation. Barr is completely behind Trump. Barr is very dangerous.

  150. The whistleblower’s submitted document fingers Barr as well as Giuliani as in cahoots with Trump in extorting Ukraine to manufacture a corruption charge agains Biden. Unlike Giuliani however, Barr knows that he needs a bit of distance from the press — whether he is planning his exit strategy or preparing for an offensive, only he knows.

  151. @Opinioned! Barr is keeping his powder dry as he plans his next move whether to defend Trump or toss him into the pit. Barr works on the basic idea that 'the best defense is a good offense'. Very much the GOP approach to almost anything simply because they are a defensive (possibly guilt-ridden but not sure they have the moral dna for regret much less guilt) group of miscreants, equaling the malice of the worse we have ever had in government. And Barr is a Cheney-esque enabler who finds glee in harming others. He will eat his own if necessary.

  152. Barr is smart he knows the law is coming. It is ludicrous to think that patriot career government workers are not going to report criminal activity. What is so amazing to me is the brazenness with which the Trump administration flaunts the rule of law. It really appears the Republicans don’t care about the Republic.

  153. @Kingsley Arthur Rowe I wish they did. Usually they simply flout it.

  154. @Kingsley Arthur Rowe you see Barr Kavanaugh played a role and succeeding in propagating lies by Bush junior administration, full blown lies to promote Iraq war. They are probably emboldened by the fact they got away with those lies, pretending Iraq war was lawful even though we all know it was based on sheer lies. So now barr and Kavanaugh feel bold enough to commit more lies, for them no one really is watching, everyone is telling lies and getting away. Wait till their own children lie to them..that would be the universe’s curse on them.

  155. Do you have direct knowledge of this "rift" or are you just speculating? I have always said Bill Barr is his own man. The NY Times and all other liberal publications and some more conservative leaning ones went after Bill Barr once the Mueller investigation ended. Now that you "think" he is not doing Trump's bidding he is a "good guy?"

  156. @Rozie Too late for him to be a "good guy". That time has come and gone. He has now entered the event horizon of that particular black hole.

  157. Definitely not a good guy .

  158. @Rozie No one "thinks" Barr is a good guy, nor does this article come even close to making that conclusion. Barr is a corrupt as they come and he has shown fealty to his Don by lying to We the People about the actual contents of the Mueller Report. Barr is evil, but he's no dummy. As this article sets forth, the question is whether he is smart enough to save himself or whether, he too, will meet the certain fate of others who have been sacrificed at the altar of tRumpism (whose ONLY tenant is "save trump from himself at all costs", even if it means your own self-destruction)).

  159. Perhaps it's finally dawned on Barr that acting like Trump's "Roy Cohn" was not a good career move.

  160. Too little too late Mr. Barr. Your fate is sealed. You will be remembered as one of the toddler king's pathetic sycophants. Stop digging a deeper hole for your reputation and resign.

  161. Raise your hand if you're waiting for Barr to suddenly decide he's got an actual conscious or might suddenly grow a spine. I'm still waiting to grow a hand to raise in this case.

  162. Bill Barr isn't Trump's Roy Cohn. He's not even a Roy Cohn-in- training. He's just Trump's mouthpiece who will go down on the Trumptanic with him starting here, starting now.

  163. @Nan Socolow "Captain! Iceberg ahead!" "Oh, pshaw!"

  164. What's the world coming to, when the US Attorney General behaving as he's supposed to is remarkable, worth headlines in the newspaper of record?

  165. The Attorney General works for the American people and the office of the Presidency. Not for the personal interests of Donald Trump.

  166. The AG “behaving as he’s supposed to”? The AG is supposed to represent the country. This AG has shown time and again that he serves as the personal attorney of the individual currently occupying the Oval Office. His oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution has meant nothing.

  167. I can see Barr being called as one of the Democrats last surprise witnesses in the Senate trial. They have some incriminating stuff on him and will work out a back door deal. You either cooperate with us and flip on Trump or you’re going down too buddy. He waddles out sits down, and nails Trump to the cross. Wouldn’t that be fun.

  168. Won’t happen. Barr has found a peaceful acceptance of Trump which allows for Trump to be Trump and for Barr to run around enabling his unPresidential behaviors. Barr will not go to jail for Trump, but he won’t reveal anything which he is not compelled to disclose.

  169. @tiredofwaiting Barr deserves his own cross. He needs to be held accountable, too. Even If he does give up Trump .

  170. @tiredofwaiting: In which case, the popcorn is on me.

