In Defense Of Bill Barr

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on widespread accusations against Attorney General Bill Barr, including former prosecutors who called for his resignation before knowing all of the underlying facts. Critics have simply ignored reports that various Justice Department officials believed (as did many of us) that the original recommended sentence for Roger Stone was wildly out of proportion with the underlying crimes. They have also ignored indications that Trump’s controversial statements on the case came after a decision was made to modify the recommendation. Some have even gone as far to declare that Barr, who has served his country for decades, is “unAmerican.” Such hair-trigger attacks have become common in Washington, but there must remain some modicum of decency and restraint when so few of the facts are fully established.

Here is the column:

In the story by Franz Kafka, “In the Penal Colony,” an officer was standing next to a lethal punishing machine. When asked about his qualifications, he explained simply, “My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.” It seems many in Washington can claim the same Kafkaesque qualification this week when it comes to Attorney General William Barr.

After a Justice Department sentencing recommendation was withdrawn and replaced in the case of Roger Stone, Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “If that guy will not resign, then the House should start impeachment proceedings against him.” Not to be outdone, Representative Maxine Waters declared, “Bill Barr should not only be disbarred, but he, Donald Trump, and Roger Stone should be sharing a jail cell.”

What is most astonishing about the calls for impeachment, incarceration, and disbarment is that they ignore any countervailing information other than raw political manipulation of the Justice Department. Even more importantly, they ignore even the slightest possibility that the Justice Department may have done the right thing for the right reason.

More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials are calling on Barr to resign due to allegations of political interference. Notably, in expressing alarm over the threat to professional ethics, these lawyers did not feel it was necessary to learn critical details about the underlying controversy before warning of “future abuses” and “unlawful orders.” They show the same lack of interest in a fair process they accuse Barr of committing.

I have been a friend of Barr for years, and I also testified in favor of his confirmation before the Senate. Nevertheless, when this controversy erupted, I immediately stated that these concerns were legitimate and that an investigation is warranted. I still believe that. However, the calls for summary judgment ignore three key elements in reaching any conclusion, which are the timing, the merits, and the process.

THE TIMING

The calls for impeachment and incarceration began as most scandals do in the Trump administration with irresponsible tweets from the president. It was not surprising or unreasonable for critics to latch on to the timing of the tweets followed by the withdrawal of the sentencing recommendation and resignations of prosecutors in the Stone case.

However, both the White House and the Justice Department quickly stated that there was no communication between Trump and Barr regarding the case and that the decision to withdraw the recommendation was made previously. If true, Trump showed his uncanny ability to undermine his own administration and then magnified that damage with a type of “atta boy” for Barr after the recommendation was withdrawn.

Barr then gave a television interview criticizing tweets by the president about pending federal criminal cases as “making it impossible to do my job.” Critics seemed caught off guard for about five minutes, and then resumed their calls for his utter destruction. The interview did not fit their narrative of Barr being a witless Trump troll so it was ignored.

(Just for the record, also ignored in the coverage is how the Justice Department under Barr allowed the Russia investigations to proceed unimpeded despite continual tweets by the president, prosecuted and convicted various Trump associates, including Stone, over objections by the president, declined to charge either James Comey or Andrew McCabe despite demands by the president, continued to investigate Trump figures and related businesses, and has not only prosecuted but expanded the investigation of close associates of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.)

THE MERITS

Worse yet, many media analysts and legal experts ignored one relevant point, which is that Barr was correct. Justice Department prosecutors were wildly off base in their initial draconian recommendation of seven to nine years in prison for Stone. It was on the high end of the sentencing guidelines range, but only because prosecutors “stacked” counts against Stone, who is generally viewed as a clownish political provocateur. This time, what he has called his “performance art” went too far.

Before this controversy erupted, many of us, including critics of the Trump administration, described the sentencing recommendation as excessive. The new recommendation got it correct. It recommended that Stone be given prison time but not a maximum sentence. That is precisely what the court should do. In other words, the prosecutors got it wrong and the new recommendation did precisely what the Justice Department is supposed to do in advising a court honestly and fairly.

THE PROCESS

There are good faith reasons to question a Justice Department process that led to the resignation of multiple prosecutors after the lowering of a recommended sentence for a friend of the president. There also stands a legitimate question of why it was necessary to intervene in this particular case over a sentencing recommendation. However, there are reasons to be skeptical of the portrayals of a Justice Department commissariat slavishly carrying out orders by the president.

First and foremost, there is indeed nothing uncommon about the Justice Department criminal division supervising or even dictating the moves within a high profile federal case. You see, Main Justice has prosecutors too. The United States Attorney manual states, “If primary prosecutorial responsibility for a matter has been assumed by the criminal division or higher authority, the United States Attorney shall consult with the persons having primary responsibility before conducting grand jury proceedings, seeking indictment, or filing an information.”

It is not unprecedented for Main Justice to overrule local prosecutors. For example, in 2008 when President Obama was first running for the White House, prosecutors wanted to bring charges against Black Panthers who stood in front of polling places brandishing weapons. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department overruled them, despite a rather widespread view that the men were trying to intimidate voters. There were no calls to impeach or incarcerate Holder, who was widely viewed as one of the most political attorney generals in modern history.

