On Wednesday, when Attorney General William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Mueller report, he addressed lawmakers more as if he were a member of President Trump’s legal team than as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. Barr framed Trump’s actions as fully justifiable, even arguing that if the president feels an investigation is unfounded, he “does not have to sit there constitutionally and allow it to run its course.”
Whether out of sycophantic loyalty or a deep-seated belief in executive impunity, Barr has used his position to insulate the president from legal scrutiny. He has done everything in his power to downplay the impact of the special counsel’s investigation.
He did not hesitate, for example, to frame Robert Mueller’s findings as an exoneration of the president, despite a report that said otherwise. By itself, this gave Trump the appearance of vindication, as major media outlets declared him innocent of “collusion.”
During a hearing in April, when Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland asked Barr whether Mueller, the special counsel, supported Barr’s conclusion, the attorney general said he didn’t know, despite the fact — revealed on Tuesday — that he had received a letter from Mueller on Barr’s handling of the report. Mueller directly criticized Barr’s initial letter to lawmakers and the public.
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“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
Later in April, just before he released the redacted version of the report, Barr held a news conference where he spun its conclusions even further, echoing the president’s cries of “no collusion” and bizarrely praising Trump for his cooperation with investigators.
Barr has done nothing but run interference for Trump, indifferent to his established pattern of lawbreaking and criminality. And it has left his former colleagues bewildered and searching for answers. “How could Mr. Barr, a bright and accomplished lawyer, start channeling the president in using words like ‘no collusion’ and F.B.I. ‘spying’?” James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, asked in a Times Op-Ed. Eric Holder, who served as attorney general under President Barack Obama, echoed this dismay on Twitter: “I thought he was an institutionalist, committed to both the rule of law and his role as the lawyer for the American people.” Even Mueller’s even-keeled letter can’t help betraying his expectation that Barr would behave very differently.
But the better question is why anyone expected otherwise. You don’t have to dive deep into Barr’s history to see that he is an apparatchik, less committed to the rule of law than he is to his political party and its leadership.
In 1989, Barr, then assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, determined that the F.B.I could legally seize criminal suspects in foreign countries without consent from their governments. In doing so, Barr changed the department’s position — in a 1980 legal opinion, the government said that such kidnappings were unlawful.
It was a controversial opinion, especially given its key implication at the time — that the United States could abduct Gen. Manuel Noriega of Panama, who had seized power that spring. In response, Congress called Barr to testify. “Kidnapping a suspect would make the U.S. into an international outlaw,” Representative Don Edwards of California said during the hearing, as he outlined the consequences for America’s reputation if federal authorities had free rein to kidnap. Congress also asked Barr to release his memorandum to the public, but he refused. Instead, he wrote a 13-page summary that he claimed contained its “principal” arguments and conclusions, something that should sound familiar to contemporary observers.
Except it didn’t. In 1991, Congress obtained a copy of the full memo. It contained several points not present in the summary, including the contention that the president of the United States could ignore the United Nations’ prohibition of state-sponsored kidnapping.
Barr misled Congress and the public through omission. But by then he was already on his way to confirmation as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, where he would recommend pardons for key figures in the Iran-contra scandal, which stymied a yearslong investigation into executive-branch lawbreaking that implicated the sitting president.
Helping Republican presidents act with impunity is William Barr’s stock-in-trade — it’s what he does. Even before joining Trump, he wrote an unsolicited memo arguing outright that a president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice if the underlying actions fall under his lawful authority and the accusations are false — the same argument he made at Wednesday’s hearing. “Most of the obstruction claims that are being made here, or episodes, do involve the exercise of the president’s constitutional authority,” Barr said to Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont. And he asserted, “We now know that he was being falsely accused.”
For Barr, there are no apparent limits to presidential authority, at least as long as that president is a Republican. His theory of presidential immunity did not extend to Bill Clinton, for example, whose impeachment Barr defended.
The memo even shows the same lack of interest in the facts of the investigation that Barr demonstrated during his exchange with Senator Kamala Harris of California, during which he admitted that neither he nor his office examined the evidence behind the Mueller report before determining the president could not be charged with obstruction of justice.
What we’ve seen over the past two months is a professional at work. Someone who understands his mission and acts accordingly. Unless he voluntarily resigns, Barr will be attorney general for at least the next 20 months, or until Trump dumps him, which seems unlikely given his success at protecting the president. For now, there doesn’t appear to be much his opponents can do, but there is something they can learn.
If Barr had ever been held accountable for his actions in the past — if he had ever faced scrutiny or social sanction for his work on the Iran-contra cover-up — he might have never resurfaced to protect another Republican president accused of serious wrongdoing. The same goes for other figures in the Trump administration who were welcomed back into the halls of power despite condoning torture or abusing the public trust.
If and when progressives retake the White House and the Senate, they have to make accountability a priority. Otherwise, the Bill Barrs of the world will emerge over and over again, ready to do their yeoman best.
