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Those words should cause heavy drinking and bad dreams this weekend for a number of punks who perverted justice and violated their oaths of office. The words were uttered by Attorney General William Barr in the middle of an excellent interview by Catherine Herridge, now with CBS News. You can tell how threatening this interview and the Justice Department’s lengthy and damning motion to dismiss the Flynn plea by the hysterical reactions in the usual quarters.
CBS, to their credit, posted the entire Barr interview transcript, unedited. The interview is tough but fair, and gives us real news and insight into Attorney General Barr’s thinking. The forward-looking portions are worth highlighting:
What should Americans take away from your actions in the Flynn case today?
Well, as I said in my confirmation hearing, one of the reasons I came back is because I was concerned that people were feeling there were two standards of justice in this country. And that the political and that the justice, or the law enforcement process was being used to play political games. And I wanted to make sure that we restore confidence in the system. There’s only one standard of justice. And I believe that this case, that justice in this case requires dismissing the charges against General Flynn.
[. . .]
President Trump recently tweeted about the Flynn case. He said, “What happened to General Flynn should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again.” Were you influenced in any way by the president or his tweets?
No, not at all. And, you know, I made clear during my confirmation hearing that I was gonna look into what happened in 2016 and ’17. I made that crystal clear. I was very concerned about what happened. I was gonna get to the bottom of it. And that included the treatment of General Flynn.
[. . .]
This is one particular episode, but we view it as part of a number of related acts. And we’re looking at the whole pattern of conduct.
The whole pattern of conduct before?
Yeah, the election.
[. . .]
You know you’re gonna take a lot of incoming, as they say in the military, for this decision. Are you prepared for that?
Yeah, I’m prepared for that. I also think it’s sad that nowadays these partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice. And the groups that usually worry about civil liberties and making sure that there’s proper procedures followed and standards set seem to be ignoring it and willing to destroy people’s lives and see great injustices done.
[. . .]
Based on the evidence that you have seen, did senior FBI officials conspire to throw out the national security adviser?
Well, as I said, this is a particular episode. And it has some troubling features to it, as we’ve discussed. But I think, you know, that’s a question that really has to wait an analysis of all the different episodes that occurred through the summer of 2016 and the first several months of President Trump’s administration.
What are the consequences for these individuals?
Well, you know, I don’t wanna, you know, we’re in the middle of looking at all of this. John Durham’s investigation, and U.S. Attorney Jensen, I’m gonna ask him to do some more work on different items as well. And I’m gonna wait till all the evidence is, and I get their recommendations as to what they found and how serious it is.
[. . .]
It sounds to me like one of your objectives is to never allow the Justice Department to be used as a political weapon. That’s what you’re saying you think happened here?
I think, yes. I think there was an aspect of that. And I think, for the last several decades, the Department has been used more and more, or the efforts have been made to draw the Department into that. And I think it’s very important that that not happen.
People, you know, we should choose our leaders through the election process. And efforts to use the law enforcement process to change leaders or to disable administrations are incendiary in this country and destroy our republic.
Think on that last answer, and the phrase “for the last several decades.” This is no dodge by Barr to avoid being accused of targeting President Obama. This is a very senior lawyer, with very long experience in government, who does not like what has been done across Democratic and Republican administrations. Recall that the fraudulent prosecution of Senator Ted Stevens was on President George W. Bush’s watch and was timed to interfere in the election, to move a US Senate seat from R to D. That was when Robert Mueller was Director of the FBI, appointed by President G.W. Bush.
Speaking of Mueller, his name came up, and not in a good way:
Newly declassified footnotes in the Horowitz report suggest that the Steele dossier was likely the product of Russian disinformation. And there were multiple warnings to the FBI at that time, yet they continued to use that. How do you explain that?
I think that’s one of the most troubling aspects of this whole thing. And, in fact, I said it in testimony on the Hill, I can’t remember if it was my confirmation, that I said I was very concerned about the possibility that that dossier and Steele’s activities were used as a vector for the Russians to inject disinformation into the political campaign.
I think that is something that Robert Mueller was responsible for looking at under his charter, which is the potential of Russian influence. But I think it was ignored and there was mounting indications that this could very well have been happening and no one really stopped to look at it.
These are very smart people who were working in the special counsel’s office, and in senior levels of the FBI. So what drove them here?
Well, I think one of the things you have to guard against, both as a prosecutor and I think as an investigator, is that if you get too wedded to a particular outcome and you’re pursuing a particular agenda, you close your eyes to anything that sort of doesn’t fit with your preconception. And I think that’s probably the phenomenon we’re looking at here.
Attorney General Barr is a realist. He knows whatever action he takes is, in the end, subject to being gutted if the American electorate chooses to hand the keys to the Constitution over to the Democrats this November:
In closing, this was a big decision in the Flynn case, to– to say the least. When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written? What will it say about your decision making?
Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.
I mean, it’s not gonna be the end of it.
What do you mean, it’s not the end of it?
Well, I said we’re gonna get to the bottom of what happened.
Elections have consequences. Series of elections have consequences. We will get the government, at every level, for which we vote or fail to vote and volunteer (to drive turnout, collect ballots, and protect the process).