Criminal Obstructionists

Our nation’s top law enforcement officer, Bagpiper Bill Barr, Trump’s third and most aggressively protective Attorney General, is instructing all eye witnesses to and those knowledgeable about Trump’s likely obstruction not to testify.  This applies to former DOJ employees who came forward voluntarily and anyone who has received a legally sufficient subpoena to testify.   Barr is fighting all subpoenas in court under a very weak (but effectively clock-running) blanket “protective executive privilege” argument.   Barr is currently trying to prevent Mueller from more than a token appearance before Congress.   Mueller’s July 17th  appearance is now in question, according to Friday’s reports it’s been suddenly rescheduled for July 24th.


Bagpiper Bill is unscrupulous, and dishonest.    His loyalty to his boss, admirable in some circumstances, is despicable in the context of who he’s defending, based on the many sworn witness accounts of ongoing obstruction set out in the Mueller report,  and how he has been defending him– often with outright lies (more about that in a moment).  He shamelessly shills for and doggedly defends his president (who has his own army of lawyers and appointees to do this), rather than serving as the head of a legitimate and fair Department of Justice charged with the administration of justice, which is another word for “fairness”.

Barr echoes each of his boss’s most ridiculous claims, gives them the imprimatur of the head of the Justice Department.   He announced that the DOJ is investigating “spying” on Trump during the Russia-involved Trump campaign (recall, 100 plus instances of coordination between is campaign and Russia do no amount to “collusion”).  Heroic obstructionist Mitch McConnell had told Obama that he would flay him publicly for “interfering in the 2016 election” if Obama revealed the intelligence about and investigation into Russian interference when they were all briefed on it prior to the election.  Barr is investigating the “partisan” Republican-appointed investigators into Trump’s likelier than not obstruction.   Barr is a giddy bully with the power of the Department of Justice to throw behind his threats.   He is currently intimidating witnesses.

We are at a breaking point for this experiment in democracy.  If a one vote majority is good enough to confirm a divisive, ideologically driven partisan Supreme Court justice, and decide, 5-4 (along ideological lines), cases that affect millions and millions of Americans — well, that’s very close to the breaking point of representative democracy.

Oh, yes, just a small bouquet of Barr’s transparent lies.  It is bracing to consider that the new standard for untruth that we need to be concerned with, under this compulsive liar who is the nation’s thrice bankrupt CEO, is chargeable criminal perjury that will result in a 100% conviction.   The Overton Window has been moved radically in the last few years– lying to advance one’s cause is no longer considered anything to be ashamed of.  In the famous phrase of soundly defeated ahead-of-his-time Republican extremist Barry Goldwater “extremism in defense of freedom is no vice”.  Look at Trump, McConnell and Barr.  They’ve learned that this works especially well when done in slow motion.    NO VICE!   LOSERS! 

Here’s Barr, in April, three months back, toward the beginning of his long, slow stalling tactic, designed to run out the clock on legal opposition to his boss’s (and his) obstruction, lying his ample ass off (arguing for no do-over):

Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. 

Only a carping “enemy of the people” would point out the well-known details of the White House’s “full cooperation” (which we all see demonstrated daily, on display alongside the president’s famous sense of fair play):

a) access to campaign and White House documents was extremely fettered.  Trump is currently defying the law and not turning over subpoenaed documents.  He has several cases in court now blocking access to requested documents, financial and otherwise.  In the Deutsche Bank case these documents could be very embarrassing to the president, if not also incriminating.   He’s been ordered to turn them over but has ordered his legal team to appeal the ruling.   Trump has long been what Shakespeare called an “action-taking knave”, a wealthy scoundrel who “lawyers up” to weaselishly get what he wants from people who have the better of the argument.   Delay is the action-taking knave’s best friend and both he and Barr know this well.

b)  key witnesses lied to the FBI and to Mueller, or, like the president and his family members (two of whom are highly placed officials in his administration) simply refused to testify.   The Acosta/Epstein-like deal Trump struck with Mueller was to answer only written queries, each of which, except for the last one, he answered by pleading no memory.  The last question was so unnerving that his lawyers had him actually refused to answer it at all.   Mueller tactfully called this refusal to answer “inadequate”.  Trump also refused to answer Mueller’s follow-up questions.  Inadequate, you know, truly and 100% beyond argument: inadequate..  ONE BITE AT THE APPLE, LOSER!  Senior aides and others were (and are, under this bogus privilege claim) forbidden from giving testimony to anyone, in any sworn setting (NO DO-OVERS, LOSERS!  NO PERJURY TRAPS!)

c) a flimsy protective privilege for all testimony and documents related to the redacted Mueller report has been asserted, on Barr’s written advice to the president.  It is virtually certain that this asserted blanket privilege will eventually be dismissed as groundless, but it might be a crucial year or two before that happens.  In Barr’s defense, it was the one part of his statement he wasn’t lying about, at the time.   Although he later urged the president, in the interest of gaining maximum stonewalling time, to assert this privilege, at the time he spoke, in mid-April, the Orange Menace had asserted no absolute, all-encompassing executive privilege.

As no less an authority than Bill Barr himself said, during a network television interview toward the start of this latest round of blatant obstruction of justice (hey, the top cop from the party that controls 3 of the 4 power centers of our democracy doesn’t have to worry about anyone dropping a dime on HIM):

Sometimes people can convince themselves that what they’re doing is in the higher interest, the better good.  They don’t realize that what they’re doing is really antithetical to the democratic system that we have.

They start viewing themselves as the guardians of the people that are more informed and insensitive than everybody else. They can- in their own mind, they can have those kinds of motives. And sometimes they can look at evidence and facts through a biased prism that they themselves don’t realize.[1]    


Me?  As soon as the legally gerrymandered election of 2020 is over, I’ll be waiting in line for my tattoo, and instructions about which train to get on, to the designated branch of the independently owned Trump American indigents’ Luxury Detention Center.


[1] It’s fascinating, and a bit sickening, to watch this interview, in light of what we know now, having seen more of Mueller’s actual findings, including Trump’s inadequate non-answer to Mueller’s most probing question.   We can now see that this immoral lawyer lies as shamelessly as his current master;  he’s smarter, and much more disciplined, but just as shameless.

Here’s a gem from that interview:

WILLIAM BARR: I’d rather, in many ways, I’d rather be back to my old life but I think that I love the Department of Justice, I love the FBI, I think it’s important that we not, in this period of intense partisan feeling, destroy our institutions. I think one of the ironies today is that people are saying that it’s President Trump that’s shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that, it is hard, and I really haven’t seen bill of particulars as to how that’s being done.

From my perspective the idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and you know, really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president, that is where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring.


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