Barr has explained that there was a “miscommunication” after a meeting at Main Justice where he believed it was understood that “we should not affirmatively recommend seven to nine years.” Instead, the prosecutors recommended that extreme sentence. According to some accounts, they made it over the objection of interim United States Attorney Tim Shea, a veteran prosecutor, who told Main Justice that he and other prosecutors considered the sentencing recommendation to be too harsh.

None of this means that there was no political interference or that there should not be an investigation. There are serious credible concerns to be investigated, and Barr has agreed to appear before Congress to answer those questions. However, the critics have shown the very same disregard for the facts, the merits, and the process that they ascribe to Barr.

I have my own presumptions and bias regarding Barr, based on decades of friendship. Yet neither affinity nor hostility should shape our analysis of this episode. So here is a novel suggestion. Before we impeach, disbar, and incarcerate Barr, maybe we should hear from him.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law for George Washington University and served as the last lead counsel during a Senate impeachment trial. He testified as a witness expert in the House Judiciary Committee hearing during the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

339 thoughts on “In Defense Of Bill Barr”

  1. More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials are calling on Barr to resign due to allegations of political interference. Notably, in expressing alarm over the threat to professional ethics, these lawyers did not feel it was necessary to learn critical details about the underlying controversy before warning of “future abuses” and “unlawful orders.”

    Where was the 1,100 former Justice Department officials underlying sense of professional ethics when Department of Justice Inspector General Horowitz released his report titled – Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation – which exposed the deficiencies/omissions/obfuscations of the FISA application relating to Carter Page?

    https://www.justice.gov/storage/120919-examination.pdf

  2. Barr a real stand-up guy. /sarc

    April 16, 2019

    “While at the CIA, William Barr drafted letters calling for an end to the Agency’s moratorium on destroying records”

    “Decades before he was Attorney General (twice), Barr served in the Agency’s Office of Legislative Council in the wake of the the Church Committee hearings”

    Written by JPat Brown
    Edited by Michael Morisy

    https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2019/apr/16/cia-barr-crest/

    A memo uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that during his time at the CIA’s Office of Legislative Council, current Attorney General William P. Barr drafted letters calling for the end of the moratorium on destroying records imposed on the Agency ahead of the Church Committee hearings.

    DM (p. 1)
    Selected portion of a source document hosted by DocumentCloud
    View the entire document with DocumentCloud
    Barr, who served in the OLC from 1973 to 1977, frequently appears in the OLC’s journal from that period, usually going by the far more familiar “Bill.”

    BILL (p. 1)
    Selected portion of a source document hosted by DocumentCloud
    View the entire document with DocumentCloud
    The full memo and accompanying letter signed by then-CIA Director George Bush is embedded below.

  3. The caterwauling of “have not” communist parasites is usual and customary.

    A coup d’etat is an existential threat.

    One may ignore the pleading for “alms for the poor.”

    One must repulse the attack of the barbarians at the gate.

    Kafka was paranoid and darkly amusing.

    Communists are terminal for self-governance; for freedom and free enterprise through self-reliance.

  4. Barr grossly mischaracterized the Mueller report to the political benefit of Trump. Why would anyone give him the benefit of the doubt on his intervention to reduce sentencing recommendation in the Stone case? (except for his friends like Turley). By the way Turley doesn’t mention the fact that the Probation Department, not the prosecutors,calculated the 7-9 year guidelines. This Department of Justice recommends guideline sentences as calculated by Probation all the time and does so even when the guidelines seem harsh. Barr weighs in to remedy the harshness of the guideline application only when Trump’s crony is involved. Turley doesn’t see any problem with this for the principle of equal justice? I think his friendship with Barr has blinded him

  5. CNN is in prison, one of their own doing, going on 4 years.
    At this rate not even Seth dizzying copying / pasting will generate enough web traffic to help them

    Fox News More than Triples CNN’s Collapsing Viewership

    Even with the Democrat primary in high gear, the U.S.S. CNN’s ratings are still beyond pathetic.

    The far-left CNN, a hate network that spreads conspiracy theories and promotes violence against President Trump and his supporters, could not even average a million viewers during the same week New Hampshire came out to vote.

    Worse still, CNN’s chief nemesis, Fox News, annihilated the fake news network in the ratings by averaging more than three times — three times! — as many primetime viewers as CNNLOL.

    Here’s the primetime breakdown of average viewers during the week of February 10:

    Fox: 3.2 million

    MSNBC: 1.677 million

    CNNLOL: 969,000

    Breitbart

    1. Copying / pasting is all that Seth can do given his paygrade as a DNC troll. Bernie Sanders, Bloomberg and Warren has paid trolls to clog internet forums. Seth is just a small peep squeak in a massive war within the Democrat Party to win voters

      How has that worked for DNC these past 3 years?

      LOL

  6. Roger Stone Is A Traitor 

    And Rohrabacher Story Begs For Scrutiny 

    Professor Turley tells us Roger Stone was undeserving of a long prison sentence:

    “Barr was correct. Justice Department prosecutors were wildly off base in their initial draconian recommendation of seven to nine years in prison for Stone”.

