Posted on January 14 2019
I think many of you know I was never a fan of Attorney General Sessions, muchness his onerous public policies .Yet in his final months of his tenure I know I’m not alone in saying that it was painful to watch. The rapid deterioration and constant public humiliation that Donald Trump subjected Jeff Sessions to. It was all unseemly and beyond humiliating, frankly it was petty and vindictive. The irony is not lost on me, that then Senator Sessions was the very FIRST to endorse Trump and readily hit the campaign trail as a “credible” surrogate for Trump. In the end AG Sessions’ recusal of the Trump-Russia Investigation, which was proper and just appears to have been the fork in the road.
For example shortly after the Senate Confirm Sessions as our Attorney General, on February 8, 2017 Trump tweeted this:
And after lengthy consultation with career Department of Justice Ethics Officials then Attorney General Sessions, issued the following March 2017 statement which reads in part:
Having concluded those meetings today, I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States....I have taken no actions regarding any such matters, to the extent they exist.
This announcement should not be interpreted as confirmation of the existence of any investigation or suggestive of the scope of any such investigation.”
You can read the 36+ tweets where Trump went on a protracted smear campaign where he publicly humiliated Sessions, via Trump’s twitter archive found here. It should not be lost on you that this is how Trump treats his own nominees. It’s not just cruel it actually shows you who Trump really is. There’s no such thing as ethics and loyalty when it comes to Trump. The reality is Trump didn’t just humiliate Sessions, one could argue Trump’s tweets are in fact flirting with Witness Tampering and Obstruction of Justice.
Jeff Sessions said he wouldn’t allow politics to influence him only because he doesn’t understand what is happening underneath his command position. Highly conflicted Bob Mueller and his gang of 17 Angry Dems are having a field day as real corruption goes untouched. No Collusion!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2018
The import of then Attorney General Sessions’ statement is after consultation with career DOJ Ethics officials Sessions did the “ethical” thing by recusing himself. The fact Trump raged for the better part of a year because the Attorney General Trump selected, should give all of us pause.
William Pelham Barr
This 1992 Face the Nation interview is worth re-watching, where Barr speaks about Police Brutality. Again for context this was during the Rodney King verdict.
Barr: as you know we have a grand jury in this case and I’m limited in what I can say...at the same time it’s important that we fully develop the facts of this case...I think the last thing the American people want is for us to precipitously rush to indictments...”
According to Barr’s biography published in his (former) Firm’s website:
He received his bachelor's degree in government in 1971 and a master's degree in government and Chinese studies in 1973, both from Columbia University.
He received his J.D. with highest honors in 1977 from the George Washington University Law School
In August of 1991 after the resignation of then Attorney General Richard Thornburgh (so he could run for the US Senate) President George H.W. Bush named Barr as the acting attorney general. According to the National Archives and Reagan Presidental Library, three days after Barr was named Acting Attorney General, he faced a serious crisis, you can read a more fulsome post-mortem report that was published by the FBI in August of 2016. The Talladega Crisis FBI file can be found here.
121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. He directed the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team to assault the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without
You can also read the archived New York Times article regarding the Talladega Hostage Crisis, here. The article reads in part:
At least two loud explosions sounded at 3:43 A.M., signaling the start of the assault, by a team of about 200 specially trained employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Bureau of Prisons.
On a videotape made by the Cable News Network, three or four men dressed in dark clothing and who appeared to be holding rifles scurried across the roof of the cellblock. Seconds later, another boom was heard. Prison officials said the assault was over by 3:46 A.M., and the hostages, all prison or immigration employees, were freed.
After the Talladega Hostage Crisis President George H.W. Bush formally nominated Barr as our Country’s 77th Attorney General. On November 20, 1991 the Senate voted via a Voice Vote to confirm Barr, see Senate archive here.
I could be wrong, but I really do not think Trump knows about this 1992 PBS interview with then Attorney General Barr, where Barr was asked about...wait for it:
AG Barr 1992 PBS interview: Fence Along the Southern Border:
Barr: I thought it was a ditch...I really don’t think it’s necessary and I think it’s overkill to put a barrier from one side or the other....the problem with illegal immigration is, it’s really confined to major metropolitan areas...I really think that’s overkill...illegal immigrants do not cross in the middle of the desert...and walk hundreds of miles...in fact we are only talking about a 200 mile area and in fact 40-50% of illegal crossings only occur in a 14 mile stretch...there are some barriers there [in San Diego] to interdict some of the crossings...
