“Very Dangerous and Indeed Incendiary”: Barr Gives Controversial Speech To Federalist Society

I have long defended Attorney Bill Barr, who I believe has been unfairly criticized for his handling of the Mueller Report and other issues. However, despite my continued respect and long association with Attorney General Barr, I believe that he has been rightfully criticized for his speech at the Federalist Society last Friday. It is absurd for some to call for his impeachment, but the fiery political speech was in my view inappropriate and ill-advised for an attorney general. Indeed, given this difficult and historical period for the Department, the speech itself could fit Barr’s description of an “incendiary” moment for our system. This is a time where the Attorney General should strive to stay above the political fray — not contribute to it.

Barr drew the legitimate criticism for this portion of the speech to the largely conservative legal audience:

Unfortunately through the past few years we have seen these conflicts take on an entirely new character. Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called ‘The Resistance’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver to sabotage the functioning of the executive branch and his administration. The fact of the matter is: that in waging a scorched earth, no holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systemic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law. . .

This is a very dangerous and indeed incendiary notion to import into the politics of a Democratic republic. The fact is, that, yes, while the president has certainly thrown out the traditional beltway playbook and punctilio, he was upfront about what he was going to do and the people decided that he was going to serve as president.”

There is no need for the Attorney General to engage in such political discourse. That is particularly important at this critical historical period when a president is facing what appears a likely impeachment. Moreover, the Justice Department is not just investigating aspects of the 2016 election (including the criminal investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham) but also investigating Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani. Given those investigations, this is a particularly bad time for such comments (even if one could think of any good time).

Of course, no sooner had Barr committed this unforced error, critics on the other side rushed to prove his point. Former White House Ethics Counsel Richard Painter tweeted “Another lunatic authoritarian speech as Barr goes from attacking ‘radical secularists ‘ [at Notre Dame Law School] to one month later attacking the ‘resistance’ at [the Federalist Society]. Impeach Barr now!” He then added “Bill Barr is the type of bare knuckles lawyer the Church would have hired thirty years ago to cover up sex abuse cases. The bishop would have been someone like Rep. Jim Jordan. Neither of these men belong anywhere near the impeachment inquiry.”

This is an outrageous statement that is not only wrong as a constitutional matter but grossly unfair as a personal matter. It is not an impeachable offense for a cabinet member to criticize what he views as a destructive political environment or obstructionist environment. I do not think it is wise but it is ridiculous to suggest that the speech constitutes impeachable conduct. The added insult that Barr would “cover up” child abuse for the church so just how unhinged and unfair our political discourse has become. Barr is a deeply religious person and a Catholic. However, no one has ever suggested that he would cover up the rape of children for the Church.

I have previously disagreed with the overextended and unsupported claims of critics on allegedly clear criminal violations by President Donald Trump, including past statements by Painter. This includes this suggestion that simply doing fundraisers for fellow Republicans is impeachable bribery. These comments however are far beyond the pale even in this age of rage.

164 thoughts on ““Very Dangerous and Indeed Incendiary”: Barr Gives Controversial Speech To Federalist Society”

  1. Pingback: USAdroit
  2. Turley claims Barr was “unfairly criticized” for his spin on the Mueller Report before it was released. Barr LIED about Mueller’s findings. Pointing out that the AG shouldn’t lie, especially in this context, which was to mislead the American public about the findings just to put an inaccurate spin on the news cycle before the Mueller Report was released, is not unfair. The AG is not supposed to use the resources of his office to advance a political agenda.

    Turley claims it is “absurd” to call for Barr’s impeachment for his “inappropriate”, “fiery”, “political speech”. Barr was not just criticizing those who oppose Trump: he was disclosing his absolute loyalty to a total tyrant with no respect for the law and his venomous hatred for those who oppose him. Barr should be impeached because he cannot separate his duty to the American people to uphold the rule of law from his loyalty to Trump. He doesn’t even have enough sense to keep his big mouth shut. That makes him disqualified.

    Barr claims that Trump was up-front about the kind of person he was, and that “the people decided that he was going to serve as President.” No, we the American people did not: 3 million more of us voted for the other candidate. Trump cheated to get the Electoral College votes he did receive with the help of a foreign adversary. Read the Mueller Report.

    Lastly, it is false equivalency to compare Richard Painter, who does not hold any government position at present, with the AG of the United States.

    1. “Barr was not just criticizing those who oppose Trump: he was disclosing his absolute loyalty to a total tyrant with no respect for the law and his venomous hatred for those who oppose him” … or he was just stating facts.

    2. This is absurd. Trump won the election “fair and square” (Obama’s words), so get over it and move on. Focus on winning the next Presidential election.

    3. Your hatred makes your argument absurd and is just a compilation of Democrat talking points.

  3. Barr’s DOJ is still allowing abuses of the federal “Material Witness Statute” even after the 9th Circuit Federal Appeals Court reprimanded John Ashcroft in the “Kidd v. Ashcroft” case. The appeals court found Ashcroft broke the law in a fraudulent manner. Maybe his greatest alleged unindicted felony crime was “employment tampering”. Ashcroft went to one’s employer or customers and fired innocent Americans citizens, then slapped a gag order on the employer or customer. How do we get Barr to follow the legal mandate of the Judicial Branch?

