Bill Barr’s Family Time: How The Justice Department Has Lost One Of Its Staunchest Defenders

Below is my column in the Hill on the early departure of Attorney General Bill Barr.  The move will give Trump the record on Attorneys General.  That is not good.  A President cannot selected too many Supreme Court justices or too few Attorneys General. Reports indicate that, with Barr leaving, Trump is openly discussing appointing a special counsel for the Hunter Biden investigation.  At this point, that appears entirely unnecessary and would further tarnish the image of Trump as someone who is interfering with the internal decisions of the Justice Department. What is clear is that Barr proved a critical fire wall for the Department at one of its most chaotic and challenging periods. As I have previously said, Barr remains more sinned against than sinner and history will vindicate his tenure at the Justice Department.

Here is the column:

Attorney General Bill Barr will be “leaving to spend the holidays with his family.”   In Washington, “spending more time with your family” is the coded language for forced departures. It is our version of euphemisms like “Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes” in the Godfather movie. Luca Brasi was not really sleeping with the fishes and Bill Barr Bill Barr might not have suddenly wanted to leave early to spend more time with his family. Indeed, since his kids live in the area, it was about as difficult for him to spend time with his family as . . . well . . . going home.

I testified at his Senate confirmation hearing. I have known him for decades and even represented him, along with other former attorneys general, in the Clinton impeachment litigation. In that hearing, Senator Richard Blumenthal asked me why President Trump wanted Barr, suggesting a stooge was being placed as head of the Justice Department. I responded, “I do not know what the president thought he was getting with Barr, but I know what he is getting. He is going to get someone who identifies incredibly closely with the department, and I think he will be a vigorous defender of it.”

It is clear now that Trump may have thought he was getting someone else but that Barr proved to be precisely the attorney general I hoped he would be. As I mentioned in the testimony, Barr and I have fundamental disagreements over presidential powers and I disagreed with him on a number of issues during his most recent stint at Attorney General. However, in confrontations with the White House, Barr proved to be the staunch defender of the integrity and independence of the Department. For weeks, Trump has slammed Barr for not finding systemic voter fraud, then for not disclosing the investigation of Hunter Biden before the election.

In an interview before the announcement of Barr’s departure, Fox News anchor Brian Kilmeade pressed Trump about his anger at Barr for not disclosing that investigation. Kilmeade noted, “Jonathan Turley said he had no choice … it would have been like James Comey again.” In response, Trump said he was “very disappointed” in Barr.

That was when I knew Barr was done. At the start of his administration, Trump said he was “very disappointed” that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation. As with Barr, Session’s decision was compelled by ethical rules, and he yielded to the overwhelming view of experts, including those within Justice. Yet Sessions was later dispatched to spend more time with his family.

In the interview, Trump insisted that special counsel Robert Mueller went public to correct the record after a false story about the Russia collusion investigation. BuzzFeed ran a false story about Trump ordering his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress, for which Cohen was prosecuted; Mueller’s staff refuted the story after Democrats and various legal experts cited it to demand impeachment. But unlike the Hunter Biden investigation, the special counsel investigation was already public and its final report was being completed. Moreover, the story concerned the Cohen case, which was closed with his plea.

But Trump was not demanding that Barr act like Mueller. He was demanding that Barr act like James Comey, and that Barr repeat the very act that the president denounced as a basis to fire Comey. The Justice Department bars public disclosures of ongoing investigations. Not only can such disclosures undermine investigations, but they are unfair to subjects or targets who have not been charged. The Justice Department also follows a policy not to make disclosures or file indictments shortly before an election. So Barr had to choose between doing the right thing and the convenient thing. He chose exactly as I thought he would.

Notably, if Barr had acted unethically, it would not have achieved what Trump wanted. If Barr had publicly revealed an investigation involving Hunter Biden before the election, the Biden presidential campaign simply would have noted that Biden was not charged with any crime and would cooperate with investigators. Unless Barr had dished out untried allegations and raw evidence, it would not have changed the election’s political dynamic. Some of us wrote about how information, including a subpoena, indicated that Hunter Biden was under investigation. The media simply refused to report on that evidence and would have continued to protect Joe Biden before the election. After all, the mere fact of an investigation does not establish the basis of a crime, let alone guilt.