    Yet testimony at Stone’s trial strongly suggests that Stone was the conduit between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks.  That puts Roger Stone in league with Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, two infamous traitors who put Wikileaks above country.

    By involving Wikileaks in the 2016 election, Roger Stone was a traitor to his nation.  Because of Stone’s actions, the 2016 election will be forever tainted.  Americans will never know if Donald Trump legitimately won that election.

    And now it emerges that former Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher visited Julian Assange during Trump’s first year in office.  This story is developing today. But it appears that Rohrabacher was trying to broker a deal of some kind where the U.S. might drop all charges against Assange if the latter publicly stated that Russia had nothing to do with the DNC hacks that became Wikileaks.

    As of today, the White House denies any knowledge of Rohrabacher’s meeting with Assange.  The White House claims that Trump barely knows Rohrabacher.  Yet it is hard to believe that Rohrabacher,  while still in Congress, visited Assange on a mission of his own initiative.

    https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/483833-rohrabacher-tells-yahoo-he-discussed-pardon-with-assange-for-proof

    1. MORE ON ROHRABACHER STORY

      At an extradition hearing in London Thursday, a lawyer for Assange told the court that in 2017, former GOP representative Dana Rohrabacher visited Assange at London’s Ecuadorian embassy, bearing a message directly from Trump: If Assange were to publicly announce that Russia had nothing to do with the release of Democratic National Committee’s emails, Trump would offer him a pardon.

      White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham called the claim “absolutely and completely false,” adding Trump “barely knows” Rohrabacher and has “never spoken to him on this subject.”

      Previous news reports, however, place Rohrabacher (who reportedly holds pro-Russian views) and Trump together in a 2017, 45-minute-long White House meeting also attended by former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

      Assange’s claim came as part of an extradition hearing set to begin in earnest next week, which will determine whether he will be sent to the U.S. to face espionage charges.

      The Wall Street Journal also reported in 2017 that Rohrabacher was working to broker a deal between Assange and the U.S. that would involve a pardon, “or something like that,” the former congressman said.

      Edited From: “Trump Says He Barely Knows Dana Rohrabacher After Julian Assange Makes Pardon Claim”

      Forbes, 2/19/20

  7. (music)
    I’m Barr the 8th I am!
    Barr the 8th I am I am.
    I got stuck in the DC trove.
    No rubbers on and I’m stuck in stone.

    It’s all because of Hillary!
    There wouldn’t be a Willie or a Fred!

  8. the DNC is like a house on fire burning wildly

    they are done

    “ let’s put forward somebody who’s actually a Democrat. we shouldn’t have to choose between one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another candidate who wants to buy this party out “

    – Mayor Pete B

  9. BILL BARR IS one of the Better AG’s for along time and is not political. I suggest that the negative news stories by Washington Post and etc. are ALL WISHFUL thinking and make believe, which The Post has done before and has been caught making things up.

    If there is a source that knows what is going on and relationships it is RUSH. Its all about nothing and the DEM’s Are afraid of BARR and Durham for what they are going to find and the DEM’s are up to their necks in crooked, corrupt stuff.

    The so called former DOJ people are all DEM’s, Never TRumpers, and Trump haters.

  10. Going down with Barr and Trump is not going to look good in the history books Turley, but on the other hand your job at FOX is just waiting for you at any time. Or maybe a job with Barr at DOJ. That’s sure to get you paying gigs at CPAC.

    1. Fishwings should watch something other than Fox News.
      The last two times I saw Prof. Turley, he was on CBS, and PBS before that.

  11. Agreed with you idea of hearing from him. But he’s also taken enough action to certainly ascribe the sentiment that what he’s done speaks so loudly it’s hard to hear what he’s saying….

    And nice job with the Holder pandering move. An old standby. These “many” that have talked of the Black Panthers at the polling stations intimidating people has been thoroughly discredited long ago. Fox News held, and holds, to the theory they were there for ‘intimidation’ purposes. But really as it turns out, they were just there to ‘monitor’ polling places, suspecting that, with Obama running there would be voting irregularities. Two things that make the assertion otherwise wildly laughable is that a) in terms of common knowledge, the Panthers were fully infiltrated by the FBI dating back to the later ’60’s and early ’70’s, and b) anyone in the existing Panthers who might consider intimidating people at polling stations would be roundly criticized and blocked from within because such behavior would immediately draw police response. Especially in Philadelphia where it would literally draw police with batons to navigate the situation.

    Wow, Professor, it’s cool that you brought up twice in the article that you’ve been friends with Barr for so long because at least you admit your bias. But you really brought up some hack anecdotes with this one. At least on the negative side. On the positive side: well, damn, way to sharpen the skill of defining deviancy downward. Haven’t seen a better example of it.

    But hey, you just keep on being you.

          1. Start at the beginning and end at the end.

            Allan,

            Nicely done and true. If you’ve never watched the Dan Bongino podcasts, he’s been laying out in excruciating detail all the facts and evidence that point to one verifiable truth (pick any anti-Trump event): they all are connected to each other, like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. Here is a taste:

            David Laufman, representing Monica McLean, interviewed Clinton alongside controversial former FBI agent Peter Strozk during the 2016 presidential election.
            https://dailycaller.com/2018/10/05/doj-lawyer-hillary-ford-case/

            A former Justice Department official who is discussed throughout the inspector general’s report on FISA abuse added his name Monday to a petition calling on William Barr to resign as attorney general.

