Bill Barr started his term as President Trump’s second attorney general maligned by the left and is ending it under attack from both sides. But the man is a class act who has consistently done the nation great service.
Barr announced his resignation, with a departure date of Dec. 23, in a classy letter to the president who’s come to criticize him in recent days.
“Your 2016 victory speech in which you reached out to your opponents and called for working together for the benefit of the American people was immediately met by a partisan onslaught against you in which no tactic, no matter how abusive and deceitful, was out of bounds,” Barr wrote, with the “nadir” the “effort to cripple, if not oust, your Administration with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia.”
Indeed, and Barr has done all he can to ensure those who abused their power to harm first candidate and then President Trump will be held accountable. In October, he made John Durham, the former US attorney he’d tasked with investigating the origins of the FBI “Russiagate” probe, a special counsel, using (as he noted) “the same regulation that covered Bob Mueller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election.” Thus a Biden administration can’t easily snuff off the investigation of Justice Department abuses that sought to undermine a duly elected president.
Barr made the announcement after the election so as not to be seen as interfering in the vote. And it turns out he took great pains to avoid any potential Justice Department interference in the race. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Barr took more steps than previously reported” to “prevent word of investigations into Hunter Biden from becoming public.” Trump is angry that Barr kept the probe into Hunter’s shady overseas dealings quiet. But Justice guidelines advise against actions that could seem election interference, such as revealing a confidential criminal investigation.
Trump also resents Barr’s refusal to support claims of major abuses that supposedly stole the election. FBI agents and US attorneys looked at many complaints, Barr said, but: “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.” So much for the left’s insistence that the AG is a Trump toady. Justice even banned the White House’s liaison from the building after she tried “to pressure staffers to give up sensitive information about election fraud and other matters,” the Associated Press reports.
Barr’s letter lists some highlights of his tenure, including working “closely with leaders in Mexico to fight the drug cartels” and cracking “down on China’s exploitation of our economy and workers.” The former CIA analyst drew Americans’ attention to the threat from Beijing, noting in one speech that “for the sake of short-term profits, American companies have succumbed” to Chinese influence, “even at the expense of freedom and openness in the United States.”
Barr, 70, served as AG under President George H.W. Bush but answered the second call to service when it came. “I had a very nice life,” Barr told the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass just before the election. “But I saw what was going on with the attempt to use the Justice Department as a political weapon,” he said, “and I was concerned about it.”
Thank you for your service, sir.