On MSNBC Monday, former Solicitor General Neal Katyal tore into former Attorney General William Barr, arguing that his testimony against Donald Trump's election conspiracy theories does not absolve him of everything he did to encourage Trump to try to overthrow the election in the first place.
"Neal, I want your assessment, having worked in the Justice Department, to be as fair as possible," said anchor Ari Melber. "There are times when internal concerns are not best aired in the public in real-time. This seems like a very abnormal situation where he says he's resigning in part because of this, he's concerned about the president being detached from reality. Should he have spoken out in some way?"
"Absolutely," said Katyal. "Bill Barr, I think, is running to try and launder his reputation like some of the others that are testifying today. But Ari, I totally agree with the idea you don't air out your dirty laundry when you're a Justice Department official. But Barr did the reverse, in this fawning resignation letter that's like the equivalent of Donald Trump on January 6th saying to the insurrectionists, go home, we love you. You're very special. That's what the letter reads as."
Worse, Katyal argued, Barr helped enable Trump's election fraud conspiracy theories by breaking longstanding protocols to use the Justice Department for political attacks.
"This is the attorney general who basically enabled a lot of the machinations over the election in the first place," said Katyal. "He broke with the longstanding Justice Department policy that said election claims of fraud should wait until after certification, that you don't do it ongoing, and indeed, the chief of the Justice Department's election integrity unit resigned because he thought Barr was manipulating things. And so many prosecutors voiced their objections at the time. That policy has since on day one of the Biden Administration been restored, which is a longstanding policy, administration to administration, so it's too late for Barr to say, this is BS and so on. He did nothing until he wrote his book."
"I'm glad he testified," Katyal added. "This is really important in establishing that criminal prosecution, and indeed Trump's wrongdoing as a moral matter, as a political matter, as a matter of integrity. So it's great that we're getting this. But you know, this does not make Barr any sort of hero or anything like it."
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Neal Katyal says Bill Barr is trying to "launder his reputation" www.youtube.com
'No Question' a Republican House Will Impeach Joe Biden: CNN Legal analyst www.youtube.com