Barr and The Daily Beast: How The Media Misconstrued His “Intervention” In The Cohen Case


The Daily Beast is out with another breathless account of the sycophantic, corrupt influence of Attorney General William Barr. The article entitled “Barr Reportedly Told DOJ Officials to Try and Undermine Michael Cohen’s Conviction” adds the subheading “The attorney general insists, meanwhile, that it’s nothing but a ‘media narrative’ to suggest he’s acting in the president’s personal interests.”  The article bounced off a piece in the New York Times. The thrust of both the headlines and the story capture the total decoupling of reporting from factual or legal foundations.  It could be denounced as a hit job but it completely misses its mark.

At the outset, as I have previously done, I should be clear that I have known Bill Barr as a friend and as a client for 30 years. I also testified at this confirmation hearing.  

This story however is demonstrably off base but all too common in the coverage of Barr.  The story states that

“The same day that Attorney General William Barr insisted there is “no pattern” of him working to advance the personal interests of President Donald Trump, several sources cited by The New York Times said one of his first moves after being sworn into office in early 2019 was trying to find ways to undermine the conviction of longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen.”

The story says that Barr questioned whether Cohen should have faced criminal charges rather than a civil complaint in such a financial case.

Let’s take the New York Times story as true, and I have no reason to doubt its account of such sources.  What would that mean?

The Daily Beast repeatedly refers to Cohen as a close friend and confident of President Trump without mentioning once that, when Barr raised these questions, Trump despised Cohen and openly celebrated the conviction of Michael Cohen.  The only person who would been more upset by the undermining of Cohen’s conviction than the lead prosecutor would have been President Trump.  By that point, Trump was heralding the conviction and rejoicing in the Cohen going to jail.

The coverage in both publications does not seek any opposing view on the underlying legal issue.  For that reason, readers were never told that Barr has a long-standing position against such expansive reading of the criminal code on such offenses. I realize that the New York Times has apparently resolved to bar opposing views from its editorial pages but it would be heartening if a modicum of balance could be retained in its reporting.

Indeed, in the confirmation hearing, I noted to the Senate that Barr, as a private citizen, contacted the Justice Department to contest the charges against Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) on the basis that the matter should not be treated as a criminal offense.  He had no connection to Menendez.  He was concerned about the unwarranted extension of the criminal code.

This objection raises some of the same general issues in the criminalization of matters that Barr believes should fairly be addressed as civil matters. As I have previously stated, Barr is someone obsessed with the law and its proper administration. He is liked by many of us because he is honest and direct.  When he believes that there is an error in legal interpretation, he will tell you.

Now let’s get to the Southern District of New York. In a recent exchange with former acting Attorney General Stuart Gerson on Barr’s tenure as Attorney General, my friend Stuart made a true and telling observation. He said that some of these disputes are likely the result of Barr’s view of central control of Main Justice over U.S. Attorney offices.  That is true.  The New York Times article suggests that there is something terribly alarming about an Attorney General or Main Justice questioning the legal interpretation used by trial attorneys in a high-profile case. Barr, who previously served as Attorney General, does not buy that these offices are some form of independent contractors or that the SDNY is somehow an anointed “special” place within the department.  Neither does the U.S. Attorney’s manual.  The Department rules clearly lay out that these offices must follow the directives of Main Justice on the interpretation of laws and the coordination of cases. Period.

Now back to the Daily Beast article. The article highlights that “Despite insisting he treats all cases equally, [Barr] apparently could not name a single case not tied to the president’s inner circle where he had staged a last-minute intervention similar to that in the Flynn case.”  The suggestion is that this is another such case. Again, the story outruns the law.

In Flynn, Barr and Main Justice intervened at the sentencing stage, a move that is rare. I have already addressed my view that the prosecutors were wildly off base in their original sentencing and the ultimate sentence of 40 months fell in line with amended recommendation. The original sentencing memorandum asked for 108 months.  That was a last minute change.  Cohen was not.  Barr allegedly asked the prosecutors to reconsider their interpretation. There was no filing with the court or “intervention” to scuttle the case.

