Here's how Bill Barr may have inadvertently helped more voters understand the Mueller report
Bill Barr (CNN/screen grab)

In an interview with Newsweek, former federal prosecutor Michael Stern explained how Attorney General Bill Barr is extensively quoted throughout the documents surrounding the Ukraine scandal. President Donald Trump even told President Volodymyr Zelensky that he should work with Barr when complying with Trump's demand to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son.


In the past weeks, Barr has defended the president by complaining that Democrats were trivializing impeachment by going after the president for the Ukraine scandal. Given the Democrats didn't impeach the president over the ten examples of obstruction of justice outlined by Robert Mueller, it's unclear what exactly is "trivial."

"There were people at the time who thought maybe he should recuse himself, or maybe he can't oversee this since there are questions about whether Barr was in on this with Donald Trump," said MSNBC host Ali Velshi. "But when you go all the way back to the unsolicited memo that he wrote about the Russia investigation, the way he was misleading to the public about the conclusions of the Mueller investigation, and then this, does any of this come as a surprise to you?"

Stern said it didn't shock him at all and said that Barr had become a tool for the president.

"In fact, Bill Barr has single-handedly changed the fundamental nature of the Department of Justice for decades. The Department of Justice has always prided itself on being independent from the White House and from other agencies within the White House administration," said Stern. "And Bill Barr has now turned the Department of Justice, and himself, into essentially a tool of President Trump. And that's a dangerous situation not only for the way the events are unfolding now but for the -- the -- you know, the sanctity of the Department of Justice as time moves on."

He explained that it's clear Barr is subverting his duty as attorney general to protect Trump.

"It's one thing to be friendly to the president and to discuss with the president issues that the president wants to be the focus of DOJ, Stern said. "For instance, when I was with the Department of Justice, there was a period of time when some attorney generals had particular areas that were of concern to the White House. Like, firearm prosecutions. And so the Department of Justice would get broad directives from the White House as to the types of cases they should be expending their resources on. But that's vastly different than the Department of Justice as it stands now becoming essentially a defense attorney on behalf of the president."

Watch Velshi's full discussion with Stern below: