Donald Trump is the man who never knows when to quit when he’s ahead. Or, perhaps more accurately, he’s a man who knows that maintaining an appearance of innocence is unnecessary for him because he leads a party that will whitewash anything he says or does.
Recently, Attorney General William Barr has been weathering a barrage of criticism over what appears to be his interfering directly to lessen the sentence of convicted MAGA-ally Roger Stone under the president’s direct orders. Congressional Democrats have demanded Barr testify over the matter and he has agreed to do so.
Yesterday, in what was clearly a cynical attempt to present his Department of Justice as an entity insulated from Trump’s mercurial moods and directions, Barr laughably claimed that he won’t be “bullied or influenced by anybody.” The AG whined that the president’s tweets make it “impossible” for him to do his job and project integrity.
Of course, Barr never intended to do his job with integrity, as evinced by his constant lying and deference to Trump. He was appointed to be a good little lapdog for our would-be authoritarian and in that regard he has surely exceeded Trump’s expectations.
“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody….whether it’s Congress, newspaper editorial boards, or the president," Bill Barr tells @ABC News.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 13, 2020
Rather than leave well enough alone and simply allow Barr’s damage control to work its dark magic, Trump decided to soothe his own ego. He took to Twitter to repeat Barr’s claim that he has never asked the AG to interfere in a criminal case but then immediately asserted that he has the legal right to do so if he so chooses.
This president is so painfully insecure that even the mere suggestion that there are legal limits to his powers, even if that suggestion was made to give him political cover, is too much to bear without speaking up. Once again, we see his bloated ego making it difficult for his subordinates to cover up his rampant corruption.
Obviously, the President of the United States should not be directing the Justice Department to give sweetheart deals to a convicted criminal just because that criminal is a close ally. The rule of law is at best an inconvenience to this administration and at worst an outright joke and the people we have entrusted with upholding our legal system display their disdain for it every turn. Until they’re removed from office our country will continue its full-tilt slide towards cryptofascism.
“The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.” A.G. Barr This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2020
This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.