Bill Barr's 'Hookers for Jesus' scandal shows just how far the Trump team is willing to pervert government power: columnist
Attorney General William Barr. (Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals)

On Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote a scathing editorial breaking down how the Justice Department's controversy over diverting human trafficking grant money to an organization called "Hookers for Jesus" illustrates the deep-rooted corruption within the administration.

"In a new grant award, senior Justice officials rejected the recommendations of career officials and decided to deny grants to highly rated Catholic Charities in Palm Beach, Fla., and Chicanos Por La Causa in Phoenix. Instead, Reuters reported, they gave more than $1 million combined to lower-rated groups called the Lincoln Tubman Foundation and Hookers for Jesus," wrote Milbank. "Why? Well, it turns out the head of the Catholic Charities affiliate had been active with Democrats and the Phoenix group had opposed President Trump’s immigration policies. By contrast, Hookers for Jesus is run by a Christian conservative and the Lincoln Tubman group was launched by a relative of a Trump delegate to the 2016 convention."

"That Catholic Charities has been replaced by Hookers for Jesus says much about Barr’s Justice Department," wrote Milbank. "Friends of Trump are rewarded. Opponents of Trump are punished. And the nation’s law enforcement apparatus becomes Trump’s personal plaything."

It is a narrative, Milbank wrote, that runs through much of the current activity in the administration — from the interference with Trump campaign strategist Roger Stone's prison sentence, to Barr's restriction on investigating presidential candidates, to the suspension of travel programs for New Yorkers after the state took action to protect the rights of immigrants. And that only scratches the surface.

"With Barr’s acquiescence, we live in a moment in which: Trump’s Treasury Department immediately releases sensitive financial information about Hunter Biden, while refusing to release similar information about Trump; Trump ousts officials who testified in the impeachment inquiry and even ousts the blameless twin brother of one of the witnesses; and Trump’s FBI decides to monitor violent “people on either side” of the abortion debate — although the FBI couldn’t point to a single instance of violence by abortion-rights supporters," wrote Milbank.

"This week, the Pentagon released a new color scheme for Air Force One, replacing the 60-year-old design with one that looks suspiciously like the old Trump Shuttle," concluded Milbank. "Surprised? Don’t be. Soon the entire administration will be able to apply for a Justice Department grant as a newly formed nonprofit: Hookers for Trump."

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