  171. Barr can run but he can't hide, he'll be heading to prison along with the others Trump traitors.

  172. @tbs I only wish this were true. There is a different justice system for these folks.

  173. What DOJ will prosecute ?

  174. @tbs Someday we'll know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on all of this and Brennan, Clapper, Rice, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Priestap, Clinton, Blumethal, Simpson and the Ohr's....are all going to be wearing orange prison suits. One can only hope that they have enough suits for Clinton and Obama as well. After all...I have to believe that ordering your CIA to wiretap the phone of the German Chancellor is not only an impeachable offense, but a crime against humanity that should be levied by the World Criminal Court in the Hague. Anyone here want to excuse Trump if he orders his CIA to listen into the actual phone calls of Pierre Trudeau or Macron? Just call it a big old nothingburger? A little intellectual honesty would go a long way to helping the Democrat Party regain it's moral compass..which right now is spinning wildly out of control.

  175. That’s the trajectory of a Trump, um, “friendship “. Show up, display obsequious subservience, call yourself his “friend “ and enjoy the next five or six days until he gets bored with you, publicly castigates and humiliates you, and throws you under the bus. I’d rather pull out my fingernails with red hot pliers.

  176. @Doug Wilson, Trump's relationships remind me of Shakespeare's Richard III and Buckingham. You start with promises of the power and influence you will be given, you start to commit crimes for the man, you allow yourself to be dragged in deeper until one day he asks you to do something so heinous that it makes you pause. And then the rage tweets begin.

  177. It’s much too late for William Barr to cut Donald Trump loose. He joined himself to the president’s hip when he authored that infamous 19-page memo outlining his views on executive unaccountability. He knew what he was doing. He wanted the AG post. Now that career diplomats and top-drawer White House officials are singing behind closed doors to the three House impeachment inquiry committees, Barr’s name has been dragged into the stinking mess. He flew around the world trying to arm-twist his counterparts to investigate the ‘16 election to revise the historical record; that Ukraine—not Mother Russia—interfered with the election. Barr trashed his own Justice Department in service to his president, and now he’s embarrassed?

  178. @Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 I agree with you completely. The ironic part of the Barr memo soliciting the AG position is that there is zero chance that the stable genius read it since he can't even be bothered to read national security updates much less a 19 page memo.

  179. @Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 You cannot embarrass these corrupt low life’s, just look at trump, he can neither be embarrassed or ever apologize.

  180. @ACH - I was just pondering the same thing! Trump doesn't read anything but Tweets. Probably an aide read it and translated to Trump in Tweet language.

  181. What about barr's Oath of Office that he swore to trump, his mob Don?

  182. "Late Thursday, Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, said, “It was President Trump who decided to release the entire, unredacted phone call showing everyone he’s done nothing wrong." Mr. Gidley obviously doesn't know what the word unredacted means. How about the several elypsis in the obviously heavily redacted reconstructed text. It looks as if everyone speaking for the Crook in the White House has to lie on behalf of him.

  183. @Sarah You seem to think you know what was in the original call that is not in the transcript and one must ask the obvious question...were you in the room and listening on the call? Because according to the United States Penal Code..gaining illegal access to confidential communications between world leaders is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. I for one don't know what was in that transcript but I do know two things. Trump was right to ask for assistance with his team (both AG and Durham through official investigation; Giuliani in preparing Trump's defense against impeachment charges). No aid was withheld and no investigation commenced. So...if you want to throw Trump in prison for asking for help..surely you infer that Biden should already be in prison for asking for help..from the Uke's..or he was going to withhold $1 Billion in aid. Sounds like a clear cut conviction..if only we had video evidence of him actually admitting this.....

  184. @Erica Smythe There is a lot to unpack here, but we should really just throw away the entire suitcase. Aid absolutely was held up. It was not released until the administration caught wind of the whistleblower. Not president (R or D) should use the government's checkbook for his/her re-election. It is wrong and it is illegal. This should be a simple base-line understanding we can all agree to. We can argue all day whether or not this fits our definition of quid pro quo, but we can all agree it was bribery. Bribery with the US government's checkbook. Additionally, the President of Ukraine was scheduled to do an interview announcing an investigation. This was postponed due to Trump finally releasing the money (again, only after the Trump administration heard of the whistleblower). Attacking Biden and ignoring the nuance that Trump was withholding aid to help himself get re-elected (with OUR tax money) is disingenuous. And wrong. Take off the partisan glasses and view the situation for what it is, not for what you want it to be.

  185. @Patrick So you want to convict Trump of Bribery. What do you want to convict Biden of ?