With Barr now dispatched for “family time” and replaced by Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen, Trump will set a record of six attorneys general, acting or confirmed, in four years. That is literally too many by half.  It is the same number that George Bush had during eight years in office.

The departure will end one of the most adverse terms of any attorney general in history. Trump’s attacks on Barr pale in comparison to the false attacks in the media. Trump’s attacks are, at least, based on fact: Barr did choose ethics over politics. The media, in sad contrast, has repeatedly and falsely accused Barr of wrongdoing and then refused to correct those stories.

The media widely reported that Barr ordered Lafayette Park cleared of peaceful protesters to enable a Trump photo op at nearby Saint Johns Church. The evidence directly contradicts those claims. I testified before Congress on the incident and cited overwhelming evidence that the decision to clear the park area was made the prior weekend, after violence erupted around the White House. Barr was not aware of the photo op when he approved the clearing of the area, which was delayed due to the late arrival of personnel and fencing material. Yet the false story was widely repeated.

Barr never seems to care much about such media and political attacks. Those of us who know him are far more bothered by the criticism than he is. I had lunch with him two days before the announcement of his resignation, and he remained resolute and content despite barbs from all sides. Barr has always proven the ultimate immovable object in the path of irresistible forces. Whether it is the press or the president, he is formidable precisely because he knows who he is. He has a sense of his own “True North” and does not break from that line of sight. Barr will have his family time. That is good for his family, but not so good for the country.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

134 thoughts on “Bill Barr’s Family Time: How The Justice Department Has Lost One Of Its Staunchest Defenders”

  1. Excellent defense of your friend. You did him well. You also did ethical, principled behavior, in the face of unjustified and largely ignorant criticism, well. Keep up the good work.


    Unconstitutional? Wisconsin city election officials sought private money to register voters

    GOP official, legal expert says private funding requirements detailed in memos raises ethical, Constitutional issues.

    City officials in Green Bay, Wis., solicited private money from a voter advocacy group backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, pledging they would use some of the $1 million grant to run registration campaigns and conduct outreach to “underrepresented” minority voters, according to memos obtained by Just the News through an open records request. …

    Legal experts and Wisconsin GOP officials said Wednesday the grant arrangement appeared to put city election officials in the business of conducting partisan activities like get-out-the-vote efforts and registrations usually reserved for political parties and candidates. They added it possibly violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by targeting only certain ethnic communities deemed favorable to Democrats.

    Continued at site.

    1. Many get-out-the-vote efforts and registration drives are non-partisan and as long as they are non-partisan it is completely acceptable for local governments to run those and accept money to do so.

        1. Targeting specific groups that have lower voter turn out is the point of voter registration drives.

    2. “justthenews” is John Solomons web site. He is the discredited “journalist” fired by The Hill who is a Guliani/DeGenova lackey who cleared his article with them before publishing as was revealed by emails from him released by Lev Parnas last winter.

      1. He is actually an award winning journalist who has been right many times more than the NYT or Wapo. Additionally he posts his research along with his opinion. Take anything Solomon has said on and prove it to be wrong.

        You can’t because like everything else you take opinion and make that opinion into facts even when the opinion is outlandish.

        There is no way to deal with a liar.

        1. Anon: “[Solomon] is actually an award winning journalist . . .”

          And it is a bit unseemly for the media to criticize his journalistic practices, while they played hide-and-do-*not*- seek with Joe and Hunter Biden.

          1. Sam, the mainstream press all knew about Steel’s accusations against Trump in 2016 more than a month before the election because Fusion GPS invited them over to see it. Similarly, they didn’t print any of that either because it was oppo research right before an election.

            Your claim of unfair partisanship is demonstrably wrong.


      KEY PASSAGE FROM ARTICLE: “They added it possibly violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by targeting only certain ethnic communities deemed favorable to Democrats”.

      See the word “possibly”? That’s another way of saying Trump supporters have proved nothing in court.

      1. They are being honest something you never are. You create conclusions based on your opinion. They provide opinion based on the facts.

        You are not providing an intelligent argument.

      1. they sent a letter. that aint much. let’s see the defamation suit get filed and go somewhere before you laugh too hard about it

        1. I would think Powell would happy with the suit and Dominion sad. She gets a chance to deposition all of Dominions employees under oath and threat of jail and fines. That is how information is obtained. Joe’s bluster ain’t too smart.

