In a brutal column for the Daily Beast, Republican campaign consultant Rick Wilson derided Attorney General Bil Barr for becoming Donald Trump's "pet attorney" -- willing to to do the president's bidding either overtly or through chicanery.
As Wilson explained, "Donald Trump’s pet attorney general gave a potent reminder on Monday of why he is the most dangerous man in Washington. In an otherwise routine press conference, while using the still-respected language of the justice system we once enjoyed, Barr green-lit a series of show trials of Trump’s enemies. It was a launch signal to the 'Obamagate' players that while he’ll publicly play the role of a neutral solon of justice, Barr’s heavy thumb will be on its scales."
Adding, "Barr is precisely the kind of lawless, bloodless enforcer any autocratic strongman wants on the team, giving a thin, barely passable veneer of legal probity to an administration known for its indifference to the law, to say nothing of morals, norms, traditions, and institutional imperatives," Wilson wrote, "It’s vital to look at Trump’s attorney general not as an impartial and independent actor but as a crafty, smart campaign agent seeking to ensure Trump’s re-election and hold on power."
As the conservative operative explained, behind Barr's "rumpled" appearance is a man willing to put forward "his pure, brazen line of bullshit on Monday, and his deep knowledge of how to make the Washington political press corps swallow and regurgitate even his most outrageous lies."
Although it appeared that Barr wants to dismiss "Obamagate," Wilson said the attorney General is playing another kind of game.
"The Barr statement was not what appeared to be. It wasn’t about feeding the base. It certainly wasn’t about putting the kibosh on the ludicrously fake conspiracy theory that Trump is calling Obamagate<" Wilson wrote. " No, what he was doing was a clever bit of misdirection and chicanery. On Monday, Barr played a role in a little one-act play for the media. You see, they still cover him as if he is a normal AG in a normal GOP administration in a normal moment in our history."
"Barr knew the big headline about letting Obama and Biden off of the hook would distract from his to-the-death efforts to block access to information about Trump’s shady Ukraine deal, obstruction of justice, hidden taxes, or witness testimony on a host of issues that Congress has demanded, and most importantly, the parts of the Mueller investigation Barr quashed and distorted," he explained. "Barr has demonstrated time and again that he is willing to politicize the Justice Department to protect Trump. His Durham investigation, his de facto pardon of Mike Flynn, his manipulation of the Mueller report, his suppression of any voices inside the DOJ who would ever Trump accountable for anything, has been evident from the start. Lord knows what role Barr played in making sure Paul Manafort got out of prison early and that Michael Cohen didn’t, but Manafort is at home curled up in his ostrich jacket and Cohen is still in Otisville. They’re all just previews of the travesties of justice still to come between now and November. "
"If you think Barr’s Justice Department will take a single step to confront Trump or his cronies with any kind of challenge, think again. His hyper-maximalist vision of executive power borders on the fetishistic. If you think he’ll call out Russian and other foreign interference in our elections if it benefits Trump, guess again," he added before concluding. "Anyone who was fooled by Barr’s probity and gravitas act Monday will be soon disabused of their naiveté. Show trials have a way of doing that."
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