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William Barr Wants to Lock Up Trump’s Deep State Enemies, But Not Joe Biden

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19.05.2020

Attorney General William Barr made a gesture of putative magnanimity when he said at a news conference Monday that he would not, in fact, seek to lock up Barack Obama or Joe Biden. This was, perhaps, a small relief. Barr’s tenure has consisted of a race to the bottom that has gone beyond the worst fears of his critics. At least he has finally identified a floor below which he will not sink. It was the Justice Department equivalent of Jared Kushner conceding that Trump will not postpone the November election.

But Barr is not abandoning his campaign of rampant politicization of justice. His gambit is to fulfill the role Trump demands of the position — to be his Roy Cohn — while maintaining the trappings of legal legitimacy. His rhetorical method for positioning himself as a disinterested arbiter of law is to triangulate between two extremes. In his case, the poles are Donald Trump and … Robert Mueller.

Barr described Mueller’s investigation as witch hunt against Trump. “The law enforcement and intelligence apparatus of this country were involved in advancing a false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative against the President,” he asserted. “The proper investigative and prosecutive standards of the Department of Justice were abused, in my view, in order to reach a particular result.” He not only echoed Trump’s description of the Mueller probe, but also his language, calling the investigation “unprecedented in American history,” and vowing “we can’t allow this ever to happen again.”

After having smeared Mueller explicitly, he pushed back ever so gently against Trump’s........

© Daily Intelligencer