A former federal prosecutor and CNN analyst explained Wednesday that Attorney General William Barr is doing exactly what he was hired to do — protect the president.
Elie Honig wrote in a CNN column that Barr has “from day one” been prejudiced, literally, “against the possibility that President Donald Trump committed crimes.”
“I mean ‘prejudiced’ in the most literal sense: Barr pre-judged the case in Trump’s favor,” Honig wrote, “and he has acted in accordance ever since.”
It’s not a matter of opinion that the AG is prejudiced, the former prosecutor noted, but rather is “a matter of public record” given all the things he’d written criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller and the claims that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, calling it “asinine” and sarcastically putting the term “collusion” in quotation marks.
In June 2018, Honig reminded, Barr sent the White House an unsolicited memo in which he offered the “absurd” legal opinion that “there is no legal prohibition — as opposed to a political constraint — against the President’s acting on a matter in which he has a personal stake.”
“Since he became attorney general, Barr has acted exactly as he forecasted, taking pains to sanitize Mueller’s findings and protect Trump at every turn,” the former New York and New Jersey prosecutor added.
In his letter summarizing the special counsel’s report, the attorney general “sets forth no actual evidence, but nonetheless declares that Trump did not commit an obstruction of justice offense — contrary to Mueller, who found evidence of obstruction but declined to draw a conclusion about whether the evidence constituted a crime.”
“Don’t be surprised when Barr continues to take steps to minimize damage to Trump,” Honig concluded. “Trump, and all of us, already knew where Barr stood before he ever got the job as attorney general.”
“Now Barr is doing exactly what he came to do,” he added.