And then things that you just can not makes up. In February of 2017, Bill Barr submitted the following letter (link to Senate letter found here) in support of Trump’s nomination of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Furthermore if I were to have the ability to submit a wish-list of questions for Barr, I would focus on the following subjects:
- Crime Bills introduced in 1981, 1982 and 1983
- Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1983
- the introduction of the Tuition Tax Credit Bill in 1982 and 1983.
- Executive Order 12336 of 1981 which created the Task Force on Legal Equity for Women.
- This task force was charged with eliminating or altering rules and regulations within the federal government which were not gender-neutral. Which served as an “umbrella group” for all civil rights issues for women in the Reagan
I would also ask Bar about his views on Abortion, specifically this 1982 Memo, you can read the whole file from the Reagan Library found here. Also make sure you read page 8, it’s somewhat unnerving to see the “note” from the current DOJ-OIG
I would also ask Barr about the Bankruptcy reform he championed because a cursory look at the large data set from the Reagan library certainly makes me wonder if he still holds those position on Bankruptcy. See link here.
And then I would ask Barr about his current position on the numerous Constitutional Amendments he shepherded. Granted I personally do not disagree with the proposed Balance Budget, Constitutional Amendment but it’s worth revisiting to know where Barr stands with the benefit of hindsight, see Reagan Library link here.
In the meantime I would encourage you to read this William P Barr 12 page document which hyperlinks to numerous documents and copious opinions. And yes I redacted his wife’s name. I have a red line, I never ever invoke a person’s spouse or children. See Reagan Library Barr file here. And remember each page has numerous hyperlinks embedded in the aforementioned document
William P Barr 2019 Written Testimony
If you haven’t taken the time to read the four pages Barr released earlier today, I highly recommend you read his written testimony in advance of tomorrow’s Senate hearing. I offer no opinion, this is strictly informational and hopefully provides you data to help better formulate your own opinions on Barr’s nomination.
First, I believe it is vitally important that the Special Counsel be allowed to complete his investigation. I have known Bob Mueller personally and professionally for 30 years. We worked closely together throughout my previous tenure at the Department of Justice under President Bush. We’ve been friends since. I have the utmost respect for Bob and his distinguished record of public service. When he was named special counsel, I said that his selection was “good news” and that, knowing him, I had confidence he would handle the matter properly.
I still have that confidence today.
I believe it is in the best interest of everyone - the President, Congress, and, most importantly, the American people – that this matter be resolved by allowing the Special Counsel to complete his work.
Senate should ask:
Will you redact the SCO report?
What basis will you redact use to redact ANY portion???
On Barr’s unsolicited 20 page Memo he sent to the Justice Department last year, I’ll admit I had to reread this three times because it’s somewhat of a circular argument and I found his explanation, unpersuasive...because I read his 20 page memo and it was entirely partisan and his equivocation in my opinion goes directly to Barr’s judgement, lack of impartiality and temperament. Which are critically important given Trump consistently blows past Rules of Engagement and/or Agency Protocols.
...distributed it broadly so that other lawyers would have the benefit of my views. As I explained in a recent letter to Ranking Member Feinstein, my memo was narrow in scope, explaining my thinking on a specific obstruction-of-justice theory under a single statute that I thought, based on media reports, the Special Counsel might be considering.
And yet we see some people violently attacking others simply
because of their differences. We must have zero tolerance for such crimes. I am concerned that violence is also rearing its head in the political realm. In our system, political differences are to
be mediated by free speech and elections.
We must not allow political violence to supplant our political discourse, and I will make this a priority as Attorney General if confirmed. (emphasis added)
In closing earlier today I tweeted that I’m not entirely sure we or I can trust Barr’s words, because after reading his four page written testimony I have even more concerns and questions...for example I’d like Barr to explain “poltical violence” and what does he mean when he says “I will make this a priority as Attorney General” and nothing in his written testimony opines on the expected legal battle that Trump will wage should the SCO Report be devastating. MUELLER’S REPORT SHOULD BE RELEASED IN ITS ENTIRETY. Meaning zero redactions, full disclosure of the report sans Barr or Trump intervening.
I’m not entirely sure I take Barr’s word, irrespective of what his written testimony states.— SpicyFiles (@SpicyFiles) January 14, 2019
How many times have nominees said something during the confirmation process only to later recant and/or do exactly the opposite of what they said at the confirmation hearing?
Spoiler MANY https://t.co/2dWMw1GZ5b
Again for now. I’m not entirely comfortable with Barr’s “commitment” in my opinion I believe he’s just giving the Senate lip service and it’s entirely unacceptable.
While you're here, throw us a bone.
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