            David Laufman, who served as chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control section through 2018, said Monday that he joined more than 2,000 former Justice Department employees who signed the petition, which was started by the anti-Trump activist group, Protect Democracy.
            https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/17/doj-official-fisa-report-william-barr-resign/

              1. Bongino is far better then Hannity.

                Maybe Hannity & Lindsey Graham can run off as lovers never to be heard from again. lol

                1. It’s a matter of taste. I rarely listen to either of them but think they are both great. Right now as I type and do clean up work I am listening to MSNBC and laughing.

                  These people are idiots.

            1. Elvis I have replied many times in depth and you seem to ignore what was said and you have been unable to provide any proof of what you claimed. Right now I see you embroiled in an argument over Holder with another blogger. It seems that you totally forget what he said as well and I was in awe of your audacity of making believe what he said didn’t exist. Do all boys from Queens have the same problems as you?

                1. Queens boy, I’ve always responded but you think you can BS your way through a discussion. When you no longer can you lose it and start with the name calling such as “D bag.” Either name calling or lying. Both are pretty bad.

                  1. Never responded with fact. Just so we’re clear. Now you can go back to spanking it to Apprentice reruns. Go Allan! Pop that rod.

                    1. Elvis, it seems when you run out of BS answers you get angry then rude and then foul. Ain’t much left of the Queen’s boy. Go join Fido and Anonymous the Stupid.

                    1. I see Anonymous the Stupid and Fido want a bit more company. If you like threes maybe Elvis will join you.

    1. Holder and Lynch shamelessly corrupted the AG’s office in the Obama admin and you never had any outrage over it did you?

        1. The fact that you have no idea how shamelessly both Holder and Lynch politicized and corrupted their positions as AG is no surprise.

          1. Explain it, D bag. I know what you *think* you’re talking about, but if you’re going to jump in say it out loud.

            1. Elvis, what’s with the name calling? Say it out loud? I said it: Holder politicized and corrupted the office he held. Do you NOT know what kind of AG Holder was? He was Obama’s wingman first and foremost. His wife is BFFs with Michelle Obama. Holder was the first ever AG to be held in contempt of Congress for hiding documents detailing his illegal efforts to run guns to violent Mexican drug cartels. And we could go on. Lynch was another doozy. Why not inform yourself, D bag?

                1. Wrong read on Fast and Furious? Well then, Elvis, I’ll borrow your own words: Explain it, D bag. I know what you *think* you’re talking about, but if you’re going to jump in say it out loud. We’ll wait.

                    1. Here’s a nightcap for you Elvis….Contempt is forever. And Eric Holder (Obama’s Wingman) got a bipartisan vote (17 Democrats voting for it) to become the first AG in history to be held in both criminal and civil contempt.

        2. Eric Holder must be extremely frustrated that he is no longer in a position to spy on journalists’ emails and phone records, threaten them with prosecution, and lie to Congress about it.

              1. Point is that Holder outright lied to lawmakers over and over. But if you are a shameless Obama Wingman, and a black man, you get a free pass by the leftwing media. It’s sickening.

                  1. “Responding to Adams’ testimony, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez stated there was insufficient evidence to support the case;[5] Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler stated that “The department makes enforcement decisions based on the merits, not the race, gender or ethnicity of any party involved.”[6]”
                    ******************
                    Tom Perez, currently head of the DNC, was an Assistant AG under Eric Holder.
                    Perez’s ability to make these minds of comments while keeping a straight face is impressive.

              2. I didnt quite follow what you guys were saying up above there, but yeah the FBI plied their COINTELPRO stuff and they STILL DO.

                back to the era of “Operation PATCON:” Since somebody mentioned Ruby Ridge., That was a patcon operation and so was Waco.

                it’s kind of a rabbit hole but the “midwestern bank robbers” were a gang of racist bank robbers who likely were clique’d up with Tim McVeigh who probably was in on some of their capers.

                they were also called the Aryan Republican army or some such grandiose thing

                funny thing about these guys, who knocked off numerous banks, and may have been in on planning the OKC destruction, is that at least two of them were federal informants

                one of them died in jail, “suicide” supposedly, named Guthrie, and another one somehow ended up in the army not long after he testified in a bunch of trials, and he’s out today. i forget the name

                one, peter langan, who was supposedly the leader, colorful character, whose dad was a CIA station officer in Saigon, is today alive and incarcerated and reknowned for his “transgender” lawsuits against the BOP,

                anyhow, the point is, when “extremists” are talking political things, the FBI will hear, and they will recruit informants. regardless of probable cause and all that stuff.

                and those informants often will be acting as agent provocateurs and doing evil deeds with an expectation of transactional immunity. this is a persistent, bad problem in the tactics the FBI uses where “extremists” are involved whether that’s the black panthers or the white crackers and all the assorted discontents in between

                , well, this was decades ago, anyhow. nobody seems to care, most people never even heard of the Church committee, it’s all forgotten and there’s little restraint it seems.

                there’s books and books out there about this stuff, serious journalism, solid sources, but, it all gets written off as “conspiracy theories”

                1. When will you ever stop acting like a hopeless, out of control addict, exposing this law forum with your nonstop, machine gun fire, batsh!t crazy crap?

