Trump AG Nominee William Barr Told Trump To F*ck Off A Non-Zero Number Of Times!
Know that thing about how nobody wants to work for Donald Trump, because it's a shit sandwich and you either lose whatever good reputation you built and render yourself unemployable (best case scenario), or you get a one-way ticket to being investigated by a Democratic Congress for the next 10 years, prison, or both?
No, we're not talking about Trump's fruitless search for somebody self-loathing enough to be his next chief of staff, though that's the same genre of story as this one. We're talking about Trump's selection of William Barr to be his next attorney general, a nomination Barr didn't reallywant. We discussed the other day all the ways Barr is a problematic AG nominee, considering all his past statements about the Robert Mueller investigation and how Hillary Clinton should really be investigated for raping puppies with Russian uraniums in her emails, because that's something new and different.
It's funny because -- though he seems to be a Trump Kool-Aid drinker -- this isn't the first time Barr really hasn't wanted to work for Trump. Michael Isikoff reported this weekend that over a year ago, in spring 2017 (when Trump was trying and failing to find top notch lawyers to represent him in the Russia investigation), Barr was one of the many lawyers to tell Trump to fuck off. According to Isikoff's reporting, Trump was really excited that Barr, like an idiot, had written an op-ed saying Trump was right to fire James Comey, an op-ed that bought into Trump's lie that he was firing Comey not to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation, but because Comey handled the Hillary Clinton investigation poorly.
Isikoff reports that Trump wanted Barr as his defense attorney again this year after his last (semi-) sane Russia lawyer, John Dowd, quit-fired himself. But nah, dude, not gonna happen, FUCK OFF!
It's funny because when Don McGahn decided to leave the White House, Trump couldn't find anybody who wanted the job. (He now finally has a White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, after Emmet Flood, Trump's Russia attorney, said nope.) He didn't understand why he, a guy with a reputation for not paying his lawyers and for being the kind of guy two lawyers have to meet with at the same time because he's really bad about lying to his lawyers, didn't want it.
Back when Trump was looking for a really cool lawyer in 2017 -- when he interviewed Barr, apparently -- there was a literal parade of the best and brightest lawyers telling Trump to fuck off. People like Ted Olson. People like Brendan Sullivan, the guy who defended Ollie North. Hell, earlier this year, Trump tried to hire the My Pillow guy and his Fox News wife to be his lawyers, Kool-Aid drinkers both, and they figured out a way to nope out of that shit before they even started keeping track of billable hours.
Even when Trump did finally manage to score some real lawyers, like Ty Cobb and John Dowd, they didn't last, and they both ended up destroying their reputations and acting like literal fucking assclowns in the process. (Dowd, for his yeoman's work, may have ended up with criminal exposure in Robert Mueller's investigation, and now, when he dies, the first paragraph of his obituary will be about how he pissed all over his career by agreeing to be Trump's lawyer. Good going, dude!)
In every single American presidency since baby Jesus was a baby, if the president called and said, "Would you be my chief of staff? Would you be my attorney general?" you would say "It would be the greatest honor of my entire life, sir. When do I start?" But not this president. And now we're seeing that even people who kinda like Trump are beginning to decide they are definitely washing their hair that day and simply do not have time to serve the president.
Barr seems to only be agreeing to the AG nomination out of a sense of duty, according to Isikoff's sources:
Notably, the source said, Barr had watched with dismay Trump's attacks on [Jeff] Sessions and had no interest in putting up with the same sort of abuse. What finally changed his mind? "Patriotism," said [former assistant attorney general and Barr colleague Timothy] Flanigan. He and others say Barr genuinely felt the call of duty, especially after the turmoil the Justice Department has experienced in recent weeks with the selection as acting attorney general of Matthew Whitaker, an obscure and inexperienced former U.S. attorney from Iowa whose main apparent credential was that he had previously defended Trump on cable TV.
Sure, sounds great. Have fun being investigated by the Democrats forever, William Barr! Just stay away from committing any overt acts of obstruction of justice and you'll be cool, buddy!
Of course, all this stuff coming out about Barr -- his past statements about the Mueller investigation, his preconceived notions about the Comey firing, the fact he interviewed to be Trump's defense lawyer -- likely means that, if confirmed, the Department of Justice's ethics lawyers will recommend he recuse himself from the Mueller investigation like a common Jeff Sessions. Just like Brian Benczkowski, who heads DoJ's criminal division and has weird-ass ties to Alfa Bank, which figures prominently into the Mueller investigation, recused without telling Trump.
Just like Acting Attorney General Meatball McNugget is probably recused, even though he's a big dumb Trump-flavored meatball, SHHHHHHH DON'T TELL TRUMP.
Barr would be smart to keep that little factoid to himself as well, if/when he officially gets on the job.
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