The main problem however is the fact that the article is suggesting that such an inquiry would please Trump.  While Trump did originally speak in defense of Cohen, he had become persona non grata in the White House.  Trump would have been furious to know that Barr was doing anything that might question Cohen going to jail. Barr was raising the same type of finance issues and code interpretation that he raised with regard to the Sen. Menendez.  Was he also currying favor with Trump on the Menendez case when he was seeking to raise such issues before he became Attorney General?

For over a year, Trump was calling for a long prison term for Cohen and mocking efforts to reduce his time in jail.  In December 2018, he tweeted “Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.” You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? He makes up stories to get a GREAT & ALREADY reduced deal for himself.”

Barr was confirmed on February 14, 2019.  Just a week later, Trump was denouncing Cohen as “lying in order to reduce his prison time.”  Barr however was not convinced that Cohen should go to jail on the financial counts. He was so slavishly trying to please Trump that he was questioning the prison time that Trump was celebrating and seeking “a legal memo casting doubt on the legitimacy of Cohen’s conviction.”

Notably, the more interesting question was not addressed. Rather than ask whether such questions would help a friend of Trump (who was actually his greatest nemesis), it is fair to ask whether it could help Trump.  That case however would be attenuated and complex to make. Trump has always contested that such campaign finance violations are crimes.  He is not alone however in that view.  There was a great deal of debate among lawyers as to the case law supporting such claims.  Barr’s position however has much longer and deeper roots than Trump (who has argued that a wide range of conduct is not only noncriminal but entirely appropriate over the objections of many, including myself). That would seem relevant to these stories.

Moreover, I have previously stated that Cohen’s plea to the campaign finance violation could be used against Trump. Yet, the fact is that such a risk is limited. First, the statute of limitations is five years which could conceivably allow a charge after the President leaves office (I have maintained for many years that presidents can be charged with crimes in office). Yet, it would be difficult to nail a client on such a violation when lawyers have told him that it was an appropriate payment.  It is also not likely to present a serious threat of jail time.  His sentence was driven largely by the tax counts. Cohen plead guilty after being charged with eight counts tax evasion (Counts One through Five), making false statements to a financial institution (Count Six), and campaign finance offenses (Count Seven and Eight).  (He was separately charged with one count with making false statements to Congress) in another action.  Prosecutors sought enhancement of the sentence because of the “sophisticated means” used as a lawyer to conceal with crimes, including the campaign finance violations, as a “special skill” aggravator.  The campaign finance plea was widely viewed as an add-on to the primary prosecution for evasion. There is a risk to Trump in campaign finance but it remains comparatively slight on the current record. The failed prosecution involving former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards illustrates the difficult of such cases.

The point is not that my view is the only possible take on this story. The point is that it is a countervailing view that is entirely missing from the New York Times article and the Daily Beast column. Instead, the Daily Beast suggests that Barr was seeking to please Trump by questioning the prosecution of the man most despised by Trump.  That simply did not fit the narrative and thus it was deemed not relevant by either publication.

This is the daily beast that Barr faces from the media.  There are ample objections that can be made to Barr’s policies. I have criticized him for some of those policies and, as I detailed in my testimony, we have disagreed for decades over aspects of constitutional law and executive power. However, this story is another example of the narrative out running the facts and the law in coverage.

69 thoughts on “Barr and The Daily Beast: How The Media Misconstrued His “Intervention” In The Cohen Case”

  1. “Michael Cohen” et al. constitute a grand “red herring” designed to obfuscate the discovery and exposure of the colossal, historic, anti-American act of literal treason, the Obama Coup D’etat in America.

    All roads lead to Obama.

    “We will stop him.”

    – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour Lisa Page

    “[Obama] wants to know everything we’re doing.”

    – Lisa Page to FBI paramour Peter Strzok

    The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious criminal act in American political history.

    The co-conspirators are:

    Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann, Comey,
    Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr,
    Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove, Steele, Simpson,
    Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Azra Turk, Kerry,
    Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch,
    Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Pelosi, Obama,
    James E. Boasberg et al.

