Former Attorney General Bill Barr has chosen to side with the left again.
Speaking on Fox News’s “The Story” this Tuesday, he sided with the throngs of leftists who believe that Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision to authorize a special master in the FBI Mar-a-Lago raid was deeply flawed.
To Barr’s credit, he didn’t follow the left’s lead and accuse Cannon of being unfit for office. He just criticized her decision.
Still, it’s another recent example of him turning against former President Trump.
During his appearance on Fox News, Barr was asked by host Martha MacCallum whether he agreed with Cannon’s critics. He said that he most certainly does.
“The opinion [to appoint a special master], I think was wrong, and I think the government should appeal it. It’s deeply flawed in a number of ways. I don’t think the appointment of a special master is going to hold up,” he said.
Barr added that he believes the appointment of a special master will make no difference either way regarding the outcome of the government’s ongoing investigation into Trump.
“I don’t see it fundamentally changing the trajectory. In other words, I don’t think it changes the ball game so much as maybe we’ll have a rain delay for a couple of innings. but I think that the fundamental dynamics of the case are [that] the government has very strong evidence of what it really needs to determine whether charges are appropriate, which is government documents were taken, classified information was taken and not handled appropriately, and they are looking into and there’s some evidence to suggest that they were deceived,” he said.
“And none of that really relates to the content of documents. It relates to the fact that there were documents there, and the fact that they were classified, and the fact that they were subpoenaed and never delivered. But they don’t have to show the content, you know, the specific advice given in a memo, for example, in order to prevail in this case. So I think it’s not really going to change the decision.”
It sounded like he believes Trump will ultimately be indicted with or without a special master, not that he personally believes this is the best outcome.
“I think that even if they can technically make the case [against Trump], there’s another step which is, prudentially, do they want to do it, because it’s a former president and its impact on the country. I hope they don’t do it,” he told MacCallum.
His remarks came a day after Judge Cannon “ordered the appointment of an independent arbiter to review the more than 11,000 government records the F.B.I. seized in its search of Mar-a-Lago last month,” as reported by The New York Times.
In addition, she also “blocked federal prosecutors from further examining the seized materials for the investigation until the special master [has] completed a review.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 5, 2022
The investigation into Trump has therefore been stalled, as investigators aren’t allowed to inspect the seized documents until a special master first reviews them.
Critics like Barr say Cannon’s decision was “deeply flawed” because the Department of Justice is part of the executive branch, meaning apparently that the notion of executive privilege doesn’t apply. In other words, DOJ investigators should be allowed to inspect the documents without the interference of a special master.
“The reason that’s not a problem under privilege is because it’s not going outside the executive branch,” Barr explained.
“The question presented here is one she doesn’t even address, but it’s the only issue in dispute, which is, can a former president say that this document and executive privilege precludes executive branch agents who are looking into whether a crime was committed from reviewing those documents?” he continued.
“It’s too early to say that they’re going to try to put those documents before a grand jury. There’s no contemplation right now or proposal to put it outside the executive branch. So her decision is premature. And the dispute isn’t over whether this document is potential executive privilege and this one isn’t. That’s not the dispute. The dispute is whether the president, even if it is executive privilege, can the president bar DOJ from reviewing the documents in question? And the answer to that I think is clearly no.”
His comments to MacCallum marked the second time within the span of a week that he’d effectively turned against Trump.
During a separate interview days earlier on Fox News’ “America Reports,” he justified the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago by claiming that Trump had “jerked around” the FBI by being deceptive about the allegedly classified documents that were at his home.
‘No guts’ Bill Barr justifies raid, says Trump ‘jerked around’ FBI, did not declassify docs. MAGA unloads. https://t.co/HfxdiicDIf
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) September 3, 2022
“I think the driver on this from the beginning was the, you know, loads of classified information sitting in Mar-a-Lago. People say this was unprecedented. Well, it’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put it in a country club, OK,” he said.
“And how long is the government gonna try to get that back, you know? They jawboned for a year, they were deceived on the voluntary actions taken, they then went and got a subpoena, they were deceived on that, and the facts are starting to show that they were being jerked around. And so how long do they wait?”
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