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May 31, 2019

AG Barr is an Absolute BALLER

Below, extended quotes from his interview with Jan Crawford.

And I do mean extended; Jan Crawford asks questions intended to get to interesting answers, and Barr provides interesting answers. There's not a lot of wasted time in the interview.

I recommend listening to the whole thing in its entirety, in podcast form, here.

Or just reading the transcript. The interview is an hour long but reading it will take you maybe 20 minutes.

To make this skimmable, I've added short captions before each section so you can decide if you're interested in that bit, and added bold and italics (not in the original) throughout to grab the eye.

But again, it's worth reading or hearing in full.

Here are a quartet of amuses bouches, to whet your appetite.

Though he doesn't name them, he's clearly talking about Comey and Brennan, and maybe Clapper and McCabe, here:

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.

"Higher interest, the better good." Sounds like Comey's book "A Higher Loyalty," no?

He talks about that "snitty" letter that Mueller wrote complaining that the media wasn't reporting the Narrative the way he wanted it. The "staff-driven" line is undoubtedly a shot at Andrew Weismann and the 17 Angry Democrats:

WILLIAM BARR: I don't, I don't know, but, as I said it in the hearing, I thought it was- the letter was a little snitty and staff-driven--

JAN CRAWFORD: Staff-driven?

You heard him.

Here he seems to be talking about Comey, McCabe, Brennan, and all the other professional leakers who are questioning his own capability of handling classified information without leaking it:

I'm amused by people who make a living disclosing classified information including the names of intelligence operative wringing their hands about whether I can handle classified information.

See? Baller.

And now to the media, which is taking the odd position, after publishing leaks for two and half years, that Barr must stop his investigation in order to safeguard American secrets:

Well the media reaction is strange. Normally the media would be interested in letting the sunshine in and finding out what the truth is. And usually the media doesn't care that much about protecting intelligence sources and methods. But I do and I will.

Now, on to the main course. (Some of the above quotes will be re-quoted, in full context.)


On whether Mueller could have, and should have, reached a conclusion on obstruction instead of inviting Congress to decide it in an impeachment probe. Note, at the end, Barr suggests, subtly, that it is not Mueller's job to position himself as an Impeachment Manager for the Democrat-controlled House. Which is what he's done.

JAN CRAWFORD: Mr. Attorney General, thank you very much for sitting down with us. So, obviously we saw the special counsel yesterday make that statement, he analyzed 11 instances where there were possible obstruction and then said that he really couldn't make a decision- conclusion on whether or not the president had in fact committed obstruction because of the existing OLC opinion in the legal counsel's office. Do you agree with that interpretation that that legal opinion prevented him from making a conclusion?

WILLIAM BARR: I am not sure he said it prevented him. I think what he said was he took that into account plus a number of other prudential judgments about fairness and other things and decided that the best course was not for him to reach a decision. I personally felt he could've reached a decision but--

JAN CRAWFORD: Was there anything that would've stopped him in the regulations or in those...that opinion itself, he could've -- in your view he could've reached a conclusion?

WILLIAM BARR: Right, he could've reached a conclusion. The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office but he could've reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity but he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained and I am not going to, you know, argue about those reasons but when he didn't make a decision, the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I felt it was necessary for us as the heads of the Department to reach that decision. That is what the Department of Justice does, that is why we have the compulsory powers like a grand jury to force people to give us evidence so that we can determine whether a crime has committed and in order to legitimate the process we felt we had to reach a decision.

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, I mean, he seemed to suggest yesterday that there was another venue for this and that was Congress.

WILLIAM BARR: Well, I am not sure what he was suggesting but, you know, the Department of Justice doesn't use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to Congress. Congress is a separate branch of government and they can, you know, they have processes, we have our processes. Ours are related to the criminal justice process we are not an extension of Congress's investigative powers.

On Mueller's dereliction of duty to decide, and on Rod Rosenstein being "surprised" to learn that Mueller would punt on this question.

A sharp-eyed friend points out that Rod Rosenstein was supposedly Mueller's boss and supervisor through this process, and yet was surprised by Mueller's decision not to decide.

What the fuck was he doing for two years? Did Mueller not check in with him? Did Rosenstein never ask what the initial findings were?