          1. Dominion’s letter claims that “it is now a proud *nonpartisan* American company.” (Emphasis added.)


            When your *Security Chief*, Eric Coomer, writes this, you are not a “nonpartisan” company:

            About Trump: “Only an absolute F***ING IDIOT could ever vote for that wind-bag f***-tard FASCIST RACIST F***!”

            About the election, during a November 2020 meeting with Antifa members: “Don’t worry about the election; Trump’s not gonna win. I made f***ing sure of that!”

            Dominion’s letter also alleges: “Certifications and audits have instead shown the accuracy, transparency, and reliability of Dominion’s systems.”

            More BS.

            As this recent, court-released forensic audit proves, Dominion’s machines are inherently corruptible:

            — “We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is *intentionally and purposefully* designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results. The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors.” (Emphasis added.)

            — “The allowable election error rate established by the Federal Election Commission guidelines is of 1 in 250,000 ballots (.0008%). We observed an error rate of
            68.05%. This demonstrated a significant and fatal error in security and election integrity.”


            It has long been known that Dominion’s machines are susceptible to breaches and fraud. That is why the state of Texas, three times rejected Dominion’s voting system.

            1. Sam, time to give it up. You’re looking stupid.

              “An audit conducted Thursday of the votes cast in the November presidential election in Antrim County, the heart of a conspiracy theory about Dominion Voting Systems, affirmed the outcome with a net gain of 12 votes for Republican President Donald Trump, out of 15,962 votes cast, officials said.”


    1. CommitMeToInsaneAsylum


      The “judge” (i.e. Deep Deep State operator) that limits, constrains and restricts corporations, officers, states, election employees, contractors or any other facet or aspect of discovery related to the entirety of the 2020 presidential election will be, himself, castigated and pursued legally.

  3. Professor, it’s always been clear on these pages that you’ve been, and are, a good friend of Barr’s. That’s actually an awesome thing.

    From the cheap seats my take on him has always been this…, I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall when the decision in high republican circles was made to attach Barr to Trump. The powers that be needed a bull to keep Trump in check, and there was nothing more clear than Trump being uneducated and inexperienced enough as to necessitate a strong presense at Justice to keep him as close to being on track as was possible. I’m sure there were many fireworks between Trump and Barr behind the scenes and I’d actually be surprised if there weren’t numerous Justice investigations of Trump and family behind the scenes that Barr also didn’t go public with in addition to the Hunter Biden investigation.

    As far as Durham…, well, that was probably just a new dog toy to toss in front of a rambunctious puppy to keep him occupied.

    There have always been these trump administration moments that would be fascinating to be at the center of. One being the decision to hook up Barr and Trump. Another being to keep trump from being interviewed by Mueller. Another being the passing along of the notion to Jeffrey Epstein that flying back into the States was somehow a good idea.

    FWIW, Barr has a lot to answer for in squashing the Mueller report, especially since he was probably recruited to specifically make it go away to the degree it could be disappeared. More behind the scenes, his squashing of investigations of Trump in SDNY, EDNY, and in the District are equally fascinating and shady.

    And please, let’s not even dive into what’s been going with kids at the border.

    Either way, probably good for the big man to be able to skate before the complete pardon garbage fire coming up between now and inauguration.

    Elvis Bug

    1. Elvis said:

      “The powers that be needed a bull to keep Trump in check, and there was nothing more clear than Trump being uneducated and inexperienced enough as to necessitate a strong presense at Justice to keep him as close to being on track as was possible. I’m sure there were many fireworks between Trump and Barr behind the scenes ”

      Smartest thing you’ve said all year and I would agree with those speculations entirely

      watch that entire speech by Yanis Varoufakis. he is a leftist so perhaps he will not offend you. But he illuminates how global capitalism has intentionally kept a lid on the “political sphere” so that the “financial sphere” can continue to control things at its pleasure.

      It was after I watched this speech that I finally understood. Billionaires are the enemy. Yes, they’re the ones who control the bureaucracies, and they sent an old bureaucratic CIA hand Barr in to control Trump. Barr faked out Trumpers with his Durham drama that amount to a hill of beans is one example, but one supposes there are perhaps many ways that we will never know about how they kept a lid on Trump.

