William Barr, President Trump’s pick for attorney general, says he believes there is enough substantial evidence of Clinton Foundation corruption and malfeasance to warrant a formal investigation into their alleged crimes.
According to the incoming attorney general, the Department of Justice would be “abdicating its responsibility” if it does not investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton and their Foundation.
Speaking to the Washington Post, William Barr explicitly called for an investigation into the Clintons, saying:
“I don’t think all this stuff about throwing [Clinton] in jail or jumping to the conclusion that she should be prosecuted is appropriate.” Then he added: “But I do think that there are things that should be investigated that haven’t been investigated.”
Barr also told the New York Times that there is more basis to investigate Hillary Clinton for the Uranium One deal than there is to investigate Trump for collusion with Russia. According to Barr, the Justice Department was wrong to give Hillary Clinton a get out of jail free card.
“To the extent it is not pursuing these matters, the department is abdicating its responsibility,” Barr said.
In both interviews, Barr declined to judge President Trump harshly for calling for specific investigations — even ones affecting him and his political opponents. Barr is an old-fashioned prosecutor who believes in the Constitution and the rule of law.
Barr also made it clear he believes it is acceptable for a president to call for investigations into his political opponents, so long as there is actual evidence of wrongdoing at hand and the decision was not made for political reasons.
According to the Washington Post, Barr is adamant these conditions have been met when it comes to the Clintons:
But Barr apparently thinks those conditions have been met on the topic Trump had strongly tried and failed to get then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate — the Clintons — and that has to be music to Trump’s ears.
Barr also has given Trump a complete pass on one of the central events in the Mueller probe: Trump’s firing of James B. Comey as FBI director. In a Washington Post op-ed, Barr said Trump not only did nothing wrong but also that he “made the right call”:
It is telling that none of the president’s critics are challenging the decision on the merits. None argue that Comey’s performance warranted keeping him on as director. Instead, they are attacking the president’s motives, claiming the president acted to neuter the investigation into Russia’s role in the election.
The notion that the integrity of this investigation depends on Comey’s presence just does not hold water. Contrary to the critics’ talking points, Comey was not “in charge” of the investigation.
Republicans on Sunday were optimistic about William Barr’s chances of being confirmed as attorney general.
Asked by Fox News about the likelihood that Barr will be confirmed as attorney general, Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “Unless there’s something really strange, 100 percent.”
It’s beer and popcorn time.
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