William Barr, a professional who confidently misleads, will be testifying tomorrow in Congress. I was thinking about this diehard monarchist the other day, and read up a bit on his criminal investigation into the origins of the Mueller Investigation and Obama’s illegal “spying” on the Trump campaign. The “oringes” as our president said. Very suspicious oringes, by a man who was not even constitutionally eligible to be president!
Heather Cox Richardson sent a great Letter to Americans last night, reminding everyone that she wrote her first nightly letter following the story of the July 25, 2019 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky when Trump asked for a favor in return for already approved US military aid to Ukraine. The famous “perfect call,” the complete non-quid pro quo the Democrats tried to impeach the president over in the first public federal trial in US history without witnesses or evidence presented .
The timeline the historian provides, with Barr urging the acting Director of National Security to disregard the law by covering up the “credible”, “urgent” whistleblower complaint about the call, reminded me of another heavy criminal count against Bill Barr that should be part of his impeachment.
Barr, who auditioned for Trump by writing an unsolicited memo explaining how he’d do much better than Jeff “Recuse me,” Sessions in protecting the president, how he’d make the Mueller Report go away, no matter how damaging the findings might be. He was then as good as his word. Only Barr’s smooth, brazen lying account of the findings of the investigation kept a lid on the damning report (Mueller showed sweeping and systematic Russian interference in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump, with many contacts with the Trump campaign, and led to successful prosecutions of Trump operatives who lied to the FBI, Mueller and Congress about them, and established a triable case that Trump was guilty of a long pattern of criminal obstruction of justice, something he and Barr continue to practice every day).
A little less than a year ago, when the new acting Director of National Intelligence got the report on Trump’s phone shakedown of Zelensky, a complaint determined to be “credible” and “urgent,” instead of forwarding it to Congress, as required by law, he ran it by Trump’s new Attorney General Bill Barr. Under the law, the DNI had to forward a credible, urgent whistleblower complaint to Congress within a certain short time frame. Barr told him to forget about it. The complaint that led to Trump’s impeachment only came out because the Inspector General (Michael Atkinson, recently fired by Trump) informed Schiff and other, eh… “sick, dangerous traitors” of the whistleblower’s complaint that was being illegally withheld from Congress at Barr’s advice to keep the complaint to himself, no need to send it to Congress.
Recently Barr lied about ordering unmarked federal troops (from the Bureau of Prisons, Border Control, Homeland Security etc.) to unlawfully clear Lafayette Park for Trump’s bible photo op— there’s video of him talking to the commanders right before the violent assault on peaceful protesters. Barr stated recently that Roger Stone had been “righteously” prosecuted and convicted of those seven felony counts and that the DOJ was never influenced by political considerations of any kind (even though Barr, seemingly in response to Trump tweets, infamously reduced the sentencing recommendations right before Stone was sentenced). A day or two after making his comments about the “righteous prosecution” of self-proclaimed dirty trickster Roger Stone, when Trump commuted Stone’s sentence, Barr acknowledged that Stone was perhaps a victim of an illegally started partisan scheme to topple the president.
Same deal with General Michael Flynn — in spite of his two guilty pleas, Barr decided that the man was an innocent victim of Trump’s enemies — someone who fell into a treacherous “perjury trap” set by vicious Deep State haters of America! He twisted the meaning of “material” to mean that the lies Flynn had admitted to telling were, essentially harmless white lies he’d been tricked into telling, certainly not a criminal matter. The real criminals, according to Trump and Barr — many of whom are now under a searching criminal investigation by Barr’s most zealous prosecutor, are unAmerican traitors like Robert Mueller III, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Stzrok, Lisa Page, John Brennan, James Clapper etc.
One of Barr’s first appointments after taking office as Attorney General was a federal prosecutor to investigate the “oringes” of the politically motivated witch hunt investigations into candidate Trump and his connections to Vladimir Putin. Barr assigned longtime federal prosecutor John Durham, an aggressive criminal investigator, with full subpoena powers, to come up with evidence to support criminal charges for those sick, dangerous bastards and their ilk who had illegally spied on Trump’s campaign. Some criminal indictments would be a delicious October Surprise. Durham and Barr have been working on this criminal investigation, internationally, for almost a year and a half .
Last winter Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who investigated the same thing, released a report of his office’s investigation into the legal predicates for an investigation into the Trump campaign’s now known to be extensive ties to the Russian efforts to get Trump elected. His report concluded that the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was adequately authorized and predicated under existing Justice Department and FBI policy. Not without its problems, and partly due to problems with those policies, but adequately predicated in reasonable suspicions of wrongdoing.
Barr and Durham immediately, publicly, shot back:
Barr: “The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.” About thirty minutes later, Durham offered his own statement that “[l]ast month, we advised the inspector general that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.” Durham added that, unlike the inspector general, his team had access to “developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.”
In April 2020 Barr spoke with FOX opinion host Laura Ingraham and said:
My own view is that the evidence [gathered by Durham] shows that we’re not dealing with just mistakes or sloppiness. There is something far more troubling here, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it. And if people broke the law, and we can establish that with the evidence, they will be prosecuted.”
I think what happened to [Trump] was one of the greatest travesties in American history. Without any basis they started this investigation of his campaign, and even more concerning, actually is what happened after the campaign, a whole pattern of events while he was president. So I—to sabotage the presidency, and I think that— or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency.