  2. Blah, Blah, Blah. We all know Billy Barr is a fixer for Trump because we all saw how he lied about findings of the Mueller Report before it was released. All you have to do is compare Barr’s spin with Mueller’s actual findings. No spin required. The plot was to try to capture headlines about the Mueller findings in the news cycles before the actual report was released. Now Turley is a fixer for Barr. Barr is a disgrace to the profession. Don’t forget that he’s trying to gin up criminal charges against members of the Obama Administration, while simultaneously intervening in Flynn’s guilty plea post-conviction and pre-sentencing. Trump went so far as to say Flynn was “exonerated”. Against what? His own admission of guilt, under oath? Now, Flynn’s trying to say he lied when he admitted to lying. Then, Barr tries to fire Berman, who was investigating Giuliani, replacing him with an inexperienced new Trump fixer. You don’t have to be a lawyer to see what’s going on here. Turley: what does the rest of the GW law school faculty think about your chubby friend?

    1. Natacha – are you really a lawyer? We still have not seen your SAT, LSAT or BMI scores that you promised to post. You do not seem to understand how the pragmatics of a plea deal work. Take a picture of your Bar license and post it.

    2. Because you say so ?

      There is no ambiguity in the fact that at this time Cohen is much more than PNG with Trump. That if Trump had the power to do so He would send Cohen to jail forever.

      There can be zero doubt that any effort of Barr to intervene with Cohen is completely at odds with Trump’s wishes.

      I am not personally sympathetic to Cohen. He is a scoundrel.

      I do not know much about the tax evasion charges. Though Federal tax evasion is rarely treated as criminal. The norm is huge fines.

      The campaign finance charges should go. They are crap. The entirety of federal campaign finance laws should go. They are unconstitutional, and overly ambiguous. They are fundimentally a club used to punish enemies. The left should feel fortunate that Trump has not asked DOJ to use campaign finance laws to go after democrats.

      None of this makes Cohen a good person.

    3. Natacha, the only stats you probably have are your body fat index…that does not make one a legal expert. In your world, no one has ever pleaded guilty to a charge, while they were actually innocent? I would guess you have never practiced law, to come up with such a ludicrous post.

      1. Did you Trumpsters forget all of the whining about how the expensive, silk-stocking law firm representing Flynn had all but bankrupted him? Flynn was represented by very prominent, competent, and expensive, criminal counsel, who no doubt explained, in detail, what his options were. Flynn took a plea deal: he would not get charged with or plea to his felony failure to register as a compensated advisor for Turkey, in exchange for admitting that he lied to the FBI, which would carry a lower sentence. He, in fact, DID lie to the FBI. He admitted doing so, under oath, and in writing, and was actually convicted. His sentencing got delayed because Flynn allegedly agreed to cooperate to provide evidence of other criminal matters, but as things turn out, Barr was trying to come up with a strategy.

        Flynn is not actually innocent at all: most likely Kellyanne (since she is the very embodiment of mendacity and scheming) came up with a way around these inconvenient facts: claiming that the lies he told weren’t material. That was the only way out, since the FBI had recordings proving Flynn lied. What is truly ludicrous is Flynn now claiming that he lied about lying. The FBI has recordings of his calls with Russian ambassadors that he lied about. He did it. What is equally ludicrous is Trump claiming Flynn was “exonerated”. How can someone be exonerated from their admission of guilt and conviction in a plea bargain and when the FBI has irrefutable proof to support the charge? Judge Sullivan can take action against Flynn for his latest admission of lying. Flynn can also still be charged with failure to register. You ad hominem attacks don’t change the truth of what happened here.

        1. Yes, they did forget. Or rather willfully overlooked it. They’re just playing devils advocate to any of the facts they deem inconvient because Trump represents some primal authoratarian streak within them. Best quote I’ve seen in recent years about the phenomenon was from the comedian Jim Carrey I believe…

          He said “…we’ve officially reached the point where one third of our population would gladly kill another third while the last third just watched.”

          Trump is the guy to cheerlead this and the Trumpers love him for it. Facts are irrelevant, just something to tee off on in bad faith. Ultimately their world is dying and they’re not really sure what they’re going to do in response.

