Attorney General William Barr has been widely criticized by Democrats, liberals and progressives—as well as by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, journalist Max Boot and other right-wing NeverTrump conservatives—for his May 1 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. During the Committee’s open hearing, Barr gave evasive responses to questions from U.S. senators on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report for the Russia investigation. And in a May 2 article for the Daily Beast, investigative journalist David Cay Johnston offers a scathing analysis of Barr’s testimony and the implications for President Donald Trump.
Barr’s testimony, Johnston writes, “confirmed once and for all that rather than conducting himself as the attorney general of the United States, Barr’s title should be attorney specific since he serves a single client: Donald J. Trump.”
Noting how evasive Barr was during his testimony, Johnston asserts that he “sounded something like a defendant himself, talking in circles in a display one Democrat grudgingly praised as ‘masterful hairsplitting’ to explain how he managed to publicly exonerate his client before releasing a report that painstakingly detailed his potential crimes.”
Johnston goes on to say that Barr’s testimony came “the day after a really bad day for Donald Trump, and a great day for accountability, democracy and our constitution.” Earlier this week, Johnston explains, Trump was so unnerved by Democratic House subpoenas of his financial records that he sued Deutsche Bank and Capitol One. And it was also this week, Johnston adds, that U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan “gave the green light to” a lawsuit in which Democrats in Congress “assert that Trump is violating” the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause (which says that presidents cannot receive payments or gifts from foreign powers without Congress’ approval).
Johnston notes that although New York State Attorney General Letitia James has been turning up the heat on Trump as well, members of the Trump family “are not suing to stop the banks from giving” his financial records to her office—the reason being that James “likely” has them already.
Johnston ends his Daily Beast piece on an optimistic note, writing, “Even as Barr races to build it up, Trump’s wall of secrecy is melting as sunlight, the best disinfectant for political corruption, exposes his lies, denials and deceptions. It will take time, but the flow of damning documents will soon turn into a torrent.”