On PBS NewsHour, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks laid into Attorney General William Barr for trying to spin special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report in favor of President Donald Trump.
The report fell short of finding enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any member of the Trump campaign entered into a conspiracy with the Russian government, but found plenty of evidence that the president obstructed the investigation and sought to refer the matter to Congress. Ahead of the report’s release, however, Barr issued a four-page summary and held a press conference weighing in with his personal, and partisan, opinion that the president could not have obstructed justice.
As Brooks explained it, that was the end of his ability to trust Barr’s independence from politics.
“One of the thoughts I’ve had this week is that impartiality is our scarcest resource by now, and that Robert Mueller seems to have been pretty impartial,” said Brooks. “And we rely on umpires in this society who are impartial.”
“I think Barr, frankly, ruined any reputation for impartiality with that press conference.” Brooks added. “He ruined the benefit of the doubt that a lot of people like me were inclined to give him.”