The time has come for the House to begin impeachment proceedings with regard to Attorney General William Barr. He was given the benefit of the doubt when he began his time in office, but his behavior vis-a-vis the Mueller Report can and should be the final straw. “But RW”, you say, “I thought that the Attorney General serves at the pleasure of the President and can only be fired by him?” Au contraire mon frere!
The Constitution provides that any civil officer of the United States, and that would include the Attorney General, may be impeached by Congress for treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. “High crimes and misdemeanors” are not defined in the Constitution. However, based upon how they have been used in the past and what the framers likely meant, it is safe to say that they include the following: Perjury, intimidation, misuse of assets, unbecoming conduct, refusal to obey a lawful order, dereliction of duty, being a drunk, and tax evasion . . . cough . . . President Donald Trump . . . cough. Most importantly for our purposes here with Barr, high crimes and misdemeanors, almost assuredly includes an abuse of power.
If you don’t think Attorney General Barr has abused his power then I need you to: 1) Turn off Fox News; 2) No, don’t just lower the volume, turn Fox News all the way off; and 3) Google “William Barr” and read something other than National Review (don’t even think about clicking on Breitbart or Fox News).
Attorney General Barr has demonstrated his abuse of power in his dereliction of duty to all but one person, President Trump. After all, Barr auditioned for the job of Attorney General by writing that now infamous memo, which made countless false assumptions and argued against prosecuting Trump. He showed Trump and his team the Mueller Report before anyone else. He’s even spewing Trump conspiracy theories without any evidence in his Congressional testimony now. And did you watch that press conference? But I digress.
If you read this space, you know President Trump and Attorney General Barr made misstatements in saying that the Mueller Report served as an exoneration. The Mueller Report is anything but an exoneration of Trump. In fact, it likely was and will be the jump off point for countless investigations into Presidential corruption and corruption among Trump’s cronies and family.
That is where the problem lies. And in this case, the problem’s name is William Barr (see what I did there?). Barr is doing nothing other than President Trump’s bidding. He has served as an impediment to Congress’ and the public’s learning the truth about the Mueller Report, and he has done so by abusing his power.
Attorney General Barr has it in his power to go to the courts and request the release of grand jury testimony that would not be harmful to national security and/or sources and methods. Barr is refusing to do so. Why? Because he feels like it. Yes, there is likely sensitive in material in the Mueller Report that should be redacted. We don’t want our enemies to know how we’re spying on them after all. But to Congress? Ridiculous. So we can have closed door hearings on sensitive material but Congress can’t handle the Mueller Report? Barr’s actions couldn’t be more flagrant if his name were Kermit Washington.
In the event the House listens to me and impeaches Attorney General Barr, will the Senate convict? Of course not. But since when is wondering whether the Senate will do its job required to do the right thing? Congress, and more specifically Democrats in Congress, need to grow a collective spine and show President Trump that abuses of power will not go unchecked. The Attorney General is there to lead our nation’s Justice Department. Our country was attacked by a foreign adversary, which AG Barr readily admits. So what does he do? Instead of fervently addressing an attack on our nation, Mr. Barr has backed the man who believes Vladimir Putin over people like Robert Mueller and those in our intelligence community.
The time for words is over. The time to act is now. You’re either on the side of justice or you’re with President Trump and his ilk. You may be thinking that all of this sounds like the case to impeach President Andrew Johnson. But it isn’t. As President Teddy Roosevelt said, “[i]n any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Please Congress, don’t do nothing this time around. And for those of you defending President Trump, Roosevelt also said, “[t]o announce that there must be no criticism of the president… is morally treasonable to the American public.” Not enough for you? He also said that “[w]e can have no ’50-50′ allegiance in this country. Either a man is an American and nothing else, or he is not an American at all.” I choose to be an American. How about you?