        2. actually he didn’t lie but facts really don’t matter to libs. I just love that all liberals completely ignore the fact that Obama’s attorney General said he was his wingman, and you people didn’t say squat. You’re nothing but a hypocritical POS

  3. It seems that Jonathan’s buddy Barr is reverse engineering of Cohens convictions so he may help his pal Trump who could be an unindicted co conspirator to Cohen Yeah Jonathan Barr is worthy of belief all right

    1. Professor Turley is wise and honest. And a foremost constitutional scholar. Yes Zinny that’s why we come to read him.

      1. I don’t doubt Jonathan’s competence and at times I could not Agee with him more He allows for free ranging discussion and is a real champion of the First Amendment I rarely agree with you but I am re reading Karl Schmidt I am a slow learner

      2. Mr. Kurtz, I agree with your sentiments on Professor Turley. He is one of the few Professors of Law, that still believes in fairness and the Constitution.

    2. You obviously didn’t read the article because that is addressed.

  4. I’m glad the Professor is defending Barr and pushing back against bad reporting. But why through the charade of acting as if “The Daily Beast” is an objective journalistic endeavor? Its a left-wing WEBSITE. It’d give its “Reporting” no more credence than reporting by the Daily Kos or the Nation. As for the NYT, they’ve shown again and again they will use fake and unreliable anonymous sources to hurt Trump’s Administration. You say “I have no reason to not believe their sources”, I say, I have NO reason to BELIEVE any of the NYT/Wapo anonymous sources when it comes to Trump or Barr. And that’s based on their track record over the last 4 years, including their 3 year coverage of the Russia-Trump hoax.

    1. rcocean – I agree that The Daily Beast ranks either with or below CNN for accuracy in reporting.

      1. Paul admits to getting his news from youtube, presumably because it’s in color.

        1. Anon – I love black-and-white. I just picked up The Golem and Safety Last from the library. BTW, I like silents, too.

    2. If you object to unnamed sources, tell the WH never to make statements.

      “the White House regularly hosts what are called ‘background briefings.’ At those briefings, a senior administration official will brief the press on certain subjects and take questions from reporters. Only catch? The information is often not attributable to the person, but to an unnamed ‘senior administration official.’ The White House press office also uses this tactic. When reporters ask White House spokespeople questions, it’s not unusual for them to get a response back providing information attributable only to an unnamed ‘White House official.’
      “Neither of these practices are new, of course. But Trump’s suggestion that unnamed sources should never be trusted is. The bottom line: When Trump tells people not to trust information that is sourced to an unnamed person, he is effectively telling people not to trust much of the sanctioned information that is coming from his own White House.”

      Here’s an example of a WH statement made on background, without the name of the person making the statement: [image of WH statement included in the link]

      You’ve provided no evidence that “unnamed” means “fake and unreliable.” That’s certainly possible, but it’s not productive to assume it.

      1. Sorry, that should be “tell the WH never to make statements without allowing attribution.”

      2. In the examples you cite, everyone knows the source is from the administration. It is the intention of the administration to get the information out, and for that information to be attributed to the administration – but NOT the individual.

        That is NOT the same as an unnamed source in the traditional sense.

        But if you wish to treat it the same – fine, then the press should not use official sources that refuse attribution no matter what.

        Though I would disagree with your assessment that they are the same.
        It is still true that a source that is unwilling to be identified is less credible than one that is.

        Finally – in the end the truth is what matters.

        Whether their sources have been named, or unnamed the MSM has been completely wrong about the collusion delusion.

        As I have said before.

        The press,
        The left,

        are measured based on the ultimate accuracy and truthfulness of what you say.

        You have been CAUGHT lying BIG, selling falsehoods, and defaming people.
        There is a price for that

        Your credibility and your integrity.

        We do not need to debate the merits of anonymous sources.

        There is nothing fundimentally wrong with anonoymous sources.
        But the media will be judged on the accuracy and truthfulness of their stories – regardless of the sourcing.

        It is appropriate that
        the left
        the media

        have no integrity, no credibility today.

        You did that to yourselves.
        No one did it to you.

        What is really disturbing is you have learned nothing.

        The problem is not anonymous sources,
        It is a failure of critical thinking.