OK, you will say (if only to shut me up), Barr’s a fat, ruthless, unprincipled Nazi fuck — but he is also, literally, an authoritarian enabler and the biggest reason Trump is still in office. He has spent his life fighting a culture war, to the death, to destroy once and for all those who do not hate Communists as much as all Americans should hate those godless bastards. He believes Christ tells him what to do, like Torquemada did as the head of the Spanish Inquisition when they interrogated non-believers by tying them to a stake and setting them on fire.
“My lawyers, the Jesuits, Protectors of the Faith, say the auto de fe is exactly what Jesus most dearly loves, the screaming of heretics dying in agony purifies us all in our devotion to the Prince of Peace and his vision of God’s infinite mercy…”
Barr, by the way, like Scalia and Kavanaugh, is in the intellectual line of those defenders of the faith, the Jesuits, geniuses at using their interpretation of God’s law (and man’s) to fully justify the worst things imaginable as Christ’s will.
Without Barr, Trump’s new Roy Cohn, Trump would already be gone. Barr has been a criminal AG, as corrupt an AG as Trump is a corrupt president. Speaker Pelosi, who squashed a Criminal Obstruction of Judgment count (well-supported by Mueller’s findings and in evidence continually since Mueller’s report came out) in Trump’s impeachment, won’t let talk of Barr’s impeachment be a distraction to Biden being elected, to maintaining the current power structure of the Democratic Party, whatever the unwashed protesting masses may think about it.
Maybe all the polls are right this time and Biden will win. We have to hope he does, if Barr doesn’t pull out all the federal stops to block voting in major cities, round up “agitators”, bring in violent riot squads, mobilize ICE and the US Marshals and goons from the Bureau of Prisons to close voting sites. These same squads of unmarked riot police will defend Trump in his White House bunker (POTUS’ll only be inspecting it– not hiding in it!) in the event Trump loses the rigged election, the election Barr and Trump both insist will be stolen by millions of fake mail-in ballots.
In the event the election goes against Mr. Trump, Barr will be there next to him in the bunker, barking orders until the last protester is safely out of commission or in a privatized detention/death camp — or until POTUS puts a gun in his mouth. Bet your last Confederate dollar on it, boys and girls.
 Historian Heather Cox Richardson:
A year ago today, Trump had a phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and promised to deliver the money Congress had appropriated for Ukraine’s protection against Russian military incursions. Then he added: “I would like you to do us a favor, though….”
While Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who was on the call, told his superiors what he had heard, someone else filed a whistleblower complaint. That complaint went to Trump’s own appointee at the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General’s office, Michael Atkinson. Atkinson agreed that the matter was both “credible” and “urgent” and that House and Senate Intelligence Committees must be informed, as required by law.
Atkinson followed the law, passing the information to the acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, on August 26. Maguire had only taken office ten days before, on August 16, after Trump’s first DNI, Dan Coats, and Coates’s second-in-command, Sue Gordon, both resigned. As an acting director, rather than a Senate-confirmed leader, Maguire served at the pleasure of the president.
Maguire was supposed to scour the whistleblower complaint of all classified information before forwarding to Congress by September 2, as the law required. But, instead, Maguire took the complaint to the Department of Justice, headed by Trump loyalist Attorney General William Barr. On his advice, Maguire decided not to turn over the information to Congress.
When that happened, Atkinson told the relevant congresspeople that the DNI was illegally withholding the complaint. On September 10, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff (D-CA) demanded that acting DNI Maguire produce it. Maguire refused, saying that the complaint was about someone not in the Intelligence Community, and therefore not covered by the whistleblower law. (The law does not give him the authority to refuse to deliver a complaint his IG considers credible and urgent. It says he MUST deliver it.)
On Friday, September 13, Schiff wrote a scathing letter to Maguire that brought this whole issue to public attention, noting that it sure seemed like Maguire might be protecting the president, and demanding Maguire follow the law and hand over the whistleblower complaint.
I happened to be scrolling through Twitter when Schiff’s letter dropped, and I recognized it for what it was: a powerful member of Congress accusing a specific member of the Executive Branch of breaking a specific law… the sort of moment on which American history turns.
And that, my friends, is how these Letters began.
Since then, the House impeached Trump but the Senate exonerated him; Vindman is gone; Atkinson is gone; Maguire is gone. But as Trump has increasingly consolidated his power, Americans have woken up and taken to heart that democracy is not a spectator sport.
It has been a year by the calendar, but an eternity in the history of this nation.
Still, for all that I yearn for a time when we can go for days without worrying about what’s going on in the White House, I am profoundly grateful to have discovered so many other people who care as deeply as I do about this country.
There is plenty of news today, but none of it breaking, so I am going to let it go for a night.
See you all tomorrow.
 From Lawfare (at the link above and HERE)
The fruits of the Durham investigation will reportedly be disclosed later this summer, or in the fall. This post does a deep dive into what has been publicly reported about the Durham investigation, and then offers analysis. We include Barr’s commentary on the investigation, but not the president’s. The bottom line is that (1) the probe as it developed is not one that should have been conducted by a federal prosecutor conducting a criminal investigation, and (2) Barr’s tendentious running commentary on the investigation violates Justice Department rules, politicized the investigation and damaged the credibility of whatever Durham uncovers. (The post is long. If you want to skip the lengthy factual recitation and jump to the analysis, click here.)
from that analysis section:
No contemporary attorney general has, like Barr in the Durham investigation, offered such extended, opinionated, factually unsupported and damning public commentary, naming names and drawing conclusions, about an ongoing investigation that is at least in part a criminal investigation.