      Oh that reminds me. I never got into that Q crap because it walked and talked like a duck so I assumed it was a duck. The duck in this case, being a CIA disinformation campaign intentionally crafted to reel in the patriotic and yet unsophisticated suckers into believing that there was going to be some sort of broad based government move against the world’s corrupt billionaires. Well. Obviously not. And yet: that it was so successful is perhaps proof of concept. People are pissed and people want to see plutocrats hang. Trump was not the guy but maybe somebody else will come along with a sufficient length of rope and get it done.

      In this speech Varoufakis explains it all including the zeal for trump. The popularity factor was economic. If people who are rah rah Democrat party leadership cheerleaders keep on misunderstanding that it was not hate that drove people to vote for Trump, it was their legitimate economic interests, then those rah rah people will be as mislead and misinformed as all the qanon suckers have been themselves. I know that may be painful but don’t take it from me, take it from “socialist” Varoufakis

      I like Varoufakis quite a bit for years, I was impressed with his bold assertions of Greek sovereignty when he tried to stand up to the “Troika” of the German bankers years ago., But that was a failure too. Varoufakis could have killed the EU by a “Grexit” and reintroduction of the drachma, which would have lead to Spain and Italy dropping out fast too. It would have been the end of that project which is now firmly repressing national interests all across the Continent successfully again today. But, he had a plan to do it when he threatened it, the threat was real, but he was betrayed. The chicken boss of Syriza at the time wimped out. That was also a time when i suspected the billionaires were controlling it all, but I got sidetracked and forgot. So, it was great when i saw this speech from Varoufakis in 2018, which almost precisely predicts what we have seen happen in 2020, if we understand it correctly.

      Saloth Sar

      PS there is another economist out there who elaborates an excellent critique against financialization and his name is Michael Hudson,.

      PPS., “save the banks but expropriate the bankers!” another great Yanis quote. Wow I love that one. Tough critique of Obama, if you can stomach it.

      1. Oh I’m going to enjoy this guy! Watched about ten minutes right now and am looking forward to the rest later on. Thanks SS.

        Elvis bug

      2. Kurtz, even at the top, there is no conspiratorial “they”. There are multiple forces there, like at every level and in most cases too busy competing with each other to stay alive or to dominate, to plot together. It’s human nature. Do they – and we below – have an interest in the perpetuation and success of the system, whatever the system is? Yes, unless the system is so odious it should be destroyed or amended for the common good. Whether or not those at the top have too much power – we probably agree they do – this is not such a time. In fact, regardless of what future threats there are – and there are several huge ones – this is demonstrably, and by far, the best time to be alive as a human across our many hundreds of thousands of years of existence. (I recommend Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now for the facts on that.)

        Can we improve the system? Absolutely, but not through the tribalism you constantly promote here. That’s romantic bulls..t without any chance of happening – fortunately – and less of succeeding. We live in a globalist world and that is not because of policy but because of the realities of human advances. You might as well lobby against electricity. There is no path forward for America First that lasts more than a decade.

        By the way, Hillary voters had a lower income than Trump voters in 2016, so your economic argument for Trump falls flat against the facts. I haven’t seen the numbers on 2020 yet.

        1. “Hillary voters had a lower income than Trump voters”

          True or false? Who knows. That is Joe talking and one cannot trust Joe. However…

          Welfare voters generally have less income than working voters

    1. Actually, Barr’s departure is the sure sign repubs have given up any substantial resistance to trump’s election loss.

    2. Closer to 99%. Trump has zero legal methods to stop Biden, and if Bide is not sworn in, then Harris would be.

  4. “…would further tarnish the image of Trump…” Amazing how much more tarnish he has the time and inclination to accumulate. After all, when facing serious indictments at SDNY and NY State fraud investigations a person could become very desperate indeed. How about the image of “crazy and deluded?” That fits perfectly…Trump’s image would be hard to tarnish further….although you can bet with a month left he will make efforts…

  5. A good man or a man of the swamp. I was on the side of a good man with significant reservations. After the following piece I need time to sort this out.

    Summary, Full article at website

    AG Barr was installed to manage President Trump and put him on a glide-path to defeat in last month’s election. President Trump did not select Barr to be his Attorney General — the choice was made for the President by professional Republican political operatives and then presented to him as the only acceptable and Senate-confirmable solution….

