'Barr has lit his reputation on fire': Washington Post editorial board


The Washington Post’s editorial board is not pulling any punches in the wake of Attorney General William Barr’s craven, self-serving testimony Wednesday.

In fact, according to the venerable paper, Barr has done no less than torch his reputation.

Just a sampling:

Mr. Barr has lit his reputation on fire, and he just added more fuel during his Wednesday testimony before a Senate panel.

Much of the hearing centered on the attorney general’s decision to release a highly misleading representation of the findings of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation. In particular, Mr. Barr failed to acknowledge the alarming nature of Mr. Mueller’s analysis on whether President Trump obstructed justice, and he did not explain why the special counsel declined to say whether Mr. Trump was guilty of the charge. This really matters: Given the damning account in Mr. Mueller’s report, what appeared to be keeping the special counsel from accusing the president of criminal acts was not the lack of evidence but the fact that the president cannot be charged under Justice Department rules.

Mr. Barr defended himself Wednesday by insisting that his memo, publicized weeks before he released any additional material, was technically accurate, despite the fact that his spin deeply affected the reception of Mr. Mueller’s full report when the public finally got it. It was not supposed to be a full summary of the special counsel’s report, he insisted — just a brief explanation of the top-line conclusions. Mr. Barr’s long history in Washington belies his argument: He should have known how his pre-spinning of the Mueller report would distort the truth of the special counsel’s damning findings to the president’s benefit. He did it anyway.

It’s long been obvious that Barr is not our attorney general so much as Donald Trump’s lawyer, spinmeister, and toady. Today’s hearings made that crystal clear.

It boggles the mind that, absent outright blackmail, longtime public officials continue to genuflect and debase themselves at the altar of Trump. They have to know they’re not serving the country. If they think they’re somehow breathing life back into the purpling carcass of the GOP, they’re deluding themselves.

No, all they’re doing is propping up a lifelong grifter who lacks even a scintilla of dignity or genuine patriotic feeling.

Barr must resign before this clown show gets even more farcical. And Mueller needs to testify.

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