JAN CRAWFORD: Now you have testified that when you met with Mueller at the Justice Department, you had that meeting, that you were surprised that he told you then that he was not going to reach a conclusion on obstruction.

WILLIAM BARR: Yes, Rod and I were both surprised by that.

JAN CRAWFORD: Did you ask him, look, we need you to make a conclusion on this? You should make a conclusion.

WILLIAM BARR: I wouldn't say I really pressed him on it. I was interested in his thinking on it and he explained his position, said he was still thinking it through and- and- but I didn't really press him nor did Rod.

JAN CRAWFORD: So, but you left that meeting thinking that he wasn't going to have a conclusion?

WILLIAM BARR: That's right.

JAN CRAWFORD: Do you feel because he didn't do that, did he fulfill his responsibility as special counsel? If you look at regulations, it seems to anticipate that you would get a confidential report explaining why he made a decision to either prosecute or decline to prosecute. He didn't do that, seems to me.

WILLIAM BARR: Right but on the other hand he did provide us a report and what he viewed to be the relevant facts. And that allowed us as the, as the leaders of the department to make that decision.

The next few quotes have to do with the media/Democrat/Deep State attack on Barr for releasing a four-page summary in advance of the actual report.

Many of us have suspected that Mueller's and Weismann's plan was to release the report in a form which could not be immediately released, and then fill the media void with selective leaks and their own "summaries" to craft the Narrative as Barr prepared the report.

But Barr saw through that, and released his own summary of conclusions, and then worked like hell to get the report out quickly.

The next few quotes support this theory -- because Barr asked Mueller to identify which parts of the report came from 6(e) grand jury material. Barr asked Mueller that so that he could quickly redact that stuff and then release the report in a day or two.

But Mueller did not comply. They blew off this simple and reasonable request.

Why?

I speculate: Because if Barr had to search through every line of the report to check himself if an assertion or quote came from 6(e) grand jury material, that would slow him down in releasing the report -- giving Mueller/Weissmann all the time in the world to shape the Narrative, in absence of the report.

It is incredible that Mueller ignored his actual boss in so simple a directive, and the question "Why?" must be answered.

JAN CRAWFORD: You said that you had wanted to release the report in full, and you largely have with the grand jury material being, of course, the exception.

WILLIAM BARR: Right. And in the second volume that's one tenth of one percent of the report has been taken.

JAN CRAWFORD: You, I just want to be clear on this. How long and how many, you expected the special counsel's office to redact that material, so to point out what should be redacted --

WILLIAM BARR: Right. Right.

JAN CRAWFORD: So the four-page summary would have been unnecessary?

WILLIAM BARR: Correct.

The four-page summary that the leftwing is so upset about would not have been necessary, had Mueller delivered the report in a disclosable (or almost-disclosable) form.

But Mueller refused.


Here Barr explains why he had to release the summary, given that Mueller had deliberately turned in a report that could not, legally, be released:

WILLIAM BARR: Right, because I didn't think the body politic would allow us to go on radio silence for four weeks. I mean, people were camped outside my house and the department and every- there was all kinds of wild speculation going on. Former senior intelligence officials who were purporting to have it- or intimating that they had inside information were suggesting that the president and his family were going to be indicted and so forth--

JAN CRAWFORD: And saying that publicly?

WILLIAM BARR: Saying that publicly. There was all kind of wild and--

JAN CRAWFORD: And you knew that to be false?

WILLIAM BARR: Yes, and it was wild and irresponsible speculation going on...

Here's the part where Barr says specifically he asked Mueller "for weeks' to identify 6(e) material in the report, so that Barr could quickly scrub it and release the report in a very short time:

WILLIAM BARR: Right, and so because we were not involved in the investigation we would have no way looking at the report of determining what was grand jury material and what wasn't, so we had for a period of weeks been asking the special counsel's office to highlight the stuff so we could quickly process it for release and I guess--

JAN CRAWFORD: For a period of weeks you had asked for this material?

WILLIAM BARR: Yeah even before the March 5 meeting we had asked or raised the subject--

JAN CRAWFORD: And what was the response?

WILLIAM BARR: And then at the March 5 meeting I made it explicit and then after the March 5th meeting we asked..

JAN CRAWFORD: And what was the response?

WILLIAM BARR: We thought it was being-- we thought it was being done and I do believe they were putting in more footnotes in that would be necessary ultimately in identifying the material but whether the wires were crossed or whatever it didn't come in a form that identified the 6E material.

JAN CRAWFORD: And that was a surprise to you when you got the report?

WILLIAM BARR: Yes.

So you tell me: what's an alternate explanation to my speculation that this was done deliberately so that Weissmann and the 17 Angry Democrats could leak to the media during the deliberate multi-week news blackout on the report, and thereby shape the Narrative?

On whether Mueller did not say Trump committed a crime only because of the OLC guidance against indicting a sitting president, and whether there is a "discrepancy" between Barr's and Mueller's statements about this:

WILLIAM BARR: The so-called discrepancy was that I had, I had testified earlier that Bob had assured me that he had not reached a decision that there was a crime committed but was not willing to pursue it simply because of the OLC opinion and that remains the fact. That's what his position is. That's consistent with what he said yesterday. And it certainly is consistent with the joint release we put out. The confusion arose because what Bob Mueller's position was was that the OLC opinion coupled with other things as a prudential matter made him feel that he shouldn't even get into the analysis of whether something was a crime or not and that's a different question than --

JAN CRAWFORD: Right, because you...just because there's evidence of obstruction or crime was committed doesn't mean the person is going to be charged or indicted or found to have committed that crime.

WILLIAM BARR: Right and he didn't even get into that analysis. In other words, what I was discussing earlier was, was Bob, did Bob make a decision there was a crime and the only reason he wasn't saying that was because of the OLC opinion. The fact is Bob did not make a decision that there was a crime. He didn't get into the analysis at all. Part of the reason for that was his judgment about the OLC opinion coupled with other things he just didn't think it was proper exercise of his authority. So it's a totally different issue and that's why, that's why both us feel that this idea that there's been a discrepancy over the OLC opinion is simply wrong.


On Mueller's bizarre self-created legal standard of "we cannot exonerate the President:"

JAN CRAWFORD: What is the fundamental difference? Why...I mean, he said he couldn't exonerate the president. That he had looked at the [evil -- garbled transcription, probably] there - these 11 instances of possible obstruction. He couldn't exonerate the president, if he could he would've stated so. You looked at that evidence and you did. I mean, what is the fundamental difference between your view and his?

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 was 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. In other words, we didn't agree with the legal analysis- a lot of the legal analysis in the report. It did not reflect the views of the department. It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers and so we applied what we thought was the right law but then we didn't rely on that. We also looked at all the facts, tried to determine whether the government could establish all the elements and as to each of those episodes we felt that the evidence was deficient.

On whether the firing of the dainty prima donna and former Communist James Comey could be "obstruction of justice:"

BARR: ... [L]et's take the again the firing of Comey. One of the elements is that you have to show that the act objectively speaking will have the probable effect of obstructing a proceeding and we don't believe that the firing of an agency head could be established as having the probable effect, objectively speaking, of sabotaging a proceeding. There was also we would have to prove corrupt intent, the report itself points out that one of the likely motivations here was the president's frustration with Comey saying something publicly and saying a different thing privately and refusing to correct the record. So that would not have been a corrupt intent. So for each of these episodes we thought long and hard about it, we looked at the facts and we didn't feel the government could establish obstruction in these cases.


The next exchange underscores that Barr is unsatisfied with the FBI/Deep State's constantly-evolving answer about when and why this spying began -- and then Jan Crawford asks about whether he thinks there's something suspicious about the Fusion GPS-arranged Trump Tower meeting. Which he won't answer about.

But his non-answer sounds a lot like he's very bothered by this:

JAN CRAWFORD: What have you seen? What evidence? What makes you think, I need to take a look at this? I mean, what have you seen in the summer of 2016?

WILLIAM BARR: Well, I'll say at this point is that it, you know, I- like many other people who are familiar with intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions about what was going on. I assumed I'd get answers when I went in and I have not gotten answers that are well satisfactory, and in fact probably have more questions, and that some of the facts that- that I've learned don't hang together with the official explanations of what happened.

JAN CRAWFORD: What do you mean by that?

WILLIAM BARR: That's all I really will say. Things are just not jiving, and I'm not saying at this stage that--

JAN CRAWFORD: Was it a timeline?

