Hard to manage a cover-up when the Don acts out in public although we’re not at the Vincente Gigante in pajamas moment.
#CarnivalBarkingClown and his consigliere … Aaron Blake @AaronBlake “The story here isn’t that an official told Trump to knock it off with the tweets. It’s that Barr confirmed he, the top political official at DOJ, was responsible for an unorthodox intervention in the case of a top Trump ally.”
This Barr interview is DeNiro in Goodfellas yelling at Johnny Roastbeef for buying his wife a Cadillac after the Lufthansa heist.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) February 13, 2020
NEW: Pres. Trump and top aides were unaware of the Attorney General Bill Barr’s intentions in the interview and were informed of the content only just before it aired, senior level White House sources tell @ABC News. https://t.co/hzqAQ2u5c3
— ABC News (@ABC) February 13, 2020
Barr is right that this is exactly why presidents are generally cautious about weighing in on ongoing criminal matters. If the president does that, how can you discern what is truly independent from what is being done in response to presidential pressure? Barr’s comments were also stronger, notably, than those by some Republican members of Congress who essentially shrugged at the entire situation.
But it’s also important to recognize how much Barr gains by being seen as rebuking Trump — and how much his answers don’t really address the true controversy here.
The fact is that, even if Barr made this decision before Trump’s tweets and Trump never directly requested the action — even if there is no relation between what happened and what Trump has said — this is still highly problematic. It’s the president’s most senior political appointee in the Justice Department personally intervening in an unorthodox manner in the case of perhaps Trump’s longest-serving political ally. It’s precisely the kind of case in which you would want to make sure you try doubly hard to avoid even the appearance of political influence of any kind — whether that influence emanated from Trump or not. Instead, Barr decided this was a situation he needed to get involved in.
Russia attacked America, in response America attacked itself repeatedly for years. An attempt to institutionally re-write history support President's conspiracies. Problem is, premise is in opposition to what Senate Intel released last week https://t.co/3hrjXa35N7
— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) February 13, 2020
It doesn’t even make sense. Even the conspiracy doesn’t hold together
— John Sipher (@john_sipher) February 13, 2020
Forgive me, but Mr. Barr cannot be complaining that he is being bullied by the president.
He happily intervened in cases of interest to the president, to the president's benefit, to the point where prosecutors resigned in protest.
What he feels bullied by is the backlash to it. https://t.co/6fZf3F9m9g
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) February 13, 2020
As usual Trump tries to displace the impeachment trial meme that he “got caught” in the Arms for Dirt scandal.