                  Between you, Allan, George and Oky1, the blog is populated by conspiracy freaks and DNC trolls intent on proving how crazy both extremes are

                  Give it a rest already. Get a wife, a dog, have some children or get involved with your friends lives…unless of course they all dumped you for obvious reasons

                  1. Kurtz, this anonymous can’t provide a single identifiable alias because he is an inconsistent blogger that gets trapped up in his own comments.

                    Go ahead anonymous boob, tell me where I believe in conspiracies.In the meantime develop some reading skills and a backbone.

              3. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/25/inside-the-black-panther-case-anger-ignorance-and-/
                ***************
                More recently, there was the case of the New Black Panthers stationed outside of a Philadelphia polling place.
                Holder and others in the Obama DOJ buried an ongoing investigation into this incident when the new Holder DOJ was installed.
                If the members of the Aryan Nation had participated in these kinds of activities outside of a place where people were entering to vote, I don’t think the Obama DOJ would have been as eager to dismiss the accusations of voter intimidation.
                But in the Philadelphia New Black Pathers case, something might have colored the Obama Administration’s decision to drop it.

                  1. So what’s your point Elvis? News is only legit if you approve of the source? Such BS. That’s why you don’t really know what’s going on. You think you do, but you clearly don’t.

                    1. “civil rights lawyer Bartle Bull, who was on the scene, said it was the worst example of voter intimidation he had ever seen. Not one person, in any forum, has ever contested these basic facts”.
                      Bartle Bull was involved in the Philadelphia New Black Panthers voter intimidation case; he had been a voting rights activist for years, and was on the scene at the Philadelphia polling place when this happened.
                      It probably should not make any difference who reports these facts ( specifically, what Bartel Bull said)but evidently “Elvis” finds it convenient to disregard them if he does not like a particular publication.
                      The publications on Elvis’ approved list are not likely to report a that a statement like that was ever made, another advantage for Elvis.
                      He’ll be “protected” from hearing news he’d rather not hear.

                    2. Some like Elvis think the Black Panthers were wonderful people but people like Elvis should ask someone that worked with the Black Panthers as their intellectual brain power. That person after working closely with them for years suddenly left after his friend and the secretary of the organization was murdered. No one was concerned but that person at that time recognized that he could be killed as well.

                      People like Elvis live in sheltered and closed worlds never questioning what their mentors tell them and never have the curiosity to find out what others might think. Instead those people engage with anger and foul language.

                    3. See also 🙈 See-No-Evil Monkey and 🙉 Hear-No-Evil Monkey.
                      Or, to put it another way, the Elvis news filter.

              4. Eric Holder’s DOJ, in a warrant personally signed off on, falsely accused a Fox News reporter treason so it could spy on the reporter and secretly read his e-mails. Sound familiar?

    2. Eric Holder’s DOJ, in a warrant personally signed off on, falsely accused a Fox News reporter treason so it could spy on the reporter and secretly read his e-mails. Sound familiar?

  12. Mr Turley you claim to be good pals with Barr whose father made Jeff Epstein the pedophile rapist he was. See https://hillreporter.com/the-ties-that-bind-jeffrey-epstein-william-barr-donald-trump-34107
    So are you a friend of Epstein who may have been murdered by Barr’s DOJ To hide the family secrets To hide the family secrets or whisked away by men in black before Barr killed him. I think after first trip to hospital he never returned. So my question to you is were you on lolita express on pedo island were you also buds with Epstein. I see you are a Trumpster who also was bud with Epstein.

    1. Eliot:

      You have quite the imagination and your jumping to conclusions puts you in the frog category. And your moralizing …. well … it is just precious. My guess you’re bucking for private in some antifa cell. See how making wild accusations is fun!!

    2. whose father made Jeff Epstein the pedophile rapist he was.

      Actually, he employed him as a math teacher for a couple of years, ca. 1976, several decades before he was a person of controversy.

      What’s amusing about latter-day progtrash is that, like Elliot above, they lie by default and are incapable of precisely and fairly characterizing anything. It makes discussions quite challenging.

      1. “What’s amusing about latter-day progtrash is that, like Elliot above, they lie by default and are incapable of precisely and fairly characterizing anything. It makes discussions quite challenging.”
        ********************
        And irrelevant

      2. Not challenging because they aren’t human just programmed machine parts from a computer. No human presence just The Collective of The Party of The Nothings.

    3. Eliot,

      Bill Barr was involved in giving an illegal deal to Jeff Epstein, along with a very short sentence for raping children. Barr was also instrumental in covering up Iran-Contra and appears to be covering things over since Jeff’s death (although this is yet to be definitively determined). I have seen no evidence that JT is involved with Jeff Epstein. Which presidential campaign he supports cannot invalidate his argument. That can only be argued with reason and facts.

      1. Bill Barr was involved in giving an illegal deal to Jeff Epstein, along with a very short sentence for raping children.

        Barr had been out of office for 14 years.

