Quantcast
Connect with us

Bill Barr’s screw-up on the whistleblower complaint set the stage for Trump’s impeachment – here’s how

Published

on

Attorney General Bill Barr during his press conference the day of the Mueller report release. Image via screengrab.

According to a report in the Daily Beast, Attorney General William Barr could have forestalled the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump if he had simply followed standard procedures when the Justice Department was given the now pivotal government whistleblower’s complaint to investigate.

With three Democratic-controlled House committees launching impeachment inquiries of the president based upon a complaint alleging the president was attempting to trade foreign aid for dirt on possible political foes, among other issues, Barr’s handling of the report became pivotal for the president — and not in a good way.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the Beast, Barr’s hubris may eventually contribute to Trump’s ouster because he believed his DOJ could bury the whistleblower report.

“Barr became Trump’s favorite Cabinet member in March of this year when he held back release of the Mueller Report’s damaging findings while misstating them in a deceitful letter to Congress. Possibly overconfident following the success of that disinformation effort, Barr’s DOJ set out to prevent the whistleblower’s grave allegations against the president regarding Ukraine from even coming to light, let alone being investigated,” the report states. ” It was the DOJ that instructed acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to violate his express statutory obligation to turn over the whistleblower’s complaint to Congress. The DOJ went so far as to create a widely mocked opinion from the previously respected Office of Legal Counsel purporting to justify this audacious violation of the law. “

However, as Barr came to find out, the future of investigating the complaint fell on the DOJ’s criminal division, and that is where things went awry.

“As later came to light, the DOJ’s Criminal Division claimed that it had exclusive jurisdiction to investigate the merits of the whistleblower’s claim,” the Beast reports. “In a DOJ that followed normal-course ethical and law enforcement standards, the attorney general (who, rightly or wrongly, had been directly implicated in potential misconduct by the president) would have recused himself and the deputy attorney general would have appointed a special counsel, as occurred in the Russia investigation.”

“The criminal division then apparently closed its file, without conducting any factual investigation into what turned out to be a wide-ranging criminal scheme involving numerous high-level government officials, including the president,” the report states, which, in turn, led to the intelligence community’s inspector general stepping in and finding the complaint met a statutory “urgent concern” standard and that Congress needed to be alerted.

ADVERTISEMENT

“What happened next was all but inevitable. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff made the scheme to hide the complaint public, ultimately pressuring the White House to cough up the complaint, and then the summary of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian leader,” the Beast report noted. ” Once those cats were out of the bag, Schiff had all he required to merit commencing the investigation that has consumed Washington.”

“The great irony is that if Barr and his DOJ had even pretended to follow procedure here, with the AG recusing himself while a special counsel investigated the whisteblower’s complaint, they might have succeeded in bottling the matter up. Instead, Barr himself opened the door for—and all but necessitated—Congress’ investigation,” the report concludes. 

You can read more here (subscription required). 

ADVERTISEMENT

 

 

 

 


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

These Florida Cuban-American voters are flipping their support from Trump to Biden: ‘I know what a dictator looks like’

Published

on

In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of reporting on President Donald Trump’s efforts to make inroads with Latino voters. But it’s important to note where most of those inroads have been made: Trump has generally fared much better among Cuban-Americans in Florida than among Mexican-Americans in western states or Puerto Ricans in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. And journalist David Smiley, in an article published in the Miami Herald on September 21, stresses that Trump’s support among Cuban-Americans is by no means universal.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Younger voters are most likely to have their absentee ballots rejected — here’s why

Published

on

As half or more of the 2020 presidential election's votes will be cast on mailed-out ballots, a new study on why absentee ballots were rejected in three urban California counties in 2018 reveals why young voters' ballots were rejected at triple the rate of all voters.

Nationally, it is well known that absentee ballots arriving after state deadlines, problems with a voter's signature on the return envelope not matching their voter registration, or a missing signature account for more than half of all rejected ballots, as the latest federal statistics affirm. But a new California Voter Foundation (CVF) study reveals the most likely causes behind those errors, especially for young voters.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Wall Street delivers a stunning repudiation of Trump and his coronavirus failures

Published

on

The stock market, the faltering Trump campaign’s last straw of hope for the November election, is turning out to be the Republican nominee’s short straw.

After a month of gradually falling stock prices, Wall Street on Monday was delivering a stunning repudiation of the current occupant of the White House and his radical Senate enablers for their failure to control the COVID-19 pandemic and to address the resulting collapse of the economy.

Just last week, Trump touted the stock market’s generally positive performance through the pandemic: "Look, we're having a tremendous thing in the stock market, and that's good for everybody, but people that aren't rich own stock and they have 401(k)s," he said at a town hall appearance on ABC.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE