Commentary

Ask for Attorney General Barr to resign – but for more than protecting the President

Attorney General William Barr
Attorney General William BarrPhoto: YouTube Screenshot

Attorney General William Barr gave an interview last week in efforts to tamp down speculation that he’s putting the president’s personal interests above the rule of law. His most noteworthy comment was that Trump’s tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

Of course, Barr did the interview because, by all appearances, he’s acted more as a mafia consigliere than the attorney general. Barr recently intervened in the sentencing recommendation for Trump’s political advisor and dirty trickster Roger Stone, leading to all four career prosecutors withdrawing from the case.

Related: Texas demands the Supreme Court put an end to a pro-LGBTQ California law

Barr’s push for lighter sentencing earned a congratulatory tweet from Trump, making Barr’s denials of political interference sound hollow.

The whole episode earned Barr an avalanche of criticism. Numerous articles chronicled how attorneys at the Department of Justice (DOJ) fear for their ability to do their job impartially. Meanwhile, more than 1,100 former DOJ prosecutors and officials called on Barr to step down because of his “interference in the fair administration of justice,” among other reasons.

Now more than ever, Barr has been hiding his propensity to protect the president at the expense of the law. He deliberately mischaracterized the Mueller Report in advance of its release, knowing that his narrative would shape the news that followed. He’s investigating the very investigators who proved Russian interference to help Trump in the 2016 election. He’s even designated the U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh as the conduit for Rudolph Giuliani, the spittle-flecked former mayor of New York City, to spread more smears around Ukraine corruption.

In light of such rampant sleaziness, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Barr is facing calls for his resignation. Even though he won’t heed them, those asking for his resignation are missing that Barr is dangerous for a much bigger reason. He’s not only trying to tilt justice to protect Trump – Barr believes he’s in a battle for society that can only be called theocratic.

In a speech last fall at Notre Dame, Barr went on a tear about “militant secularists” who are destroying society by removing religion from the public square. Even worse was a speech that he subsequently gave to the Federalist Society, the conservative group that has become the clearinghouse for Trump’s judicial nominees.

After claiming that Trump’s opponents — which Barr calls the “Left” —are “waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of ‘Resistance’ against this Administration,” Barr accuses them of essentially worshipping a false god.

“In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion,” Barr argued. “Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the State to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection.”

An example that Barr likes to cite as an example of ‘secular assault’ is progress toward LGBTQ rights or equality.

The nation’s lead attorney should not be engaged in a ‘holy war’ in protection of religion over the law – that alone should disqualify him for office. The fact that he’s breaking the rule of law to protect the president is almost secondary.

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