UPDATE: While I stand by all my positive opinions about Barr in the article below, it has been pointed out to me by readers that my criticisms of Ms. Crawford were excessive and ufair. The commenters are correct. Rather than relying on my knee-jerk distrust of the MSM, I should have checked this. I can’t promise to be perfect in the future, but I certainly apologize for this mistake.
William Barr’s interview Thursday (transcript here) with Jan Crawford is filled with fascinating details and surprisingly candid responses, but most interesting of all may be that he undertook this dialogue not with friendlies at Fox or the Wall Street Journal but with CBS — the very beating heart of the mainstream media from well before the days of the Dan Rather embarrassment. The network is the sine qua non of Deep State establishmentarianism.
You would think they would crucify him, but Barr is fearless — and justifiably so. He knows he is telling the truth and that, as the saying goes, will set you free. He also clearly wanted his words to be heard by the skeptical or confused more than those who already believe the Russia probe was politically motivated from the beginning.
Ms. Crawford, a lawyer who has written a book on the Supreme Court, was most likely chosen by the network for her legal skills and potential ability therefrom to trap the attorney general. If that is true, she more than met her match. Without showing a bit of rancor, Barr completely dismantled the arguments put forth by Robert Mueller last week at his press conference sans questions.
“WILLIAM BARR: Well, I think Bob said that he was not going to engage in the analysis. He was, he was not going to make a determination one way or the other. And he also said that he could not say that the president clearly did not violate the law, which of course is not the standard we use at the department. We have to determine whether there is clear violation of the law and so we applied the standards we would normally apply. We analyzed the law and the facts and a group of us spent a lot of time doing that and determined that both as a matter of law, many of the instances would not amount to obstruction.JAN CRAWFORD: As a matter of law?WILLIAM BARR: As a matter of law. …”
JAN CRAWFORD: So you don’t regret taking the job?
WILLIAM BARR: No.
JAN CRAWFORD: Not even today?
WILLIAM BARR: I’d rather, in many ways, I’d rather be back to my old life but I think that I love the Department of Justice, I love the FBI, I think it’s important that we not, in this period of intense partisan feeling, destroy our institutions. I think one of the ironies today is that people are saying that it’s President Trump that’s shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that, it is hard, and I really haven’t seen bill of particulars as to how that’s being done. From my perspective the idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and you know, really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president, that is where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring. [bold mine]
JAN CRAWFORD: And you think that happened even with the investigation into the campaign, potentially?
WILLIAM BARR: I am concerned about that.
What magnificent understatement.
So now we are in phase two of the Russia Probe — the cover-up (meaning the real “cover-up,” not the absurd Nancy Pelosi version). Barr’s CBS interview provides the best guideline so far as to how this will proceed.
John Huber — in a surprise announcement by Barr — is gone. Indeed, the AG indicated, Huber never really got started and was putatively waiting for the inspector general’s report. No surprise here, I suppose, since Huber was a Jeff Sessions appointment.
Barr, of course, has replaced him with John Durham, who sounds like the right man for the job, if only because the New York Times is alarmed.
Will all this add up to indictments for treason? Barr says no in the interview, but of course, he’s being a “gent,” a far better stance to take now and one which undoubtedly strikes more fear in the hearts of those who deserve the worst for what has happened. Barr knows how to play them like the proverbial fiddle.
He further has an analysis of why it happened.
WILLIAM BARR: Yes but you know, when you’re dealing with official government contact, intent is frequently a murky issue. I’m not suggesting that people did what they did necessarily because of conscious, nefarious motives. Sometimes people can convince themselves that what they’re doing is in the higher interest, the better good. They don’t realize that what they’re doing is really antithetical to the democratic system that we have. They start viewing themselves as the guardians of the people that are more informed and insensitive than everybody else. They can — in their own mind, they can have those kinds of motives. And sometimes they can look at evidence and facts through a biased prism that they themselves don’t realize.
Interesting thought. I wonder where I read it before.
Roger L. Simon — co-founder and CEO emeritus of PJ Media — is a prize-winning author and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. His new novel is coming soon.