WILLIAM BARR: There was a timeline, there's some timeline--

JAN CRAWFORD: I mean, there's a concern that this may have happened before we realized that the investigation was initiated in July. I mean, what...

WILLIAM BARR: I don't want to get into those details at this point. I would just say that, you know...

JAN CRAWFORD: But you said there's a timeline concern.

WILLIAM BARR: Well I won't, I won't confirm that, but I'll just say that, you know, there's some questions that I think have to be answered, and I have a basis for feeling there has to be a review of this.

JAN CRAWFORD: You've said, you've said the time frame between the election and the inauguration, you've said this publicly, was kind of strange. Some strange things may have happened. What concerns you there? Specifically, the meeting at Trump Tower.

WILLIAM BARR: I don't want to- I don't want to get into that.

On whether he can be trusted to handle classified information and trusted to declassify only that which would not harm the American interest:

JAN CRAWFORD: And so you won't will you declassify things without reviewing it with them it seems like you have the authority to do that?

WILLIAM BARR: Well in an exceptional circumstance I have that authority but obviously I intend to consult with them. I'm amused by these people who make a living by disclosing classified information, including the names of intelligence operatives, wringing their hands about whether I'm going to be responsible in protecting intelligence sources and methods. I've been in the business as I've said for over 50 years long before they were born and I know how to handle classified information and I believe strongly in protecting intelligence sources and methods. But at the same time if there is information that can be shared with the American people without jeopardizing intelligence sources and methods that decision should be made and because I will be involved in finding out what the story was I think I'm in the best decision to make that decision.


On whether there was "spying," and if it's proper for the Democrats and media and Deep State (but I repeat myself thrice) to freak out over the word:

JAN CRAWFORD: So when we are talking about the kind of the-- well you have used the word spy. You have testified that you believe spying occurred.

WILLIAM BARR: Yes.

JAN CRAWFORD: Into the Trump campaign.

WILLIAM BARR: Yes.

JAN CRAWFORD: You've gotten some criticism for using that word.

WILLIAM BARR: Yeah, I mean, I guess it's become a dirty word somehow. It hasn't ever been for me. I think there is nothing wrong with spying, the question is always whether it is authorized by law and properly predicated and if it is, then it's an important tool the United States has to protect the country.

JAN CRAWFORD: On using the word, I mean, do you understand, and I know that some of the, some former intelligence chiefs have said that the president has made that word somewhat pejorative, that there is spying, this is a witch hunt, this is a hoax, and so your use of that word makes it seem that you are being a loyalist.

WILLIAM BARR: You know, it's part of the craziness of the modern day that if a president uses a word, then all of a sudden it becomes off bounds. It's a perfectly good English word, I will continue to use it.

JAN CRAWFORD: You're saying that spying occurred. There's not anything necessarily wrong with that.

WILLIAM BARR: Right.

JAN CRAWFORD: As long as there's a reason for it.

WILLIAM BARR: Whether it's adequately predicated. And look, I think if we -- we are worried about foreign influence in the campaign? We should be because the heart of our system is the peaceful transfer of power through elections and what gives the government legitimacy is that process. And if foreign elements can come in and affect it, that's bad for the republic. But by the same token, it's just as, it's just as dangerous to the continuation of self-government and our republican system, republic that we not allow government power, law enforcement or intelligence power, to play a role in politics, to intrude into politics, and affect elections.

This is super-interesting -- on whether foreign interference, or inteference by the US's own Deep State, is more troubling for democracy:

JAN CRAWFORD: ...interference versus say a government abuse of power, which is more troubling?

WILLIAM BARR: Well they're both, they're both troubling.

JAN CRAWFORD: Equally?

WILLIAM BARR: In my mind, they are, sure. I mean, republics have fallen because of Praetorian Guard mentality where government officials get very arrogant, they identify the national interest with their own political preferences and they feel that anyone who has a different opinion, you know, is somehow an enemy of the state. And you know, there is that tendency that they know better and that, you know, they're there to protect as guardians of the people. That can easily translate into essentially supervening the will of the majority and getting your own way as a government official.

JAN CRAWFORD: And you are concerned that that may have happened in 2016?

WILLIAM BARR: Well, I just think it has to be carefully look at because the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign to me is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed.

