William Barr was emulating his boss when he drafted his opinion of the Mueller Report, when testified before Congress, when he told the world at a press conference that he was not aware of Mueller’s opinion of his four page summary. When Barr sat in front of the intelligence committee he responded to questions concerning the Special Counsel’s opinion of the way he had redacted and summarized the report, he denied any knowledge. He must have known that Mueller’s letter setting out his objections would some day become public. But he sat there, filled with hubris, apparently unperturbed by the existence of Mueller’s potentially explosive letter. Robert Mueller wrote, and perhaps told Barr over the phone, that his summary caused confusion and did not adequately convey the findings. The whole issue of Barr’s lies and misleading statements has reignited calls for impeachment.
Tom Nichols opines that Barr has decided that he would just do one more thing before retiring, giving Trump cover as a final offering, not concerned about the consequences. And we have to wonder again why Barr, like Cohen, Manafort, and others, have surrendered their consciences and their professional lives at the feet of an idol with clay feet. And we also wonder about Rosenstein’s obsequious farewell words about Trump. Are they all awed by Trump’s power and wealth? Are they aspiring to enjoy the years after Trump leaves the White House as occasional guests of Mar-a-Lago, breathing the rarefied air of the one percenters? Even the White House doctor who certified Trump was a great physical specimen was blinded by the light. But what will they do if after Trump leaves in 2020 the Southern District of New York sends him to prison? They will be looking at the worst versions of themselves in the mirror.