After casting a dire assessment of Donald Trump’s legal standing, former Attorney General Bill Barr gutted a plethora of arguments that the former president’s supporters have used to defend him on his mishandling of classified documents.
The former Trump AG warned that the former president is “toast” if “even half” of Jack Smith’s 37-count federal indictment turns out to be true. Barr did so by saying Trump’s mishandling of documents put national security at risk, and he also flatly dismissed the notion of Trump being a “victim” of political persecution.
Barr explained to Fox News’ Shannon Bream that the documents probe is different from RussiaGate in that the latter was based on a “false claim,” whereas “the government acted responsibly” with the former.
They gave him every opportunity to return those documents. They acted with restraint. They were very deferential with him and they were very patient. They talked to him for almost a year to get those documents and he jerked them around. They finally went to a subpoena, and what did he do? According to the government, he lied and obstructed that subpoena. And then they did a search and they found a lot more documents. I don’t think they’re even sure now if they have everything. So, they acted in a very patient way and what they were met with was — according to the government and the indictment — very egregious obstruction.
Since the Justice Department has emphasized Smith’s autonomy in the investigation, Bream asked Barr if Smith has to answer to Attorney General Merrick Garland before the indictment goes public.
“Under the regulation, the call can be made just by the special counsel,” Barr said. “But I am sure they had worked out in agreement whereby he would keep the attorney general in the loop, and if the attorney general had strong feelings, he would voice them. I think the attorney general said pretty early on he would be guided by the recommendation of the counsel.”
After Barr emphasized that Trump’s documents belong to the public, Bream asked him what he would say to those who would try comparing Trump’s case to how other officials have handled such material before. On previous presidents who took their own collection of documents, Barr explained that “those were situations where they arranged with the Archives to set up special space under the management control and security provided by the archivist to temporarily put documents until the libraries were ready.”
(Excerpt) Read more in: Mediaite