“I had been increasingly concerned about claims by the President and the team of outside lawyers advising him that the election had been ‘stolen’ through voting ‘fraud,’” writes William Barr on the first page of One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General, just released by William Morrow.
“There’s always some fraud in an election that large,” Barr explains, and “there may have been more than usual in 2020,” but Barr’s Department of Justice didn’t see it changing the outcome.
On page 558, Barr enumerates President Trump’s many successes: tax reform, deregulation, the strongest and most resilient economy in American history, unprecedented progress to many marginalized Americans. As Barr recalls, President Trump restored US military strength, identified the threat from China, brokered peace deals in Middle East, pulled out of ill-advised agreements with Russia and Iran, and moved the US. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Barr notes that Trump curbed illegal immigration, enhanced border security, and “kept his promise of advancing the rule of law by appointing a record number of judges committed to constitutional principles.” President Trump “exposed media and cultural elites as the outright partisans they have long been – mere extensions of the Democratic Party.” Trump did it all “in the face of bitter, implacable attacks,” but it wasn’t enough.
“Trump, through his self-indulgence and lack of self-control, had blown the election.” If Trump had just exercised “a modicum of self-restraint, moderating even a little of his pettiness,” he would have won. As the two-time Attorney General has it, “the election was not ‘stolen.’ Trump lost it.”
By implication, cellar-dweller Joe Biden won it fair and square. Barr’s case is not particularly convincing, but readers may learn something new about the author.
Back in December of 1969, William Barr applied for an internship with the CIA and was admitted to the program. While attending law school at night, Barr worked at the CIA and as a lawyer he continued to work in the CIA’s Office of Legislative Counsel. Aside from Jimmy Carter pick Stansfield Turner, “a disaster,” CIA bosses some off pretty well in Barr’s memoir.
John Brennan shows up on page 190 claiming that the CIA knew what Russians were doing in the 2016 election. In the 1976 election, John Brennan voted for the Stalinist Gus Hall, candidate of the Communist Party USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soviet Union. Barr is not curious why the CIA would hire such a person, who charged that Trump was in Putin’s pocket.
Barr is also favorable to former FBI boss Robert Mueller.
“I admired Bob,” Barr writes. “We became friends as did our wives.” Barr also knew the DOJ’s Rod Rosenstein “for many years” and “believed him to be a consummate professional with a broad and deep understanding of the department’s business.” It was deputy attorney general Rosenstein who suddenly appointed Mueller special counsel to investigate Trump, a “controversial” move according to Barr.
“Few can appreciate the complexities Rod faced during that tumultuous time,” writes Barr, “and even fewer will know the important contributions he made to the administration and the country.” Readers have to wonder, given Barr’s other key connections.
“I had known [James] Comey for more than twenty years,” Barr reveals, and “helped him become US Attorney in New York.” In 2016, FBI boss Comey held a news conference and
“sharply criticizing Clinton for her mishandling of classified emails.” Readers might think that Barr, a former attorney general and CIA man, would outline some of the federal statutes the former First Lady violated. Nothing here on the big fix that kept Hillary Clinton in the campaign.
Trump wanted Barr to indict Comey for giving out memos with confidential information. Barr told the president “everyone at the department agreed the evidence showed Comey lacked criminal intent. No one thought that the prosecution could be justified.”
As Barr explains, criminal intent is hard to prove unless an official commits “an inherently wrongful act – like altering a document.” FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith altered a document about Trump adviser Carter Page. Clinesmith got probation and Comey and Peter Strzok never endured a criminal prosecution.
FBI and DOJ bosses mounted operations against a duly elected American president. William Barr holds them above the law, along with former presidents and vice presidents involved in the same activity. As Barr explains, “I made it clear that neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden were in [U.S. Attorney John] Durham’s crosshairs.”
New FBI boss Christopher Wray hotly denied that any spying against Trump had taken place. Trump wondered if Wray was the right person to clean up the FBI but, as Barr writes, “the more I worked with Wray, the more I thought he should stay.”
Missing from Barr’s account are Russia-hoax players Adam Schiff, the DOJ’s Andrew Weismann, and Democrat Lawyer Michael Sussman, the subject of recent revelations from John Durham.
On January 6, 2021, the “forcible breach of the Capitol by rioters was reprehensible,” but Barr fails to mention the only person shot dead that day. Unarmed Trump supporter and Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was gunned down by a Capitol police officer. That recalls an episode from Barr’s first stint as attorney general, which started on November 26, 1991.
During the Ruby Ridge siege of August, 1992, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot unarmed Vicki Weaver in the head as she held her infant child. Snipers are trained carefully to “acquire” the target so the killing was not accidental. Attorney general Barr spent two weeks organizing former attorney generals to defend Horiuchi, who already had government lawyers working on his behalf.
In his January, 2019, Senate confirmation hearings, Democrats asked Barr if he had ever undertaken pro bono activities to serve the “disadvantaged.” As James Bovard observed, “nobody is asking about Barr’s legal crusade for blanket immunity for federal agents who killed American citizens.”
The shoot-without-provocation rules were approved by the FBI’s Larry Potts. Barr told the New York Times Potts was “deliberate and careful” and “I can’t think of enough good things to say about him.”
Barr failed to include this episode in One Damn Thing After Another, but it does help explain why he failed to prosecute the FBI bosses who attempted to take down the duly elected president of the United States. Barr now thinks that Donald Trump, despite his successful record, should not be seeking that office again.
“Donald Trump has shown he has neither the temperament nor persuasive powers to provide the kind of positive leadership that is needed,” Barr says on page 564. “Trump’s political persona is too negative for the task ahead.” That is hardly the only takeaway from Barr’s massive memoir.
The FBI has become an extension of the Democrat Party. Under Barr-approved Christopher Wray, the FBI deploys against “domestic terrorists,” meaning anyone less than worshipful of Joe Biden. One Damn Thing After Another also leaves little doubt that the federal Department of Justice is the pro bono law firm of the deep state.
So good luck to the Republicans’ “impressive array of younger candidates fully capable of driving forward with MAGA’s positive agenda.”