Bill Barr wants an 'autocratic president' -- and he's made 'significant progress' getting one: Ex-Bush DOJ official
DOJ photo of Attorney General William P. Barr

Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general who served under President George H.W. Bush, has issued a startling warning about Attorney General Bill Barr's goals in pushing for the expansion of powers under the executive branch.


In an interview with The New Yorker, Ayer said that Barr has been all too eager to make the Department of Justice into President Donald Trump's personal squad of attorneys whose job is to serve him and not the American public.

"[Barr's] systematic trashing of the department’s traditions of even handedness and independence have helped him make significant progress toward his goal of an autocratic President," Ayer said. "I think Barr is getting as much out of Trump as Trump is getting out of Barr. All for his own reasons of wanting the President to have complete and unchecked power."

David Laufman, a former head of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section, tells The New Yorker that the consolidation of power around the president hasn't just been limited to the DOJ.

"I think we need to be careful not to be too lackadaisical in recognizing the significance of what is happening throughout our government, not just in law enforcement and intelligence but the attempted politicization of our public health system," he said.