JAN CRAWFORD: Did that happen?

WILLIAM BARR: There were counterintelligence activities undertaken against the Trump Campaign. And I'm not saying there was not a basis for it, that it was legitimate, but I want to see what that basis was and make sure it was legitimate.

JAN CRAWFORD: So--

WILLIAM BARR: That's one of the, you know, one of the key responsibilities of the Attorney General, core responsibilities of the Attorney General is to make sure that government power is not abused and that the right of Americans are not transgressed by abusive government power. That's the responsibility of the Attorney General.

This continues in the next section.

Interesting fact here -- Barr used to be in the CIA, at least as an intern. He points out that it's very strange that the liberal establishment is now saying "YOLO" about the various safeguards which had been erected to keep the government from using FBI and CIA assets to spy on American political organizations and parties:

JAN CRAWFORD: --this. So again, just to go, just so that I think so people can more fully understand this, I mean have you, and I know it's early in the investigation, but when we are talking about the basis for this and why you think it is important and obviously any kind of government abuse of power, I mean, you were in the CIA in the '70s. You can see how that can have....

WILLIAM BARR: Right, when I, when I joined the CIA almost 50 years ago as an intern and this was during the Vietnam, civil rights era and there had been a lot...there were a lot of pending investigations of the CIA and there the issues were what was- when was it appropriate for intelligence agencies, the FBI too was under investigation. You know, the penetration of civil rights groups because at the time there was concerns about contacts with, you know, communist funded front groups and things like that and you know how deeply could you get into civil rights groups or anti-Vietnam war groups. A lot of these groups were in contact with foreign adversaries, they had some contact with front organizations and so forth and there were a lot of rules put in place and those rules are under the attorney general. The attorney general's responsibility is to make sure that these powers are not used to tread upon first amendment activity and that certainly was a big part of my formative years of dealing with those issues. The fact that today people just seem to brush aside the idea that it is okay to you know, to engage in these activities against a political campaign is stunning to me especially when the media doesn't seem to think that it's worth looking into. They're supposed to be the watchdogs of, you know, our civil liberties.

Did he mean the media is blowing it off?

As he makes clear, yes, indeed, he's talking about the media.

This section occurs in a different part of the interview, but he brings it around to the media, so I'll put it here:

JAN CRAWFORD: But it seems like you have a concern that there may have been a bias by top officials in the FBI as they looked at whether to launch and conduct this investigation?

WILLIAM BARR: Well it's hard to read some of the texts with and not feel that there was gross bias at work and they're appalling. And if the shoe were on the other--

JAN CRAWFORD: Appalling.

WILLIAM BARR: Those were appalling. And on their face they were very damning and I think if the shoe was on the other foot we could be hearing a lot about it. If those kinds of discussions were held you know when Obama first ran for office, people talking about Obama in those tones and suggesting that "Oh that he might be a Manchurian candidate for Islam or something like that." You know some wild accusations like that and you had that kind of discussion back and forth, you don't think we would be hearing a lot more about it?

Then he gets again to the media's complete lack of interest -- hostility towards the question, in fact -- about whether the US government targeted a rival political campaign for spying:

JAN CRAWFORD: I know you've seen some of the criticism and the push back on- on this. Do you have any concerns that doing this investigation, talking about de-classifying certain materials- that that's undermining your credibility or the credibility of the department?

WILLIAM BARR: No I- I don't. I think it's- actually the reaction is somewhat strange. I mean normally--

JAN CRAWFORD: Strange?

WILLIAM BARR: Sure.

JAN CRAWFORD: Their reaction?

WILLIAM BARR: Well the media reaction is strange. Normally the media would be interested in letting the sunshine in and finding out what the truth is. And usually the media doesn't care that much about protecting intelligence sources and methods. But I do and I will.

On whether he agrees with Trump's characterization the Deep State conspiracy as "treason:"

WILLIAM BARR: Well, I- as a lawyer I always interpret the word treason not colloquially but legally. And you know the very specific criteria for treason- so I don't think it's actually implicated in the situation that we have now. But I think what he--

JAN CRAWFORD: Legally.

WILLIAM BARR: Right.

JAN CRAWFORD: You don't think that they've committed treason?

