‘The optics are terrible’: Watergate prosecutor blasts AG Bill Barr for destroying DOJ’s credibility
Attorney General William Barr (MSNBC)

Attorney General William Barr was harshly criticized on MSNBC for harming the credibility of the Department of Justice.

"Breaking news tonight," MSNBC's Ari Melber reported. "New signs of a last-minute push by Donald Trump’s Justice Department to indict James Comey’s former deputy at the FBI, the man that took over the Russia probe after [James] Comey’s surprise firing by Donald Trump."

"This is a bombshell from The Washington Post. The D.O.J. Has authorized prosecutors to indict his top former FBI official, Andrew McCabe over a technicality over statements he made to other D.O.J. officials and investigative colleagues as they probed his contacts with the press."

"This kind of an indictment would mark the type of politicized retaliation or criminalization of public service critics were warning about in the Trump era," Melber noted.

For analysis, Melber interviewed former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman.

"Can you think of an example in U.S. history where a president’s administration indicted the person who ran the FBI or an investigation touching on the president?" Melber asked.

"Never," Ackerman replied.

"I mean, Nixon didn't even try this," Melber noted.

"He was not that stupid," Ackerman replied.

Melber asked if it was an abuse of power.

"It certainly reeks of that," Ackerman replied. "The optics are terrible."