    When Judicial Watch obtained Justice Department records documenting that 27 phones from the Mueller team were mysteriously “wiped clean” — what did Barr do? Nothing.

    Barr allowed Republicans to look at each other, nod and then smile about “what was coming” — until it never materialized. No justice for Hillary, or Comey, or Strzok, or Brennan or the remaining 30–odd names in the coup litany.

    Chris Farrell

    1. LMAO Allan.

      Trump nominates unqualified people for all sorts of positions (DNI, judges, Postmaster General, …) and McConnell gets them confirmed, but Barr is the person who could have been confirmed as AG? Mr. Farrell sounds pretty ignorant.

      1. You can LMAO all you want but by this time you have no a$$ to laugh off especially since you have been wrong most of the times.

        You obviously don’t know Mr. Farrell. He has disclosed many things that would prove you wrong over and over again. He rendered his opinion and provided reasons. you “LMAO” and provided nothing. Right or wrong Farrell has proven to have the intelligent argument, something you lack based on lack of content.

        1. I provided a counter to Farrell’s argument, which is that Trump nominates unqualified people all the time, and they get confirmed. You are so hate-filled that you see “nothing.” You are like Sgt. Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes, who refuses to see things right in front of his face.

          1. That is not a counter. That is a flat out opinion that everything Trump does is bad. You have to prove his selections were bad (Biden’s most definitely are but we will have to wait and see. We already see some of his selections that have been involved in selling America to china.)

            Let’s start with the middle east. After ~75 years of war Israel now has relationships with the Saudi’s and several other mid eastern nations. That proves whoever was in charge did a good job.

            Sgt Hogan is what you see as I providing proof. You are not.

            1. Ratcliffe was so unqualified to be DNI that he withdrew his nomination the first time. He was also called out for lying about some of his previous work –
              But Trump renominated him later, despite the lies, and he was confirmed by the Republicans led by McConnell in 2020.

              Trump nominated multiple judges deemed unqualified by the ABA, and McConnell got most them confirmed –

              1. part 2…

                Charles B. Goodwin, Western District of Oklahoma — Majority not qualified, Confirmed on August 28, 2018
                Holly Lou Teeter, District of Kansas — Substantial majority not qualified, Confirmed on August 1, 2018
                John O’Connor, Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Oklahoma — Unanimously not qualified, Nomination withdrawn
                Jonathan Kobes, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals — Substantial majority not qualified, Confirmed on December 11, 2018
                Justin Walker, Western District of Kentucky — Substantial majority not qualified, Confirmed on October 24, 2019
                L. Steven Grasz, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals — Unanimously not qualified, Confirmed on December 12, 2017
                Lawrence VanDkye, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — Substantial majority not qualified, Confirmed on December 11, 2019

                DeJoy was unqualified but he was confirmed by Republicans led by McConnell. He had no experience with the USPS, had conflicts of interest, and his decisions created so many problems that lawsuits were filed in order to make sure that he didn’t ruin the election. A judge was appointed to oversee the fixes.

                So Farrell’s is just lying when he says that Barr is the only person who could have been confirmed as AG.

                1. This is all garbage until you can get past the first success. Then I will provide another and another and another.

                  You can list the popularity contest all you want but you haven’t proven anything.

                  You said Farrell was a liar. Here is the quote from above: “the choice was made for the President by professional Republican political operatives and then presented to him as the only acceptable and Senate-confirmable solution….” Where is the lie?

                  I’ll ask it again. Where is the lie?

                  There wasn’t any, but you will keep saying it without proving it.

                  1. You can ask “where’s the lie” another thousand times, Allan, but I said he sounded pretty ignorant, not that he lied. This is one of your favorite trolling strategies, where you attack someone for something he didn’t say.

                    It’s ignorant for Farrell to argue that Barr was “the only acceptable and Senate-confirmable solution.” Trump succeeded in getting lots of unqualified people confirmed in the Senate, and Trump could have gotten someone other than Barr confirmed.

                    1. “You can ask “where’s the lie” another thousand times, Allan, but I said he sounded pretty ignorant, not that he lied.”

                      No that he lied? I’ll copy your own words.

                      “So Farrell’s is just lying ”

                      You are accusing someone of lying and now we see by your own words the only one lying is you. When it comes to your responses this is par for the course.