    3. Based on the reporting of the NYTs, WaPO, the WSJ, Bloomberg, AP, etc, we knew much of the collusion then proven by the Mueller Report, including the Trump Tower meeting, the President constructing the cover lie for it on Air Force One, his maneuvering with The National Enquirer to bury sexual assault charges, etc. I think you object to their accuracy and the reliability of their sources. That’s how continue to land on the desks of people who need to know hat’s happening. Many on this board have no idea and like it that way.

  5. I’m confused by JT’s statement “He was so slavishly trying to please Trump that he was questioning the prison time that Trump was celebrating…” JT’s statement is not in quotation marks so I assume this is JT’s thought, and yet “slavishly trying to please Trump” seems to be furthest from how JT has described Barr. Is JT being sarcastic when he says “slavishly trying to please Trump?” I admit I can get lost in the legal weeds sometimes, but that line seemed way off base from JT’s POV. [The “Corrections” page has closed its comments, so I couldn’t post what looks like an error there.]

    1. “Is JT being sarcastic when he says “slavishly trying to please Trump?”

      Yes. obviously trying to be sarcastic.

  6. The point of this post, in terms of the dreadfulness of the Daily Beast (and the media in general) is well-taken. However, Professor Turley still seems to be citing Trump as evidence of Trump’s own consciousness of what he wants beyond the moment he speaks, instead of just his blasting open his id (advised by his inner circle perhaps, but nonetheless). That Trump said one thing about Michael Cohen, or William Barr, or anyone else, on Day 1 does not mean that he will say exactly the opposite about the same person on Day 2, or even within the same sentence. The worthlessness of what Trump says as proof of anything intelligible, other than his seeking more power for himself, should be clear by now. The “rule of law” question in this episode was always whether Trump’s legal interests as the President were being pursued, not whether Trump would be upset or not by the post-hoc leniency toward Michael Cohen.

    Turley has defended Barr’s character, as far as it goes concerning Barr’s approach to the rule of law, but I find it peculiar that a civil libertarian such as Turley has rarely, if ever, commented on Barr’s full-throated attacks in major speeches on the separation of church and state, and the brazen aggrandizement of executive power, not to mention Barr;s concomitant distortions of history and what the founders believed to make his case. Says Barr: “The grammar school civics class version of our Revolution is that it was a rebellion against monarchical tyranny, and that, in framing our Constitution, one of the main preoccupations of the Founders was to keep the Executive weak. This is misguided.” You don’t say. Has Barr read the Declaration of Independence?

    Professor Turley should think more critically about this man’s ideas, despite his being a friend.

    1. And as Turley pointed out, a client — at least at some juncture.

      Solid point on Trump’s inconsistencies and erraticness. Often we don’t even have to wait a day for him to flip completely as his aides have often found when they go out to dive on the latest grenade and Trump leaves them out on a limb.

    2. No one in academic circles that knows Jonny the racist joke respects Turley’s critical thinking skills, and most doubt he has any. It’s why he has dragged down GW law to it’s current second tier status and why he has been stuck there for years. Turley is the legal equivalent of College dropout Candy Owen’s or high school dropout Tim Pool, an unqualified fool who gains traction by playing the “Dem who supports Republicans”.

  7. Any thoughts on the Times article detailing Barr’s obstruction of open investigations, JT?

  8. Meanwhile, re: Trump, we’re in the middle of a pandemic where millions in the U.S. have already tested positive for SARS-COV-2 and over 120,000 people have died from it here, and where the number of new cases is continuing to climb (yesterday was a new record, ~37K new cases), but the Trump Admin has filed a brief asking SCOTUS to strike down the ACA in its entirety, including its protection for people with preexisting conditions:

    That sounds so wise. /s
    Just like Trump having rallies in enclosed spaces during this pandemic is wise, and choosing not to model the importance of wearing masks in public is wise. /s
    Trump seems entirely unconcerned about Americans dying unnecessarily as a result of his choices.

    1. This is a direct quote from Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, and it is why COVID death numbers should be ignored:

      “I just want to be clear in terms of the definition of people dying of COVID. So, the case definition is very simplistic. It means that at the time of death it was a COVID-positive diagnosis. So that means if you were in hospice and had already been given, you know, a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means that if, technically, even if you died of a clear alternate cause but you had COVID at the same time it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone that’s listed as a COVID death doesn’t mean that that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.”

