The Daily Beast

Did Bill Fucking Barr Just Save American Democracy?!

Drew Angerer

I never thought I’d be asking this, but how much Trumpian damage can Attorney General Bill Barr prevent on his way out the door? In one fell swoop on Monday, Barr dealt a major blow to not one—but two—major Trumpian schemes.

With regard to appointing a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, Barr said he “would have appointed” a special counsel, if there had been a need. In so doing, Barr “stuck a wooden stake through the heart of the idea,” writes conservative Ed Morrissey. Barr’s comments make it next to impossible for deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen to do so (at least, if he cares at all about his reputation). And Barr flatly said there is “no basis right now for seizing machines by the federal government”—a stark rebuke to the advice Trump received from his newly pardoned former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who’d claimed Trump could do just that. (At the same presser, Barr also sided with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s conclusion, which Trump then contested, that Russia was behind recent cyberattacks.)

It’s a remarkable heel-to-face turn from Barr just before the credits roll. From his introduction as a character in the Trump storyline, Barr cast himself as a sycophant. He replaced Jeff Sessions—a Trump true believer whose only weakness was a loyalty to the rule of law that outweighed his otherwise fawning loyalty to Trump. Sessions appropriately recused himself from the Russia investigation; in so doing, he infuriated Trump, who was looking for his own “Roy Cohn.”

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