        1. Just to clarify things: “Bill Barr also was known for stonewalling the Church committee in the late 70s, and he was particularly trying to prevent the CIA’s use of sexual blackmail operations from coming to light for the Church committee. I think that is at least like significant as is the fact that he justified the legal pardons of numerous Iran-Contra figures and including, and given the role of many Iran-Contra figures in this network that I describe in my reporting, I don’t really see him as being an impartial investigator here. And also the fact that he worked for the law firm that defended Epstein later on in the 2000s, I think is just, you know- ”

          From Whitney Webb on Truthdig. (This information can be confirmed from any number of sources.)

          1. Whitney Webb’s work is fantastic, she publishes her work on mintpressnews.com. Even though my politics might be different than yours, it is important that people know exactly who and what Bill Barr is.

            https://www.mintpressnews.com/genesis-jeffrey-epstein-bill-clinton-relationship/261455/

            “According to Terry Reed in his book Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA, co-written with John Cummings, a hushed meeting was held in a bunker at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas. During the meeting, William Barr, who represented himself as the emissary of then-CIA Director Bill Casey told Clinton:

            “The deal we made was to launder our money through your bond business but what we didn’t plan on was you and your n****r here start taking yourselves seriously and purposely shrinking our laundry.”

            Barr chastised Clinton for his sloppy handling of the delicate operation and his half-brother’s very public fall from grace. He would later tell Clinton, according to Reed,

            “Bill, you are Mr. Casey’s fair-haired boy … You and your state have been our greatest asset. Mr. Casey wanted me to pass on to you that unless you f–k up and do something stupid, you’re No. 1 on the short list for a shot at the job that you’ve always wanted. You and guys like you are the fathers of the new government. We are the new covenant.”

  13. The sentence for Stone was excessive, and therefore unjust. Barr did the right thing.

    Trump needs to stop creating problems for Barr, and pipe down on pending cases.

    Trump can certainly state his opinion of a decision AFTER it was made and executed. I do not have a problem with his praising of Barr’s decision in regards to Stone. Everyone wants to know his opinion. But he should not comment on pending cases.

    Most of Barr’s critics are employing political warfare to try to get their desired result. That is unjust. Maxine Waters has a habit of making lawless statements, such as encouraging a mob to go after Trump administration officials, or claiming that Trump should share a jail cell with Stone. That is not warranted based on the facts, so she appears to be, again, lawless. Wishing she could jail her political opponents without a crime.

  14. OK, Jon, here’s what’s wrong with your theories: 1. How do you know what information Barr’s critics had when they recommended his removal? Did you overlook his intentional misrepresentations about the Mueller Report before it was released publicly? This latest flap is added to that conduct. 2. Judge Jackson’s comments at the sentencing hearing don’t seem to jive with your claim that the recommended sentence is wildly inappropriate. Stone threatened to kill a witness, plus he lied to Congress. Yeah, I know, in this era where a pathological lying narcissist cheated his way into the White House and lies every single day, lying is supposedly no big deal. To Trumpsters, that is, but not to the rest of us, and certainly not to a federal judge who does understand what the oath to protect and defend the Constitution means. 3. The assertion that Barr had decided to oppose the sentencing guidelines BEFORE Trump tweeted requires one to believe Barr, who has proven himself to be almost as mendacious as Trump. Barr is a liar and is nothing more than an instrument Trump uses to get his way. Barr can proclaim that he’s thinking of leaving, and can gripe about Trump making his job difficult. I don’t believe anything he says. No one else should, either. He does what Trump wants, the law and his oath of office be damned. He’s not going anywhere. That little Shakespearian act was done to save his ticket down the road.

    1. All those big words adding up to nothing jus to say ‘I’m a tool of the ‘socialists and the programmer doesn’t agree? Must be a machine a human wouldn’t put up with warrented ridicule so…. REJECTED Ad Machina.

    2. Natacha — Mueller failed to show a ‘conspiracy with Russia’ or even name ONE crime found in regards to “collusion with Russia” during the 2016 campaign. Not one.

      1. Anonymous: How could Mueller find anything when Trump reneged on sitting for an interview, commanded witnesses not to cooperate, withheld documents and lied? TRUMP WAS NOT EXONERATED. Mueller was unable to get the information he needed. You can’t be exonerated when you didn’t cooperate. His lack of cooperation was grounds for the 10 or so instances of obstruction of justice found by Mueller. Members of his campaign lied, and got prosecuted or pleaded guilty.

        Trump’s campaign cooperated with Russia by feeding it sensitive insider polling information on where the lies it told about Hillary Clinton would do the most good. Trump got loans, funneled through Deutsche Bank, from Russians because no other bank would loan him money. Banks are beholden to regulators and stockholders, and no one would loan a 6-time bankrupter of businesses any money. Do you really think Trump didn’t know, didn’t cooperate with Russia’s efforts to help him “win the victory”? Do you really think Manafort, Flynn, et al, just did this on their own without Trump knowing anything about it? Why does Trump defend Putin and Russia and side against American Intelligence? Is it OK when a foreign government hacks into the computers of a political party and candidate for President, without impunity? Why do you think Assange was told he’d get a pardon if he said Russia was not behind the hacking of the DNC computers?