WILLIAM BARR: Not as a legal matter, no.

JAN CRAWFORD: But you have concerns about how they conducted the investigation?

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.

And more on "the guardians." He notes that whether the probe was legitimate or not depends on whether the underlying evidence for it was strong or weak, and characterizes it as very weak -- in fact, "bogus."

JAN CRAWFORD: You- I guess when you said that there were things done that were not the typical run of business, ad hoc, small group, it's not how these counterintelligence operations normally work. I think that maybe Comey and others might say well this was such an extraordinary thing we had to keep it so closely held. So we had to do it differently what's your response to that? Is that legit?

WILLIAM BARR: Well it might be legit under certain circumstances but a lot of that has to do with how good the evidence was at that point. And you know Mueller has spent two and half years and the fact is there is no evidence of a conspiracy. So it was bogus, this whole idea that the Trump was in cahoots with the Russians is bogus.

This little bit explains why Huber has been so silent -- apparently he chose to sideline himself while an independent IG investigation looked into the same matter.

This makes no sense to me, given that the IG can only ask questions of current Federal employees while a prosecutor can compel testimony from ex- government officials, and can actually charge people with crimes whereas an IG can only recommend prosecution and recommend professional discipline, but oh well, I guess Huber's been twiddling his thumbs:


Apparently Huber has sidelined himself, waiting for the IG to conduct his own investigation. Which seems like a bad move, because a prosecutor has a lot more authority to investigate than an IG. But Barr seems to say this is "normal" for the department:

JAN CRAWFORD: Um, what's the status of Huber's investigation in Utah? I think the former Attorney General Sessions had asked him to look at this.

WILLIAM BARR: Right, so Huber had originally been asked to take a look at the FISA applications and the electronic surveillance but then he stood back and put that on hold while the Office of Inspector General was conducting its review, which would've been normal for the department. And he was essentially on standby in case Mr. Horowitz referred a matter to him to be handled criminally. So he has not been active on this front in recent months and so Durham is taking over that role. The other issues he's been working on relate to Hillary Clinton. Those are winding down and hopefully we'll be in a position to bring those to fruition.


To wrap up, Barr talks about his reputation, which has been trashed by the left and the media. First part:

JAN CRAWFORD: But when you came into this job, you were kind of, it's like the US Attorney in Connecticut, I mean, you had a good reputation on the right and on the left. You were a man with a good reputation. You are not someone who is, you know, accused of protecting the president, enabling the president, lying to Congress. Did you expect that coming in? And what is your response to it? How do you? What's your response to that?

WILLIAM BARR: Well in a way I did expect it.

JAN CRAWFORD: You did?

WILLIAM BARR: Yeah, because I realize we live in a crazy hyper-partisan period of time and I knew that it would only be a matter of time if I was behaving responsibly and calling them as I see them, that I would be attacked because nowadays people don't care about the merits and the substance. They only care about who it helps, who benefits, whether my side benefits or the other side benefits, everything is gauged by politics. And as I say, that's antithetical to the way the department runs and any attorney general in this period is going to end up losing a lot of political capital and I realize that and that is one of the reasons that I ultimately was persuaded that I should take it on because I think at my stage in life it really doesn't make any difference.

On his reputation and the damage the left is doing to it, part two:

JAN CRAWFORD: When you see some of the criticism and you've gotten quite a bit of it that you're protecting the president that you're enabling the president, what's your response to that?


WILLIAM BARR: Well, we live in a hyper-partisan age where people no longer really pay attention to the substance of what's said but as to who says it and what side they're on and what it's political ramifications are. The Department of Justice is all about the law, and the facts and the substance and I'm going to make the decisions based on the law and the facts and I realize that's intention with the political climate we live in because people are more interested in getting their way politically. so I think it just goes with the territory of being the attorney general in a hyper-partisan period of time.

On his reputation being savaged by his critics (on the left and in the media, but I repeat myself), part three, and about being too old to give any fucks:

JAN CRAWFORD: Does it, I mean, it's the reputation that you have worked your whole life on though?

WILLIAM BARR: Yeah, but everyone dies and I am not, you know, I don't believe in the Homeric idea that you know, immortality comes by, you know, having odes sung about you over the centuries, you know?

Love that.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 01:57 PM

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The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
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