      1. I had to look up your quote. It’s from April 22, in one state. Are you implying that that’s true nationally and has continued to be the way cases are counted though today? If so, I’d be happy to be convinced with actual evidence that’s national and current.

        Just to be clear: deaths from other causes sometimes include deaths that occur *with* a disease as well as *from* the disease. For example, take the annual data on flu deaths. If someone is in hospice and develops the flu and dies of pneumonia, that’s counted as a flu death, even though the person didn’t die from the flu (pneumonia is a distinct disease). And the annual flu death data are generally statistical projections, not counts of individual people who’ve died with the flu. So if you’re implying that it’s a problem to count COVID-19 deaths in this way, I assume that you also believe it’s a problem to count flu deaths in this way. And that’s fine. Just present how you want the data to be analyzed for both COVID-19 and flu.

    2. The ACA destroys working family that pays much higher premiums because of It did not solve the major problem of cost. It was more concered with fooling the public than creating good policy.

      Quotes from Gruber:

      Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.

      If any American really believes that Obamacare is going to control costs, I’ve got some real estate in Whitewater, Arkansas I’d like to sell them.

      Exploiting the stupidity of the American voter is fun and easy: kinda like squeezing a lemon.

      When we’re done with employer-based health insurance, it will have as much life in it as Jimmy Hoffa.
      The last quote affirmed completely that when Obama said ‘If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance. The vast majority of the insiured had employer-based insurance and most were happy. Obama was going to take all of that away.

  9. Barr is the nation’s greatest defender of the civil rights of presidential cronies. They should build a statue on K Street.

  10. In briefings with your client do you call him this?…

    “The story says that Barr Barr questioned whether Cohen should have faced criminal charges rather than a civil complaint in such a financial cases.”

    I suppose this is a good straw man argument, trying to steer attention away from Barr’s attempted obstruction by saying Trump grew to hate Cohen and wouldn’t want him not to be punnished. Thing is, that was later…, up until that point Cohen was Trump’s lawyer and friend (at least as much as Trump has friends). Barr would’ve been seeking to take the heat off Cohen so he wouldn’t talk about Trump (Individual 1) in the Stormy pay off. So you’re altering time frames in order to draw attention away from Barr’s actions it seems — quite defense lawerly of you, Professor. Barr is getting the best defense of ambiguity that it’s possible to get is my guess.

  11. Mr. Turley seems to be confusing Michael Flynn with Roger Stone: “In Flynn, Barr and Main Justice intervened at the sentencing stage, a move that is rare. I have already addressed my view that the prosecutors were wildly off base in their original sentencing and the ultimate sentence of 40 months fell in line with amended recommendation. The original sentencing memorandum asked for 108 months.”

    The DOJ did intervene in Flynn’s case at the sentencing stage, but it was by filing a Motion to Dismiss. It was Roger Stone’s case (also an intervention at the sentencing stage) where DOJ significantly reduced the proposed sentence and Judge Berman Jackson ultimately sentenced him to 40 months (which Stone has yet to start serving).

    If Mr. Turley hadn’t closed his Corrections page to comments, I’d point this out there. Alas.

  12. Turley’s supposition that Barr would have no incentive to help Cohen ignores the fact that Cohen was still threatening to tell more of what he knew to the rest of the world. He had plenty of reason to want Cohen to shut up. Turley also ignores the part of the articles where Barr upended the foretold “superseding indictment of ‘Individual 1’ he made go away, and any related indictments. Everything stopped under Barr. Barr may well be Trump’s Ray Cohn, Turley is Trump’s Neville Chamberlain.

    1. enigmainblackcom, that’s a good point.

      Re: Cohen threatening to say more …

      From the Daily Beast in May:
      “This week, President Donald Trump’s attorney Charles Harder sent a letter to Michael Cohen, the president’s imprisoned former lawyer and fixer, demanding that Cohen stop writing a “tell-all” anti-Trump book, two sources familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast on Friday. The sources noted that the letter, sent on behalf of the Trump Organization, cited Cohen’s non-disclosure agreement that he signed while working for the Trump family’s business empire.” And they’d previously reported that “Michael Cohen has been spending his time behind bars writing an explosive tell-all book about his stint as President Trump’s personal lawyer and plans on releasing it before the election, according to three people familiar with the project.”

