By defending the corruption of others, Attorney General Bill Barr is revealing his own corruption in real-time, explained Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent.
Writing as Barr sat for the House Intelligence Committee, Barr continued the GOP's false propaganda that somehow the streets of America are so unsafe that police can't even do their jobs and federal agents must be sent in. It's just another example of "clever hair-splitting and obfuscation, as all good personal attorneys do," wrote Sargent.
"Barr’s statement already displays how fraudulent Trump’s claims to represent 'law and order' truly are," wrote Sargent. "This will be evident from Barr’s defense of Trump’s corruption and his law enforcement crackdowns against protests."
In his opening statement, Barr said he decided he would do everything in his power "to get to the bottom of the bogus 'Russiagate' scandal." But it's clear Barr has no intention of telling the truth, or if he can even recognize what reality is anymore.
"Note that Barr dismisses the entire Russia story as 'bogus,' including the established fact of a massive foreign effort to subvert U.S. democracy on Trump’s behalf," wrote Sargent. "The special counsel’s report documented that attack in extraordinary detail, and it was fleshed out by a bipartisan Senate investigation."
Barr has already been caught misrepresenting special counsel Robert Mueller's report.
"The president has not attempted to interfere with these decisions. On the contrary, he has told me that he expects me to exercise my independent judgment to make whatever call I think is right," Barr claimed.
Sargent explained how disingenuous the claim was, saying, "Trump railed in public over the case" and on behalf of one of his only friends, Roger Stone, "openly attacking the Justice Department sentencing recommendation even as Barr and top officials reduced it, causing career prosecutors to quit in protest."
When it comes to Russian interference, Trump called it a "corrupt hoax" and a "witch hunt" so many times it became a joke. It was enough of a message for Barr to know what was expected of him.
"The idea that Trump told him to exercise 'independent judgment' is like saying that when a mob boss says to an underling, 'I know I can count on you to do the right thing,' he means it literally," wrote Sargent.
When it came to Trump sending federal agents into Democratic-run cities, Barr defended the move saying that the federal properties were under attack.
"What unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be called a protest; it is, by any objective measure, an assault on the Government of the United States," claimed Barr.
Even Fox News host Sean Hannity revealed that the overwhelming majority of the "attacks" and "violence" targeting federal property was graffiti. Firing teargas, rubber bullets and beating protesters for graffiti seems consistent with complaints by protesters that police used excessive force. Instead of addressing whether the Department of Homeland Security overstepped their boundaries with an attack on protesters was never addressed by Barr. He turned it into a fight over protecting "federal property," even going so far as to say the federal courthouses had scared workers inside the buildings after 10 p.m. despite the pandemic.
"The question is also whether Trump is sending in law enforcement for nakedly political purposes — to create televised imagery in swing-state living rooms that he believes will assist his reelection, imagery that literally matches what is in his political ads," Sargent continued. "Another question is whether Trump is unleashing law enforcement to deliberately incite additional violent civil conflict to rescue his faltering campaign. Barr can spew fake pieties all he wants, but everyone knows it’s perfectly plausible that Trump is doing exactly this."
It's a move that Sargent said stripped Trump of any legitimacy in his attempt at copying Richard Nixon's "law and order" campaign.
“'Law and order' entails the weaponizing of the machinery of justice to obscure a massive crime against U.S. democracy that Trump has openly invited a second time, the weaponizing of it to protect Trump’s cronies, and the weaponizing of it to suppress domestic dissent and manufacture authoritarian agitprop for nakedly corrupt purposes — all with impunity. With the impunity that the imprimatur of his attorney general brings," closed Sargent.