    1. that’s an interesting comment , hmmm, wait lets look it up ourselves and see if it says what you says it did.
      um sort of the 9th circuit scolded Ashcroft and then got reversed by SCOTUS


      but you knew that didnt you? misleading garbledygook, next time flesh out your comment with better composition, and we can talk

  4. Barr was neck deep in the Iran Contra affair which did include drug trafficking and sex trafficking of children from foster homes and he aided in the cover up and engaged in the illegalities. John De Camp exposed a portion of the criminality with involvement of the CIA, the FBI, the GHWB and Reagan administrations. Craig Spence provided high level government officials and members of the New York diocese under Thomas McGarrity with children to sexually exploit. Research the franklin scandal and the sexual blackmail operations organised by Craig Spence, facilitated by the CIA and covered up by the FBI and lawyers of the OLC. Many of these children were subjected to torture and various mind control techniques. Wake up America. The Federalist Society and the laws written by the OLC are a threat to our democracy. These lawyers write unlegistated laws to enable the criminal behavior they engage in with impunity. Barr is a “criminal” attorney general.

    1. Many of these children were subjected to torture and various mind control techniques

      You torture Turley’s server daily by weighing it with the bodily excrement that you expel on it daily. You show him and those who take a whiff of your waste, that the mind control techniques your therapist has implored you to use to control your psychotic features are not working. You should consider a few gulps of Castor Oil to rid you (and JT’s server) of your an@l explosive habits

          1. You are wasting your time on that guy. His writing style is easy to identify no matter the fake profile name. He pollutes JT’s blog with his psychotic rants, a dark window into our world today

            1. “His writing style is easy to identify no matter the fake profile name.”

              LWT is clearly clueless.

  5. Barr was involved with the cover up of child sex trafficking by individuals in GHWBs and Reagan administration. Do your research sir. Barr was neck deep in the Iran Contra scandal which included sex trafficking and drug trafficking. John De Camp exposed everything. The Franklin Scandal very much included Bill Barr and the sexual blackmail operations run by Craig Spence which Thomas Garrity of the New York diocese were clients. He raped children while in the CIA and then as chief counsel for the OLC he helped cover for the banks that were laundering drug and sex trafficking profits for the CIA. The OLC opinions need to be tossed in a fire. These laws were not legislated by elected officials but decided on by a group of lawyers that wish to engage in criminality with impunity. The Federalist society is a joke and a threat to our democracy.

    1. The Psychiatrist at the facility has written new orders curtailing your access to the hospital patient computers in the Rec Room. The nurses are coming to your secret hiding space in the janitors closet any minute to administer a new order of psych meds. Try to cooperate. They only want was is best for you

  6. Again professor; some balance please. Were you as critical of Obama’s Attorney General and self proclaimed “Wing Man” when he fanned the flames of racism to take the heat off of his boss Obama? I am concerned that you are sliding down the slippery slope of tacit acceptance of the Democrats double standard.

  7. J.T., incendiary? Maybe, but did he exaggerate? Did he mislead us?
    Remember when Harry S. met Molotov for the first time 2 weeks after F.D.R. passed?
    Using nothing but one syllable words, “Truman charged that the Soviets were breaking their agreements and that Stalin needed to keep his word. At the end of Truman’s tirade, Molotov indignantly declared that he had never been talked to in such a manner. Truman …replied that if Molotov had kept his promises, he would not need to be talked to like that.”
    Sometimes the situation requires blunt confrontation. The Leftist media has controlled the “narrative” in American political life since WW II. Everyone recognizes it but them. But, “the times they are a changing, ,J.T.
    Got to love Truman

  8. JT: “There is no need for the Attorney General to engage in such political discourse. That is particularly important at this critical historical period when a president is facing what appears a likely impeachment.”

    In my view, the upper echelon of the government are national leaders. Leaders do not lead by ignoring problems. Turley’s view that Barr stepped into “forbidden” territory is wongheaded.



    President Donald Trump’s call to the cell phone of a U.S. ambassador — a call that included a discussion of “investigations” Trump was asking Ukraine to launch into his Democratic rivals — was at risk of being monitored by Russia, a State Department official told House impeachment investigators.

    David Holmes was in a restaurant in Kyiv with U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland on July 26, when Sondland called Trump to discuss the probes. Holmes told members of the House Intelligence Committee that he “vividly” recalled the conversation because Trump’s voice was so loud and discernible, and the two spoke so openly about the investigations.

    Holmes, the political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv , said it immediately made him nervous because two of the three mobile networks in Ukraine are Russian-owned.

    “We generally assume that mobile communications in Ukraine are being monitored,” Holmes said, according to a transcript of his Nov. 15 closed-door testimony, released late Monday.

    In fact, Holmes said former Ambassador Victoria Nuland, a senior envoy to Ukraine under President Barack Obama, had seen her communications monitored and disseminated “for political effect,” Holmes recalled.

    Holmes said Trump’s voice was so loud that it caused Sondland to wince and hold the phone away from his ear. He said heard Trump say “So he’s going to do the investigation.” And Sondland replied, “Oh yeah, he’s going to do it.”

    “I’ve never seen anything like this, someone calling the president from a mobile phone at a restaurant, and then having a conversation of this level of candor, colorful language,” Holmes recalled.

    Edited from: “Russia Could Have Monitored Trump’s Call With Sondland, State Department Official Testifies”

    Politico, 11/18/19

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