      I hope Cohen does publish his book before the election. Trump can try to enforce the NDA as prior restraint, just like Trump’s family is trying to do with Mary Trump’s book that’s due out in July. The courts will determine whether these NDAs allow prior restraint or only allow a suit after the fact for breach of contract (my guess is that they’ll rule for the latter).

    2. Enigma, not likely. Cohen shot his wad already. And if he had any more proof of his tall tales, he would have produced it.

      Of course he could make stuff up but who will believe him? Credulous folks who would believe any bad thing about Donald; but there will be more credible liars to be found here and there than Cohen.

      1. Mr. Kurtz, one thing you can’t say about Cohen is that he doesn’t have inside knowledge. Please give me an example of anything he said which has been proven untrue, not just that you choose not to believe. I’m interested in hearing more from Mary Trump about the family tax fraud scheme that caused Trump’s sister to retire from the Federal bench rather than be subjected to a probe.

  13. “Daily Beast and others are trying hard, with increase frequency, to discredit AG BARR due his efforts to clean house of the DOJ, removing Obama and Deep staters. But, the main reason is Durham, they are very afraid what Durham is doing and very close to some big public announcements, prosecutions, public charging, exposing the Coup and etc. Some very powerful people are sweating along with the DEM’s.

    Also, AG BARR is following the Constitution which the DEM’s and the Left hate

    AG BARR is doing a great job”

    Thanks for the quote, 234/

  14. I have condemned persons in the news here, here and here but I have also praised them here, here and here. Either these people are unmitigated criminals or are being unjustly targeted. Tough call. How are we possibly to judge? Do I rely on FOX or MSNBC or JT? Now where did I put the remote?

  15. “]Barr] is honest and direct.”

    We already know that Barr lies to the public. An example of a recent lie in a TV interview where he was asked about protesters being cleared from Lafayette Square prior to Trump’s photo-op at St. John’s Church:
    Margaret Brennan: “There were chemical irritants the park police has said–”
    Barr: “No, there were not chemical irritants. Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. It’s not chemical.”

    Pepper spray and pepper balls are chemical irritants. If Barr were trying to be honest and were simply mistaken, he’d have corrected this false claim. He didn’t.

    As for “I have previously stated that Cohen’s plea to the campaign finance violation could be used against Trump. Yet, the fact is that such a risk is limited,” Mr. Turley should educate himself about all of Trump’s actions re: the hush money payments. Trump lied about this in his financial disclosure form as President, omitting the debt from his 2017 form, and then on his 2018 form claiming in a footnote that “In the interest of transparency, while not required to be disclosed as ‘reportable liabilities’ in 2016 expenses were incurred by one of Donald J. Trnmp’s attorneys, Michael Cohen. Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr.Trump fully reimbursed Mr.Cohen in 2017.” But it’s not true that Trump wasn’t required to report it. The Office of Government Ethics stated to the DOJ that “the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported as a liability [on Trump’s 2017 financial disclosure form]” ( ). Lying on that form is a crime.

    1. BTW, re: “Barr is someone obsessed with the law and its proper administration,” he should act on it with respect to Trump’s failure to disclose his debt to Cohen and initial repayments on his 2017 financial disclosure form. The DOJ and Trump’s lawyers are well aware of these issues. Examples of communications with them about this: (letter to Rosenstein at DOJ) (letter to Trump’s lawyer Pat Cipollone)

  16. The one truth that rings throughout this lengthy legal explanation is that a lawyer’s job is to speak out of both sides of the mouth with ease, selectively, and for interchangeable purposes. Turley selects what he needs to back up his argument that Barr isn’t such a bad guy: cuz he knew him, was a friend, and Barr was his client, and so on, throws in a few dates and statements from Trump-Trump blathers out of every orifice in every direction and is the most unquestionable liar extraordinaire, and statements and actions from Barr to drift a little the argument.