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东方心经2O18年马报资料 【景】【欢】【朝】【着】【景】【达】【明】【淘】【气】【地】【吐】【了】【吐】【舌】【头】：“【那】【我】【今】【天】【这】【不】【是】【让】【爸】【开】【眼】【了】【嘛】。” 【多】【日】【不】【见】，【景】【欢】【的】【调】【皮】，【让】【景】【达】【明】【有】【些】【恍】【惚】。 【从】【他】【和】【景】【欢】【闹】【崩】【了】【后】，【景】【欢】【在】【他】【面】【前】【小】【心】【翼】【翼】，【谨】【小】【慎】【微】。 【没】【有】【往】【日】【的】【活】【泼】
【世】【人】【总】【说】，【成】【功】【是】3【分】【天】【注】【定】，7【分】【靠】【打】【拼】。 【然】【而】，【事】【实】【的】【真】【相】【却】【是】，【哪】【怕】【你】9.99【分】【努】【力】【打】【拼】，【差】【了】【最】【后】【那】0.01【分】【的】【天】【注】【定】，【你】【也】【没】【办】【法】【成】【功】。 【就】【比】【如】，【你】【努】【力】【工】【作】【一】【辈】【子】，【好】【不】【容】【易】【存】【了】【一】【百】【万】，【结】【果】【到】【头】【得】【了】【个】【不】【治】【之】【症】，【要】【么】【一】【百】【万】【续】【命】，【痛】【苦】【的】【治】【疗】【中】【苟】【延】【残】【喘】【几】【年】，【要】【么】【干】【脆】【直】【接】【等】【死】！
【中】【新】【社】【重】【庆】11【月】10【日】【电】 (【记】【者】 【钟】【旖】)【一】【座】【城】【市】【该】【如】【何】【实】【现】【高】【质】【量】【发】【展】？10【日】【在】【此】【间】【召】【开】【的】2019【重】【庆】【英】【才】【大】【会】【上】，20【余】【位】【中】【国】“【两】【院】”【院】【士】【从】【各】【自】【研】【究】【领】【域】【出】【发】，【建】【言】【共】【商】【科】【技】【创】【新】【和】【城】【市】【发】【展】【新】【思】【路】。
“【我】【给】【宅】【男】【同】【胞】【们】【丢】【脸】【了】！” 【于】【淼】【在】【心】【里】【哀】【怨】【地】【叫】【着】。 （【作】【者】：【作】【为】【一】【个】【单】【身】【二】【十】【多】【年】【的】【单】【身】【狗】，【你】【不】【会】【感】【到】【羞】【愧】【么】。） 【小】【短】【手】【的】【限】【制】，【导】【致】【他】【陷】【入】【了】【一】【种】【千】【言】【万】【语】【口】【难】【开】【的】【尴】【尬】【状】【态】。 【一】【时】【间】【都】【急】【红】【了】【脸】。 【洪】【兴】【在】【一】【旁】【看】【着】【于】【淼】【如】【此】，【想】【笑】【却】【又】【不】【好】【意】【思】，【只】【得】【强】【忍】【着】。 “？” 【为】【了】【给】东方心经2O18年马报资料【阎】【奕】【辰】【闭】【目】【养】【神】【的】【时】【候】，【接】【到】【了】【一】【个】【陌】【生】【的】【电】【话】。 【是】【一】【个】【略】【带】【着】【几】【分】【阴】【沉】【的】【老】【者】【声】【音】：“【辰】【少】，【久】【仰】【大】【名】！” 【阎】【奕】【辰】【倏】【然】【睁】【开】【眼】，【黑】【眸】【中】【厉】【光】【一】【闪】【而】【过】，【他】【沉】【着】【冷】【静】【道】：“【你】【是】【谁】？【想】【做】【什】【么】？” 【狄】【皇】【疑】【惑】【的】【看】【着】【阎】【奕】【辰】。 【老】【者】【呵】【呵】【一】【笑】：“【我】【想】【请】【辰】【少】【到】【一】【个】【地】【方】【来】。【这】【里】【不】【止】【有】【慕】【紫】【烟】，【还】【有】【辰】【少】
“【小】【殷】，【怎】【么】【这】【么】【晚】【了】【还】【不】【回】【家】，【再】【不】【回】【去】，【阿】【芸】【该】【着】【急】【了】。” 【猝】【不】【及】【防】【有】【人】【喊】【了】【他】【一】【声】，【祁】【殷】【又】【怔】【了】【好】【久】，【才】【终】【于】【意】【识】【到】【这】【是】【什】【么】【情】【况】——【后】【来】【已】【经】【变】【得】【陌】【生】【了】，【可】【在】【生】【命】【的】【某】【一】【个】【时】【间】【段】【里】【头】，【这】【也】【还】【是】【熟】【悉】【的】。 【那】【是】【他】【成】【年】【之】【前】【的】【时】【光】，【那】【个】【时】【候】，【他】【同】【晏】【识】【芸】、【晏】【识】【青】【一】【起】，【住】【在】【一】【个】【小】【镇】【上】，【小】【镇】【上】
【明】【明】【就】【是】【一】【个】【完】【全】【陌】【生】【的】【词】【汇】。 【但】【是】【突】【然】【之】【间】【就】【直】【接】【冒】【到】【了】【脑】【海】【上】【来】，【仿】【佛】【是】【已】【经】【深】【入】【灵】【魂】【的】【习】【惯】。 【可】【是】【当】【突】【然】【冒】【出】【来】【这】【个】【词】【汇】【之】【后】，【聿】【司】【乔】【又】【是】【一】【头】【雾】【水】。 【手】【机】……【到】【底】【是】【什】【么】？ 【聿】【司】【乔】【沉】【吟】【片】【刻】，【看】【向】【了】【那】【传】【信】【的】【小】【兵】，“【除】【此】【之】【外】，【还】【有】【没】【有】【说】【什】【么】？” 【小】【兵】【努】【力】【回】【想】【了】【一】【下】，【还】【是】【摇】【了】【摇】