                    2. You’re right, I did say that. It’s a lie to say that Barr was “the only acceptable and Senate-confirmable solution.”

                    3. You are wrong again. Read the statement you made.

                      “It’s ignorant for Farrell to argue that Barr was “the only acceptable and Senate-confirmable solution.” ”

                      Now read what Farrell said: “the choice was made for the President by professional Republican political operatives and then presented to him as the only acceptable and Senate-confirmable solution….”

                      You force us to deal with this problem quite frequently.

                      Farrell didn’t make this argument: “the only acceptable and Senate-confirmable solution.”. Farrell was recounting what happened. You jumped to an unfounded conclusion that Farrell was lying.

                      For future reference, Farrell is a very bright investigator and is very careful with his words. He doesn’t make statements he can’t back up and he maintains that carefulness even when talking one on one.

                      Now you can deal with the one’s Trump used to create the mideast deals and then we can work from there.

                    4. Farrell said “President Trump did not select Barr to be his Attorney General.” That’s a lie.

                      Trump did select Barr. No one can force Trump to nominate someone. Trump nominated the person he selected. Trump considered several other people –

                      You say that Farrell was recounting what happened, but Farrell wasn’t in the White House. Who are these “professional Republican political operatives” he claims presented Barr “as the only acceptable and Senate-confirmable solution” and “installed” Barr without Trump having selected Barr?

                    5. “Farrell said “President Trump did not select Barr to be his Attorney General.” That’s a lie.”

                      You called it a lie. That means you have proof that it is a lie but again you don’t demonstrate the proof. You continue to call people liars when you have been proven wrong again and again. President Trump accepted Barr as AG. I don’t know that Trump even knew who he was before his name came up. Again you have to read what Farrell says carefully. You haven’t in a couple of other occasions. I forget the appropriate name for the following philosophical example -you can select any horse in the stable as long as it is the first horse-. That is not selection and I trust Farrell when he says Trump didn’t truly select his AG.choice. He is far more credible than you have shown yourself to be.

                      Did Trump really have a choice? You posted an article but you didn’t take any of the sentences out to prove your case. Your case is on the blog not at a site. I scanned it too quickly to be sure but I think what you thought might have been a true selection was again wrong. This is the closest you have come to the truth but it is pitifully petty and basically untrue. You are parsing words, but unfortunately for you Farrell has a better understanding and commond of the English language than you.

              2. What you are providing is politics.

                I am providing positive actions that have led to benefit to the US and the world. Show us how the peace deals in the middle east were bad.

                I said:
                “Let’s start with the middle east. After ~75 years of war Israel now has relationships with the Saudi’s and several other mid eastern nations. That proves whoever was in charge did a good job.”

                If you can’t prove that people he appointed didn’t do a good job, then your entire thesis is wrong.

    2. billionaires get their way

      until they dont

      right now there is a sign of dollar collapse ahead and we havent even got started on the tax resistance yet, lol

      Sal Sar

    3. Why would Mueller’s team not wipe their phones? They were part of an investigation into criminal conduct. Criminal investigatory records and communications between attorneys are not subject to discovery, especially by the public. Judicial Watch is a bunch of radical right wingers who use the Freedom of Information Act to try to support dreamed up claims of wrongdoing. They keep hounding Hillary Clinton. They lose most of the time, but they’ll still take your money. They’re misleading you by trying to claim there’s something wrong with wiping their phones.

      1. spoliation of evidence is why they did and also why they should not have done so

        you say you’re a lawyer but you constantly show you don’t think like one Natch

        Sal Sar

      2. Totally. Everyone *should* wipe their phones just for hacking prevention purposes.

        Elvis Bug

  6. ‘The GOP establishment wants you to know that there’s really nothing they can do to fix election fraud THIS time, but if you keep them in power they promise to fix those problems NEXT time.’ @emeraldrobinson

    and absolutely nothing changes. same as it ever was.