  186. There is NO distance between them. Barr was merely protecting Trump from Trump by avoiding involvement in a moronic charade. It would have been too obvious a gesture so Barr wisely declined and will manipulate the process in his usual sinister, silent, criminally corrupt manner. -- Barr can not afford to lose trump as President. He is COMPLETELY corrupt and would face ENORMOUS legal risk without Trump in office.

  187. @JFP I agree with your first sentence, and nothing following. But it's a start.

  188. @JFP : Agree. This is essentially cover for his complicity—he’s still running around trying to absolve Russia, blame Ukraine, Democrats and our own intelligence workers.

  189. Barr is on a collision course with the USSC.

  190. If USSC means the Supreme Court, now firmly in Kavanaugh’s and Gorsuch’s hands, then, with respect, i disagree with the correspondent’s assertion. The SC will do whatever Trump, MoscowMitch, and the hardliners in the GOP want, so neither Trump nor Barr has anything much to fear on that front (ie., a captured judiciary).

  191. This may be wishful thinking. Perhaps Barr is biding his time while planning a more comprehensive assault on behalf of DT.

  192. @Emily Corwith My thoughts exactly. I wouldn't trust Barr with my kid's piggy bank. This whole story has a bit of what my father used to call "reverse psychology:" Saying no when you really mean yes.

  193. Barr has no dignity or honor.

  194. @Michel History will not treat him well. Nor will it treat Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins, or Lindsey Graham well. They will be remembered as people who tried to sell our democracy out on behalf of a psychopathic would be dictator. And all, for what? To protect a man who would turn on them in a heartbeat? to protect the defunct and disease riddled Republican party? There's no "there" there, and yet they persist.

  195. @Michel The fact 56 people agree with you without offering any evidence is evidence of the insanity of the AltLeft.

  196. @Michel Trump reminds me of "Pig-Pen" of Peanuts fame: extremely dirty and attracts a permanent cloud of dust, bugs, and bugs in suits & ties.

  197. This and other columns I have read describe the released document as a "reconstructed transcript" It is not a transcript either in original form or as "reconstructed" Instead it is just a memorandum of events cleaned up to make the best possible case for Trump's innocence. But it did not do a very good job of making him look innocent.

  198. Agreed! These are partial notes from the call, not a transcript in any sense of the word.

  199. @Robert Hodge Trump isn't innocent. That is the reason. He was a shady New Yorker and a leopard doesn't change his spots. As a New Yorker I warned people but they did not listen. I am amazed that Barr ruined his reputation for someone like Trump who has never put himself out for anyone, not even his kids. And I agree with you.

  200. @Robert Hodge So we do need the original leaker, aka whistle blower to testify..yes? Is that what you're saying?

  201. “While the Ukraine pressure campaign is separate from the Justice Department’s newest investigation into the 2016 elections...” Uh... no. For one, both aim to cast doubt on the Trump-Russia-2016 investigation. More importantly, while Barr’s “investigation of the investigators” predates the Ukraine scandal, its overall intent, more recent up-grading to a “criminal inquiry” and ultimate report (likely very carefully-timed) will certainly be relevant to the impeachment proceedings and the 2020 election — and will stand as a definitive marker of where Barr’s loyalties lie (if there are indeed remaining doubts about that). Obviously, discrediting the Mueller inquiry plays perfectly into one of Trump’s main narratives for both battling impeachment and campaigning in 2020: he’s done nothing wrong, has been a “perfect” president, and all those investigations/inquiries have really been “deep state” conspiracies, “witch hunts” and “hoaxes”. This article sort of portrays Barr as one of those “adults in the room” struggling to negotiate a compromise between fealty to institutions and law, and support for leader. I don’t buy it, sorry, and predict that events will quickly confirm that Barr is an all-in enabler of this corrupt president.

  202. @h leznoff, my thoughts exactly. Thank you for stating this so well. Wish I could give you 100 Recommends.

  203. Agree almost entirely.

  204. @h leznoff Could not agree more.

  205. Who knows what's going on inside the mind of William Barr? There is one thing that we know for certain, however, and that is that, just like every other Republican in the land, he will act his own self interest; country be damned!

  206. @dave -- Does William Barr have a mind?

  207. @dave Sir, your reply only calls out Republicans acting in their own self interest. I know it was your mistake and slip of your mind not to also include self serving Democrats.

  208. "Mr. Trump, angry with his coverage, is aggravated with Mr. Barr for urging him to release a reconstructed transcript of the telephone call with Ukraine’s president at the center of the impeachment drive." What would Phil Corbett have to say about this use of "aggravated?"