        TRUMP WAS NOT EXONERATED. HE LIED, OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE, AND HAS GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT, SO FAR. Trump has been a cheater and liar his entire life.

        1. Natacha — and what is Hillary Clinton if not a cheater and a liar? And a sickly and imcompetent one at that? What did Hillary’s campaign do with Russia? And Ukraine. That she actually paid for?? Do tell.

          Mueller’s team could have made a decision about obstruction, but they didn’t. Mueller’s team had nothing on the bogus “collusion” claim and spent two years attempting to build an “obstruction” case that failed. Mueller and his team’s hoax was humiliatingly exposed.

          Also, the crimes for which any of the Trump associates were convicted and even those that Roger Stone may go to prison for had nothing to do with “Russian collusion”….and that alone should be humiliating for everyone in politics and media, especially Rachel Madcow, who pushed that garbage for the past 3+ years. And people like you bought it. It’s so sad to witness what they’ve done to your brain. Really. Get help my friend.

      1. He’s already going down. I marvel at the twisted thinking of anyone who believes that the AG intervening in a lawsuit and who tries to limit prison time for a liar like Stone who threatens to kill witnesses is a good thing for the “Republic”, especially when the intervention was at the behest of a chronic, lying narcissist. You obviously don’t understand that the AG is supposed to enforce the laws passed by Congress. You don’t understand that our Congressional Representatives are carrying out the will of the American people by passing laws to keep social order, consistent with our values, laws that punish people like Stone willing to commit perjury and threatening to kill witnesses. You don’t understand that the Executive Branch has no business interfering with the Justice Department enforcing our laws, and the danger posed by an AG under the control of someone like Trump, who has no moral compass whatsoever, and who cheats, lies and will do anything to prevail. You don’t understand that Sentencing Commissions arrive at guidelines to level the playing field–specifically for the purpose of assuring that convicted felons who have money or political connections get the same treatment as people without these advantages. You also don’t understand that the Sentencing Guidelines are just that—guidelines, one of many factors considered by a judge when deciding what sentence to impose. The judge is not bound to follow the guidelines–she can adjust upwards or downwards, depending on the facts.

        Our Republic would be better off without people like Trump, Stone and Barr. How “valiant” is someone with a JD degree who allows himself to be bullied by a chronic, lying narcissist, and who is nothing but a spineless, syncophantic toadie of such a person? The valiant ones are the prosecutors who withdrew from representing the people in protest of Barr’s unethical conduct.

        1. “The valiant ones are the prosecutors who withdrew from representing the people in protest of Barr’s unethical conduct.”

          No, they’re not. And let’s hear from those prosecutors who threw a hissy fit and quit. The judge did not follow the overzealous prosecutors’ recommended sentence did she?

          And why were there four prosecturos on the case anyway?

        2. Natacha — explain why a pre-dawn SWAT team with guns drawn and CNN cameras rolling was the appropriate way to handle Stone’s arrest for process crimes. Can you? And then a judge’s gag order? Meanwhile Comey, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, etc are ALL OVER THE AIRWAVES spinning their own crimes and promoting million dollar book deals and being PAID as cable political analysts!! Explain it. You can’t.

      2. “Anonymous says:February 20, 2020 at 2:38 PM
        Natacha — Barr will go down as a hero who valiantly saved the Republic.”

        I won’t hold my breath.

      1. “Anonymous says:February 20, 2020 at 5:38 PM
        what a steaming dungpile of verbal dreck this lady leaves here each day. stinks!”

        Then don’t read it. You’re not the only one who gets to comment.

        You leave your own “steaming dungpiles of verbal dreck… stinks!”

      2. “what a steaming dungpile of verbal dreck this lady leaves here each day. stinks!”

        We hear ya Anonymous @ 5:38 PM and agree. Alas, someone has to care for the poor, the feeble and the mentally deranged. Senator Liawatha has a plan and Minnie Moe Bloomy will beat the snot out of them once he buys the White House

  15. You can defend Barr all you want , but he is as “Deep State” as the rest of them .
    Barr is the lawyer who got Lon Horuchi off .
    For those not in the know , Lon Horuchi is the Govt. sniper who MURDERED Vicky Weaver
    IN COLD BLOOD at Ruby Ridge . And Barr got him off .
    Barr also had a hand in cleaning up the Iran Contra mess . Read that as “hiding the dirt”.
    Don’t tell me Barr is such a good guy , he’s a POS !

    I doubt this will get posted . I just put it here to let you know that not all of us are fooled .

    1. Pegs you as a National Socialist instead of an International socialist. so now we know. Just another part of The Collective of The Party.

      1. “of course that was decades ago and we are working on what’s happening now.” -Mr Kurtz

        And what happened “decades ago” has plenty of bearing on the mess we’re in now:

        “While at the CIA, William Barr drafted letters calling for an end to the Agency’s moratorium on destroying records”

        “Decades before he was Attorney General (twice), Barr served in the Agency’s Office of Legislative Council in the wake of the the Church Committee hearings”

        Written by JPat Brown
        Edited by Michael Morisy

        https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2019/apr/16/cia-barr-crest/

        “A memo uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that during his time at the CIA’s Office of Legislative Council, current Attorney General William P. Barr drafted letters calling for the end of the moratorium on destroying records imposed on the Agency ahead of the Church Committee hearings.”