    1. register your protest with nonviolent tax resistance and then you will see some interesting things happen

      Sal Sar

  7. The Department of Justice is properly dismantled. Protective services is a function distinct from that of representing the government as a plaintiff. plaintiff-appellant, or plaintiff-respondant and the two are not mixed in state and local government. The U.S. Attorneys, the specialized division chiefs, and the Attorney-General should each be enfranchised to accept referrals only from a restricted range of parties, and should be reliant on those parties to produce factual material, providing only supplementary material through grand jury proceedings and intra-office gumshoes once such referrals have been made and accepted. Only police services should initiate investigations; the Attorney-General and his minions should be the recipients of their work product. And we should have an obudsman’s service empowered to prosecute errant prosecutors and errant judges, consequent to referrals of the inspector-general charged with oversight of the Attorney-General and his minions. As for representing the government as defendant and defendant-appellant, this is properly the work of departmental and agency counsel and assumed by the attorney-general only under odd circumstances governed by protocol.

    As for protective services, why not distribute them among a half-dozen departments, one each encompassing the military; the civil defense and disaster relief apparat; institutions of custody; security services on federal property and in regard to federal computers and employees; investigations of violations of federal law; and miscellaneous services (point-of-entry inspectorates, marshall service, forensic laboratories). In particular, the FBI must be dismantled and its functions parceled out elsewhere. It is a corrupt and abusive agency.

    And see Reuel Marc Gerecht on how the CIA operates. We have reason to believe that national security would be unimpaired if it were dissolved and it’s employees scattered to the winds.

    The real problem is three fold – in how recruitment and promotion are conducted in the federal civil service, in the disciplinary regime which regulates the civil service, and in the culture in and among the sort of person attracted to federal employment and retained by the federal government. This is especially true of those who are the issue of this nation’s law schools. The cultural problem is one you cannot fix. It is one you have to work around. We do not have public managers with the skill or desire to do this. The bar and the judiciary are sick sick sick.

    As for Barr, he’s put a stop to the repulsive little schemes run by the Obama Department (which will soon be starting up again), but he has not seen to it that criminal punishments are meted out to those responsible. He also hasn’t done one bloody thing to figure out just what happened to Jeffrey Epstein.

    1. HUMINT operations on real military adversaries can all be run by DIA. CIA is not needed.

      NSA collects plenty of signals data on foreigners, they just need to sort it better. and stop spying on Americans

      Of course the billionaires spy on us too with our own consent. Facebook, etc. It’s commercially oriented collection, but it’s massive data collection nonetheless

      We have a blind spot for evils done by the private sector.

      CIA is one of the best tools of the billionaires. CIA is an awful agency up to its eyeballs in wickedness

      Sal Sar

    2. Part of the cultural problem is global capitalism which drives social and political change.

      Government and the state are in the backseat and billionaires are holding the wheel

      Strengthening of the states in the west is the only solution to rectifying this, exactly opposite what liberterians believe, but it would have to happen in a certain way, that put more power in the hands of validly elected politicians, and less in the hands of the permanent bureaucracies.

      Billionaires control the bureaucracies and thus the state and the elected officials are all held captive to the lesser human scum which inhabit these bureaucracies.

      Not until there is a unified understanding in the west of how the plutocrats have harmed us, and a will and a plan to inflict punishment on them and systemically curtail their excesses, will anything much change. But this is a tall order. It would entail something close to civil war. We are almost there already, but the people are getting liquidated by the billionaires, and it needs to happen vice versa instead.

      The difficulty lies partly in that the Left hates the rich for the wrong reasons, and it overestimates which “rich” people really count. The billionaires count and the lesser strata do not.

      The counterpart of that difficulty is the reflexive unwillingness of Republicans, conservatives, etc,, to see the obvious fact that the billionaires are the enemy and only use tropes of “capitalism” to enforce their own supra-national schemes. Capitalism which destroys the nation state as such is not capitalism in the sense of Adam Smith, it is something sinister which was not even on the radar screen in his time. When will Republicans and conservatives wake up to this?

      Instead we have all these whinings about socialism. Actually a measure of socialism, applied to expropriating the power of billionaires, and returning it to the state as such, is precisely what’s in order.

      Antitrust is the tool which can be applied to this task. Oh I remember in the 90s when the liberterians were on the warpath against antitrust. But it’s precisely what is needed now to be used ruthlessly to decimate the billionaires. For a start

      Saloth Sar

    3. No. It would be disastrous to put the power to start investigations in the hands of the police alone. First, they would never investigate themselves, thus opening the door to rampant police corruption. Also the police are not lawyers, they do not have the training and experience to always know what needs investigating and what does not (not like the current prosecutors are perfect, but the police would be worse).