    Barr, isn’t the blatant and unmitigated liar that Trump is but he makes one laugh with some of his statements that present himself as either an idiot or a liar. That he had nothing to do with clearing the square to allow Trump to march over to the church shows either that Barr lies easily or doesn’t know what is going on. Barr has his limits and has spoken out for the independence of his office on rare occasion, however for the most part Barr backs Trump, up to the point of making himself look like a liar or an idiot, and sometimes both.

    Turley, look at the entire picture instead of arguing your personal knowledge/history, selective incidents, etc. Cohen’s history with Trump was as an expendable lap dog until it suited Trump to throw Cohen under the bus. Cohen made that happen when he turned on Trump to get a lighter sentence. Who screwed who first is irrelevant. Cohen’s faults extend well beyond his duties for Trump and Trump has an unquestionable history of turning on anyone who disagrees with him. One day they are his greatest friend and the best of the best. The next day they are and have always been a traitor and the worst of the worst.

    Turley, bringing Trump and anything he says into your argument weakens your position irrevocably. As a lawyer you should be, at least, aware of that.

    1. Isaac is an armchair quarterback in his recliner sipping Pabst, yelling at the tv telling Don Shula what plays to call next.

  17. Daily Beast and others are trying hard, with increase frequency, to discredit AG BARR due his efforts to clean house of the DOJ, removing Obama and Deep staters. But, the main reason is Durham, they are very afraid what Durham is doing and very close to some big public announcements, prosecutions, public charging, exposing the Coup and etc. Some very powerful people are sweating along with the DEM’s.

    Also, AG BARR is following the Constitution which the DEM’s and the Left hate

    AG BARR is doing a great job

    1. I hope that you are right and that the Left/Media/Democrats are trashing Barr because Durham is about to rain on their parade. I also think they are trying to trash Barr in advance of that, as a precaution.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. No doubt Durham will deliver the goods promised by other posters here on the McCabe Indict………. Wait, what?

            1. And the Mueller Report………..bahahahaha

              Remember “Tick Tick Tick”?

        1. Durham is pretty slow but there’s still time on the clock to come up with something to justify his existence.

          Rumor is a grand jury has been convened. Will he be content to chase McCabe and others for the lying, perjorious FISA warrants, or, will he swing for the bleachers and go for Clapper and Brennan? We’re gonna find out!

      2. I do not expect many criminal indictments from Durham.

        I expect that Barr/Durham will stick to the same very narrow application of the law as Barr has used with Cohen and Flynn and Stone.

        I do expect Durham will produce Damning information. But only the clear criminal conduct will be prosecuted as crimes.

        I am not sure where I stand on that. XFH is just short of a coup attempt. It is substantially worse than the collusion delusion would be if true.

        Though personally the most egregious problems are not mostly XFH itself. The big problem is not that the FBI engaged in an investigation of a political candidate. It is that even after that investigation came apart – it somehow continued.

        Purportedly Durham is exploring the origens of XFH – the period from late 2015 to mid 2016.
        It is possible some actual criminal conduct might be found there.

        But I am much more interested in post Jan. 2017.

        When did Rosenstein actually know that XFH had died. And Why did he not know before he appointed Mueller ?

        When did Mueller know XFH had died ?

        This is important because every actions of Mueller and Rosentein AFTER they know XFH had died is CLEARLY criminal.

        Rosenstein was obligated to shut Mueller down entirely once he knew that the allegations that he used to appoint Mueller were false.

        Mueller was obligated to end his investigation when he became aware.

        Everyone lawyer in Muellers team is guilty of serious ethical violations and possibly crimes.

        The Obama nonsense preceding the election is MOSTLY small potatoes. It is wrong. but it was not made public until after the election, it was not used to influence the election.

        The biggest problem is the way it was used to sabatoge the elected president.

    2. @234currency while i want to agree with you, i have a hard time believing the left will care very much about any damaging findings by durham because they have systematically ignored facts for years. nothing will stop their narrative. the right needs to understand that using facts and reason against the left is ineffective.

      but i do like what barr is doing.

      1. LorenzoValla – FAACTS, we don’t need no stinkin’ FAACTS!!!!

  18. the Daily Beast account wasn’t “breathless” it was fallacious. Let’s make sure not to equivocate.

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