  209. Its also possible, and indeed probable, that the reason Barr does not comment is that law enforcement usually does not comment on lawful behavior. The Meuller case was special because it was a real criminal by an organization entitled to do those accusation, it just proved false. This case, orf course, is not a criminal inquiry. Trump has been accused of no crime by responsible parties. This case is a simple case of political theater attacking completely legal actions by a President acting as head of foreign policy. It is for the members of Congress to stop it. That will, of course, happen in the Senate.

  210. I think the country needs to see Barr in handcuffs. We need to be reminded that we are a country of laws. We need to be reminded that you cannot just break the law at will. Arrest Barr (and Pompeo) as an example.

  211. It is just amazing the level of denial the Republicans have engaged. Facts don't matter, but defending a corrupt President seems to be the only strategy. In a few weeks the narrative seems to change. First it was about process, then about definitions, then about confronting accusers. What is just lacking is honesty. They should also look at the history of Watergate. A lot of folks did jail time and had reputations ruined, but their own doing.

  212. It's a little too late for Barr to set a boundary with Trump. There is no hope for recovering a shred of dignity or honor. Perhaps he's realizing that the likely routes open to everyone who works for Trump are in the conga line on Dancing with the Stars, or dancing behind bars (like Cohen et al). Lime green ruffles or orange jumpsuits. Heckavu choice.

  213. Perhaps - perhaps - the scales are falling from Mr. Barr’s eyes, as he sees that Trump actually is committing crimes — crimes — right and left. Not that I think Barr has suddenly found his integrity or ethics. Barr does not want to get caught in that net, especially regarding obstruction of justice or perjury, both very sticky traps. Barr will act only in his own self-interest in the end; that should be part of the job description for any of Trump’s minions. And Barr ought to be taking a good hard look at how Trump treated Jeff Sessions. You remember, the previous AG??

  214. Considering the fact the first 8 witnesses the Republicans will call will all be denied by Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi, the only question is whether the entire GOP caucus opts to simply excuse themselves from these hearings entirely...forcing Schiff and his minions to put on a Broadway show while half the cast has chosen to not play their roles.

  215. @Erica Smythe Yes, I do believe they would be despicable enough to defy the Constitution and rule of law.

  216. Why no comment on what Mr. Barr has been up to in his tour around the globe in search of evidence of some sort? And why no comment on recent reports that Mr. Barr and his team are preparing a report that will be shortly dropped on Congress around Thanksgiving? And that the report will claim to get to the bottom of the impeachment origins in defense of his boss in an attempt to create new charges of impropriety, or worse, about the investigators, and further distractions from the impeachment effort?

  217. This whole Trump thing is a classical case of Americans hiring Small People for Big Jobs. And going through six bankruptcies would provide a Normal-Size person with an answer of "No!", when asking himself "Should I be President?"

  218. If Barr is really beginning to “distance” himself from Trump-not convinced-maybe it has to do with his trips to find the origins of the 2016 investigation into the Russia probe. What if he has discovered that our intelligence agencies were right-that the Russians did interfere to help Trump get elected? Maybe that would make him think twice about standing up for Trump during the impeachment inquiry. And I also find it interesting that in the middle of all this hubbub, the FBI (part of the DOJ) released another lengthy report that exonerated Hillary Clinton once again from any wrong-doing with her emails and server. Barr just might be smart enough to recognize that, even though he has an expansive view of executive authority, he might have picked the wrong executive to protect. At least George H W Bush was an honorable man.

  219. Though I do not always agree with Bill Barr, he is a man of principle: Every word or action is a contract between self, God and countrymen. But for donald, he is a person without principle, his word means nothing and everything is balanced on self-interest. These two could not be more opposite. The outcome has already been written for Mr. Barr. As to the trumpster, it’s anyone’s guess what he will do.

  220. Sorry, but Bill Barr is an “interchangeable part of his personal defense team”. There is an attempt to rehabilitate Barr’s reputation for non-partisanship, probably in advance of his sure to be edited release of the IG/Durham Report. Not so fast. The DOJ advised against following the Whistleblower law and releasing the Whistleblower complaint to Congress. Without that complaint, Trump would never have released the edited notes of his conversation. We would not have known that Trump was trading our national security for his own personal political gain. And the DOJ quickly determined that there was no campaign finance violation, nor any other criminal concern with Trump’s actions. Instead of Barr doing an embarrassing, servile press conference, he had his assistant do it. So, no this doesn’t begin to rehabilitate Barr. He remains an “interchangeable” part of Trump’s personal defense team.