You couldn’t find two more solid and stolid figures of the Republican establishment than Jeb Bush and William Barr. Both have also been harsh critics of Donald Trump, who has given it right back in spades. And so it was striking that both have come out strongly against the indictment of Trump, thereby demonstrating a good deal more integrity than the Democrats who have been cheering on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and hailing the advent of America as a banana republic.
The bad blood between Jeb! and Trump goes back to the 2016 presidential campaign, and particularly to a Feb. 2016 debate during which Trump said, “Obviously the war in Iraq was a big fat mistake, all right? George Bush made a mistake, we can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty.” He was actually making a point not about George, but about his brother: “It took Jeb Bush — if you remember at the beginning of his announcement when he announced for president, it took him five days — ‘It was a mistake, it wasn’t a mistake,’ — it took him five days before his people told him what to say. We should have never been in Iraq, we have destabilized the Middle East. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction — there were none. And they knew there were none.” All this was true, but restating it and making it the responsibility of Jeb Bush has led to undying enmity between Trump and the Bush family and their allies.
At that time, Bush criticized Trump for attacking him through his family, saying, “He’s had the gall to go after my mother. My mom is the strongest woman I know.” To that, Trump responded with a haymaker: “She should be running.” No member of the Bush family has had a remotely kind word to say about Trump ever since. Jeb’s brother led the way; after maintaining eight years of dignified silence during the Obama years, George W. Bush suddenly became a vocal critic of the Trump administration, with which he was, or at least should have been, much more closely aligned ideologically.
In light of all that, it was shocking indeed when Jeb Bush tweeted on Saturday: “Bragg’s predecessor didn’t take up the case. The Justice Department didn’t take up the case. Bragg first said he would not take up the case. This is very political, not a matter of justice. In this case, let the jury be the voters.” Jeb Bush is to be commended for speaking out against injustice, even when that injustice is directed against a political enemy. Such integrity is in short supply these days.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr also displayed it, however, when he said Friday, “Based on the news reports if they’re accurate, this is an abomination. It’s the epitome of the abuse of prosecutorial power to bring a case that would not be brought against anyone else. They are going after the man, not a crime. And the legal theory, frankly, is pathetically weak. The case is held together [by] paper clips and rubber bands. It’s a lousy case, and it’s a shame. It’s a shameful episode in our history where this local prosecutor is trying to affect the political process by bringing this case.” Indeed. And it was refreshing to see this coming from Barr.
In Sept. 2022, after Barr defended an earlier exhibition of the Biden regime’s descent into authoritarianism, the Mar-a-Lago raid, Trump wrote, “Bill Barr had ‘no guts,’ and got ‘no glory.’ He was a weak and pathetic RINO, who was so afraid of being Impeached that he became a captive to the Radical Left Democrats — ‘Please, please, please don’t impeach me,’ he supposedly said. Barr never fought the way he should have for Election Integrity, and so much else. He started off OK as A.G., but faded fast — Didn’t have courage or stamina. People like that will never Make America Great Again!”
Now, however, Barr was quite specific as he eviscerated the indictment: “The statute,” he explained, “actually requires that it be done with the intent to defraud. So if you have false business records, you know, and you’re committing insurance fraud or some other kind of fraud where some value is taken from somebody else and you falsely get value in your own name, then the false records would be a misdemeanor. But I don’t understand the basis for a fraud claim here.”
He added: “Then they take this misdemeanor, which also has a problem with the statute of limitations. And they tried to shoehorn it into a — into a felony by claiming that the reason the documents were falsified was to cover up another crime. In this case, they’re assuming that the payments were [a] campaign finance violation because they were effectively a contribution to the Trump campaign. I can tell you that’s not the law. I don’t think that’s how the Justice Department would view it.” Well, when you’re talking about the Biden regime’s corrupt and politicized Justice Department, one never knows.
Still, it’s good to see that there are still some upright individuals in American politics who don’t judge innocence or guilt based on how closely the defendant’s political views align with their own. America used to be known for such people. May they arise again.