  8. “ After all, the mere fact of an investigation does not establish the basis of a crime, let alone guilt.”

    That’s not actually true. It may not establish guilty legally, but the public would not see it that way. It can still produce doubt and in today’s environment of conspiracy theories and right wing media fanning the suspicion of guilt the mere presence of an investigation is enough to set a cloud of doubt and suspicion on a candidate. This is exactly what Hillary Clinton went thru. She was never charged or proved to have done anything criminal. The mere idea KC being under investigation was enough.

      1. That’s Svelaz who has been commenting here for a long time, as is clear from his/her avatar.

        You should stop using my name, since it isn’t yours.

    1. “That’s not actually true. It may not establish guilty legally, but the public would not see it that way.”
      Amazing the arrogance to speak for “the public” without a scintilla of credentials as to why you know. My view is the public is smarter than that — and smarter than you.

      1. Mespo, there’s plenty of precedent to assert that point of view.

        The level of ignorance and naivety from the public is clear. The public, especially Trump supporters are too easy to fool. Just the mention of hunter Biden easily brings up calls for criminal charges or the allegations that a crime was committed without any proof at all.

        Just like Hillary, even after no proof of any crime many still want her investigated and charged. It’s a literal public lynching.

  9. The American people only win if this leads to fundamental reforms in 2021…if not now, when? Many of us thought torture, kidnapping, assassination programs, Cointelpro and McCarthy style blacklisting, warrantless domestic spying and obscene abuse of the Espionage Act of 1917 would lead to big reforms. Nothing substantial happened in almost 20 years to reform these betrayals of the American oath of office [Title 5 US Code 3331 and Article VI. If not 2021 for reforms, when?

  10. Barr wasn’t a great attorney general at all. He was a sycophantic enabler. Barr’s idea of law and order was all about placating his boss instead of being truly independent.

    Barr was disingenuous at best. The only thing jr did right was the last thing he did which was to keep hunter Biden’s investigation out of the spot light during the election.

    Hunter Biden hasn’t been charged nor any allegations have been put forth. The only reason is purely vengeful hatred.

    Let’s not forget that Barr lied to congress when he was asked if Trump demanded Biden be investigated. Obviously he was.

    Turley tries his best to paint his buddy Barr in the a good light, but it’s obvious he cannot completely exonerate him from his disingenuous attitude.

    1. You need to stop using the name Svelaz since it is not yours. Sock puppets bite you on the arse sweetheart

  11. Trump calls him “BB” or “Bee Bee”.
    He can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

  12. Barr’s last name has an extra n on the end. But a bar is not just a drinking place. It is also a way to block people or things. Bar none.
    Bar some or forever hold your piece.

  13. I feel like Barr was totally unprepared for the mob climate of 2020. I wouldn’t have wanted that job. At the same time, his slow walking of the Hunter Biden story and his perpetuation of the Durham fairy tale (the sole purpose of which was to lull conservatives into a false sense of complacency) did a disservice to this country. Yes, Trump has had more AG’s than anyone. He has also had more knives in the back than anyone. I don’t think you can compare the Trump Administration to any other Administration in American history. The three letter agencies actively tried to get rid of Trump, admitted it, and nothing happened to them, and that is largely due to Barr. I think he just didn’t want to deal with it, A, but B, he and the rest of the would-be elites, including the SCOTUS justices Trump appointed, nurture a thinly veiled contempt for Trump. He’s not part of their Ivy League cool kids’ club. Are you including Sally Yates in the 6? Trump’s biggest mistake was not that he fired her, it was that he didn’t fire her the first day. Had he done so, we might have kept the number of AG’s lower. You have written about her actions against Trump and yet now you tout firing her, and the incompetent Jeff Sessions, as Trump’s grievous fault. Barr just proved, as if it still needed to be proven, that appeasement does not work against a mob. Barr will be remembered as the Bartleby the Scrivener of American AG’s. He could have done something about corruption and generalized lawlessness but preferred not to.

  14. Barr probably left when Trump told him he was going to blow everything up by pardoning Assange and Snowden. Wait for it….

    1. If Trump pardons them then you know he was for real

      If he does not, it’s another small piece of evidence that either he wasnt, or that the war pigs got him by the ballz, and he just chickened out.

      We’re gonna find out soon enough

      Saloth Sar

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