      2. “That charitable work (for an FBI agent who already had a federally paid law firm defending him) helped tamp down one of the worst scandals during Barr’s time as attorney general from 1991 to early 1993. Barr was responsible for both the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, two federal agencies whose misconduct at Ruby Ridge “helped to weaken the bond of trust that must exist between ordinary Americans and our law enforcement agencies,” according to a 1995 Senate Judiciary Committee report.”

        Mr. Kurtz, Thanks for the Bovard article.

        Repeating:

        ‘Barr was responsible for both the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, two federal agencies whose misconduct at Ruby Ridge “helped to weaken the bond of trust that must exist between ordinary Americans and our law enforcement agencies,”’

        1. I would oppose the CIA destruction of old files if the intention is to protect the agency from accountability for undermining our constitutional order. I suppose they are destroying old files all the time however, like every other paper shuffling organization. So the question would be which files.

          Anyhow back to today:

          I don’t have to agree with everything Barr has done to make my own conclusion that in respect of the current flap, he was right in ordering the persecutors to reduce the sentencing recommendation downwards.

          Also to the extent he has some deep state bona fides, yes. but. I realize this: the “deep state” has factions. Every single successful revolution or coup or counter coup or counter revolution, etc, signifies the triumph of one internal state faction over another.

          as the splits in American society deepen, so will the subfactions in the “Deep State” deviate in their perceived interests. One agency may be more loyal than another, as things proceed, and the saboteurs like McCabe Vindman et al. are rooted out or at the least, contained.

          Deep State is a concept that comes from the term derin devlet, the Turkish Republic’s deep state, a sort of secular liberal core in the Army arose from its inceptioin after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, people who were strongly committed to Attaturk’s vision, that over many decades tamped down Muslim political movements and occasionally pulled some sort of coup d’etat to protect the secularism of the Turkish Republic. They are weaker now than the used to be, however. Today, it’s clear Erdogan, a Muslim political leader, has the upper hand over them. However, understand, he could not have got the upper hand, if he himself did not command a degree loyalty in the Turkish government bureaucratic and officer elites. In other words, Erdogan levered his power into developing his own factional support.

          This is what Trump has to do when faced with the lingering resistance of the American bureacratic elites to his lawful and proper national leadership. So, if old hands like Barr have come into his fold, GOOD.

      3. Mr. Kurtz , a leopard can’t change it’s spots . Barr was a scumbag when he got Lon Horuchi off ,
        and he’s a scumbag now . My statement is not a reflection on President Trump ,
        just on Barr .

  16. JT really believes that the first Barr knew of Trump’s desire to lower the sentence of Stone was with the tweet? He doesn’t think that maybe they had a conversation about it before the tweet?

  17. I disagree with one point made in this excellent column.
    That is, that Trump’s tweets caused the calls to impeach Barr ( or demand his resignation).
    Those calls for impeachment or resignation would have followed DOJ/ Barr’s involvement in the Stone sentencing in any case, with or without Trump’s tweets.
    The major reason for Barr’s complaints about the tweets is that Barr said he made his decision about the Roger Stone sentence before ( and independent of) Trump’s tweets.
    The difficulty that causes for Barr, why it makes it “impossible” to do his job, is that when Trump tweets about Stone’s long sentence recommendation, and Barr has already decided to intervene, it gives ammunition to those who’ll claim that Trump’s tweets are driving Barr’s actions.

    1. Dear Anonymous: your post requires one to assume Barr is telling the truth about the timing of his decision to demand a deviation from the sentencing guidelines and override the prosecutors involved in the case. Barr is a proven liar. He has NO credibility. Most people don’t believe that Barr “already decided to intervene” before the tweet. If this were the only issue involving his credibility, that would be different, but it isn’t. He lied about the findings of the Mueller Report before it was released, and the only reason for doing this was to please the fat slop stinking up the White House.

      This is yet another thing that truly galls people about Trump, a lying, narcissistic misogynistic, racist draft dodger who has cheated his whole life: cheated in business, cheated in his marriages and cheated to get into the White House. He actually gets people who are well-educated, accomplished, patriotic and otherwise better people than he, to do his dirty work for him, until they can’t take it any more.

      1. Natcookoo,
        Your post involves an assumption that Barr is lying, which ties in well with the “presumed guilty” tactic.

  18. “There are good faith reasons”

    For some reason no matter what garbage the partisan Democrats put out there are always good faith reasons according to Turley. How many failed attempts at impeachment or finding a crime against Trump have there been? Have all of them been good faith efforts? It seems Turley is denegrating the phrase “good faith reasons”. The truth is that these leftists are bad people and are trying to bring down a government because they lost. These aren’t good fait reasons. They are in bad faith.

      1. And the jury found him not guilty by reason of unproven charges which means Pelosi is guilty of filing false charges which is in keeping with the socialist fascist left. so what impeached BFD It means nothing without a conviction just more comsymp garbage.

      2. Trump was found not guilty. That ends the question unless you believe that one is guilty until proven innocent.

        The House impeached without good faith and without evidence. Democrats have been trying to get rid of Trump since before he took office. What a bunch of anti-American pigs.

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