Things are reaching a point for the scandal-ridden ex-president where there is really and truly no way out anymore. Trump has been backed into a corner from every conceivable direction, and it seems he’s soon going to be forced to face the music for the first time in his life, whether he likes it or not.
Even his own former attorney general knows it.
This week, Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland dropped a bombshell announcement that shook Donald Trump so deeply to his core, that he scrambled to deliver a “statement” on the “never-ending Witch Hunt” from his Mar-a-Lago resort, complete with a tuxedo and black tie — the US Department of Justice is handing over their multiple investigations into the ex-president to a newly appointed special counsel.
In his announcement, AG Garland said the decision is in the “public interest” after Donald Trump officially announced his 2024 campaign launch on the heels of the less-than-successful midterm elections, assumably because Trump is under the belief that his candidacy will offer him added protection from the numerous legal perils mounting around him.
But Donald Trump’s own former Attorney General Bill Barr says the ex-president likely isn’t nearly as safe from Garland’s DOJ as he thinks he is, as Barr himself now says the US Department of Justice appears to “have the basis for legitimately indicting” his old boss Donald Trump.
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Barr’s remarks came during a recent appearance on PBS’ Firing Line, where Barr issued the educated analysis that, at least from the outside looking in, it certainly appears as though Biden’s DOJ has what it needs to nail Donald Trump to the wall with an indictment on the stolen White House document scandal.
Host Margaret Hoover asked the Trump-era attorney general, “In your view, is there ever a circumstance where you think it’s appropriate to indict a former president?”
Mediaite reports on the subsequent exchange between Barr and Hoover:
BARR: Oh, yes. If a former president commits a crime, you know, especially a serious crime, they should be indicted for it. If the Department of Justice can show that these were indeed very sensitive documents, which I think they probably were, and also show that the president consciously was involved in misleading the department, deceiving the government, and playing games after he had received the subpoena for the documents, those are serious charges. That’s serious.
HOOVER: That’s a serious enough crime?
BARR: Well, I’ve said that I personally think that they probably have the basis for legitimately indicting the [former] president. I don’t know, I’m speculating. But given what’s gone on, I think they probably have the evidence that would check the box. They have the case.
HOOVER: And if they have it, should they?
BARR: That’s a decision for–
HOOVER: If you were AG, would you?
BARR: I’m not going to get into that.
HOOVER: Do you think they will?
BARR: I think it’s becoming increasingly more likely.
HOOVER: And you think it would be appropriate if they did?
BARR: Well, this is what the attorney general gets paid [for]–these kinds of decisions. You know, the argument for doing it is that if you let someone like this who, you know–if the facts are as raw as they may be and you let someone get away with it, how can you protect these secrets? How can you insist on people in government taking this stuff seriously?
So, you know, that’s an important thing to weigh, as well as what it will do to the country and to the office of the presidency. And I think Merrick Garland is going to have to make that call.”
The US Department of Justice, under the leadership of Attorney General Merrick Garland, is engaged in ongoing investigations into Donald Trump’s role in inciting the violent, deadly January 6th Capitol attack and his attempts to overthrow a US election, as well as Trump’s blatant mishandling and apparent theft of official, top-secret, and highly-confidential government documents upon his departure from the White House.
Trump was, of course, required by law to turn over any official documents and materials from his administration over to the National Archives and Records Administration upon the end of his presidential term. Instead, it seems he packed up multiple boxes of those materials and took them with him to his Mar-a-Lago resort, where he took up residence following his election loss and Biden’s inauguration. Trump then repeatedly lied to the National Archives in their many attempts to recover the materials from his compound, repeatedly claiming that he did not possess any more documents at his country club/personal home. Ultimately, the DOJ was forced to issue an FBI search and seizure warrant against Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate, during which literally thousands of documents were recovered by federal agents.
Note that even though Garland has made the decision in the “public interest” to hand the investigation over to a special counsel, the decision regarding whether or not to indict the former US president still lies with the attorney general.
Watch a clip of Barr’s interview here:
In that PBS interview where Bill Barr said he thinks DOJ probably has basis for “legitimately indicting” Trump, in the next breath Barr wouldn’t rule out supporting Trump again in 2024
MARGARET HOOVER: You don’t rule out supporting President Trump again?
BILL BARR: No I don’t pic.twitter.com/xD1hHz33nS
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 19, 2022
Featured image via Flickr/Department of Justice