William Barr and the Trump Russia Investigation
There is much debate about whether the confirmation of William Barr as attorney general of the United States is a positive or negative development for the president. It is difficult to decide which is more important for American democracy: exposing Trump’s fraud or calling out his subordinates’ inconsistencies. Both have their merits, but it would be better for American democracy to expose Trump’s fraud. But if we focus on Barr’s testimony, we could see a significant rift emerge between the two.
The president-elect has been critical of his attorney general in recent weeks. Barr’s recent statement rejected Trump’s claim of widespread election fraud. He also rejected the claims of his predecessor that Trump committed widespread fraud in the 2016 election. In spite of all this, Trump continues to be influential within the Republican Party and serves as the party’s standard bearer.
While the president-elect has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, he has repeatedly characterized the allegations of his former opponent as a “scam,” which is not surprising given Barr’s Republican credentials. He has also denied knowing anything about the collusion in the 2016 election. So how does that affect his investigation? By now, it is safe to say that the Republican Party has been completely turned on its head by the president-elect’s anti-democratic behavior.
Barr was the attorney general under the two Bush administrations, and his testimony in Thursday’s televised hearings shattered Trump’s fraud fantasies under oath. Barr is now the most important witness in the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Trump’s attempts at stealing the election. Barr’s testimony was shockingly unflattering and damaging, and it has been a fascinating and eye-opening episode of the Trump administration’s presidency.
However, the issue surrounding the Russia investigation remains a highly politicized one. It is highly unlikely that the evidence presented will tip the election. Barr had predicted Trump would lose and was ready for Trump to confront him about his alleged misconduct. He was smart enough to grant prosecutors the authority for investigations to begin and launch his own informal investigation. The evidence would have been sufficient to change the outcome if he had done so.
Bill Barr has been on a post Trump rehabilitation tour, despite the controversy. Barr admitted that he would vote for Trump even if the election results were different. Barr, however, did not say that Trump’s campaign was complicit. While the report highlights Trump’s many shortcomings, it is important to remember that he also defended Trump during his time as attorney general.
Barr was urged to publicly contradict the president’s statements, although he has not said that he disagrees with them. Barr’s decision to allow prosecutors to investigate complaints of election fraud overturned longstanding Justice Department policy. A Justice Department policy stated that an official of the government must investigate election disputes. The decision is an extreme example of Barr’s influence over American democracy. So, we must not underestimate the potential damage that this will cause.