Bill Barr has always been an innovator, a legal visionary, skating on new edges of the law to defend his powerful clients when they appear to be on the ropes. When George H. W. Bush, after losing his reelection bid, was deeply worried about being outed as an Iran-Contra participant in Cap Weinberger’s notes, Barr went to work. Bush would be out of office when Weinberger’s felony trial began, powerless to prevent the detailed meeting notes Weinberger kept from coming into evidence. Bush’s legacy would be tarnished (or worse), since he’d been insisting for years he knew nothing about the ongoing plan to thwart the will of Congress, illegally funding right wing death squads in Central America with illegal sales of military equipment to the mullahs of Iran. Enter Bush’s new A.G. Bagpiper Bill Barr- et, voila (a flourish of the bagpipes, please) a genius solution: a PRE-Trial (why not?) PARDON. NOTHING TO SEE HERE. FOREVER. THE END.
When Mueller’s report came out, after immediately sharing the unredacted pages with Trump’s actual White House attorneys, Barr strongly defended Donald Trump in a series of live televised infomercials for Trump’s innocence. His explanation for a series of actions by Trump that have a strong appearance that the president was trying to thwart, or obstruct, investigations into his suspicious conduct was elegantly simple, and unique: Trump knew he was innocent and so was understandably angry and frustrated, which is why he did what he did to stop the investigations into his innocence. He acted out of anger and frustration, as any one of us would, not with the corrupt intent to obstruct justice. You dig?
This novel “he was angry and frustrated” defense was based on placing reasonable (or even unreasonable, doesn’t matter for our purposes) doubt on a key component needed to convict someone of the crime of obstruction of justice: corrupt intent. In Barr’s innovative and generous view (towards his patrons, all others– mange le merde, comme un dit), there was nothing corrupt about a man who is justifiably angry and frustrated, doing whatever he can to make people criticizing him just shut the hell up. He added the absurd touch that Mueller “admitted” that the president had been “angry and frustrated” once the investigation targeted his actions. You see? Mueller agreed!
The absurdity of this defense is embarrassing, but it was also effective for those who want to see our lying, sociopath president put another staunch Federalist on the Supreme Court. How do you like 6-3, LIBTARDS! How about another tax break for those making more than $50,000,000 a year? And renewed protection of those pure, blameless fetuses, who must be born, and baptized, or else are condemned, prenatally, to eternity in hell’s flames?
This is all old news, of course, Barr made this intelligence insulting “angry and frustrated” defense of his master months ago. What reminded me of the “angry and frustrated” defense was that another loyal Republican zombie (I believe it was House minority leader Kevin McCarthy) used it the other day to justify Trump’s race-baiting tweet about brown-skinned Congresswomen going back to the crime-infested places you come from. He’s not a racist, said the Republican, not at all, he was just angry and frustrated! You know, wink, wink, how these black women can be such haughty bitches! “Angry and frustrated” the new get out of jail card!
“Your honor, my client did not commit assault with intent to inflict serious bodily harm when he broke the victim’s face. His intent was only that he was angry and frustrated, as anyone would have been, subjected to the victim’s harsh ‘wit’. She had been openly and ruthlessly mocking him, your Honor, and my client doesn’t take that, even from a seventy-five year old woman in a wheelchair! He was acting out of anger and frustration, that’s all. When he said ‘I’ll kill you, you black bitch” he was only expressing understandable anger and frustration at this vicious loudmouth with the now justifiably broken face.”
The other great Barr innovation in defense of Trump is the “public” exemption for things that would otherwise appear to be crimes. Barr reminds us over and over that all of these suspicious looking acts, OK, many of them, were done publicly. The old legal principle applies: if you publicly rape somebody, it’s not rape. Same for murder, if you do it with a gun on Fifth Avenue during rush hour, openly and without trying to hide it, well, that’s not really murder is it? It’s something else. Nobody knows what, but, if it was done out of anger and frustration, you understand… well, who could blame the poor fellow?
I would much prefer hearing the plump, handsome A.G. play the bagpipes (he’s won competitions, I understand) than listen to anymore of his “legal” pronouncements piously spoken, breath scented with the pungent aroma of his master’s anus.