Besides the “very, very damning” criminal evidence against Donald Trump, Bill Barr said, there’s the “stomach churning” way Trump mishandled our “most sensitive secrets” and we still don’t know if the government got all that material back.
In a series of jaw-dropping comments, Barr, Trump’s own former attorney general, ripped TFG's behavior as well as the “ridiculous” notion that he’s any kind of victim in the classified documents case.
Every time I thought Fox News anchor Shannon Bream would put an end to Barr’s condemnations, she let him continue, unchallenged.
BARR: [The federal investigation] started out under the Presidential Records Act and the [National] Archives trying to retrieve documents that Trump had no right to have. But it quickly became clear that what the government was really worried about were these classified and very sensitive documents. I was shocked by the degree of sensitivity of these documents and how many there were frankly, and so the government's agenda was to get those, protect those documents and get them out and I think it was perfectly appropriate to do that. It was the right thing to do.
And I think the counts under the Espionage Act, that he willfully retained those documents are solid counts.
Now, I do think we have to wait and see what the defense says and what proves to be true, but I do think that even half - what Andy McCarthy said, which is if even half of it is true, then he's toast. I mean, it’s a very detailed indictment and it's very, very damning. And this idea of presenting Trump as a victim here, a victim of a witch hunt, is ridiculous.
Barr went on to say that Trump has been a victim in the past of “obsessively pursued,” “phony claims,” as in “Russiagate.” But, Barr added, “this is much different.”
BARR: He was totally wrong that he had the right to have those documents. Those documents are among the most sensitive secrets that the country has. They have to be in the custody of the archivist. He had no right to maintain them and retain them. And he kept them in a way at Mar-a-Lago, that anyone who really cares about national security would - their stomach would churn at it.
In differentiating the Mar-a-Lago documents case from “Russiagate,” Barr further elaborated on Trump’s apparent wrongdoing.
BARR: Here, I think the government acted responsibly. They gave him every opportunity to return those documents. They acted with restraint. They were very deferential to him and they were very patient. They talked to him for almost a year to try to get those documents and he jerked them around. They finally went to a subpoena and what did he do? According to the government, he lied and obstructed that subpoena. And then they did a search, and they found a lot more documents and they're not even - I don't think they're even sure now whether they have everything.
So, they acted in a very patient way and what they were met with was, according to the government and the ending indictment, very egregious obstruction.
[W]e can't forget here that this entire thing came about because of reckless conduct of the president. If he had just turned over the documents, which I think every other person in the country would have done - The government's documents, they’re official records, they're not his personal records. Battle plans for an attack on another country, or Defense Department documents about our capabilities are in no universe Donald J. Trump's personal documents. They are the government's documents.
At Bream’s prompt, Barr smacked down the MAGA lies that Trump’s conduct is similar to that of former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton who held on to some classified material. “Those were situations where they arranged with the Archives to set up a special space under the management, control and security provided by the archivists to temporarily put documents until the libraries were ready,” Barr said. “These were not people just putting them in their basement, Okay?”
Then he blasted “this idea the president has complete authority to declare any document personal" as "facially ridiculous.”
BARR: [T]hese are official documents. It's inarguable. The president's daily brief, provided by the intelligence community, is not Donald J. Trump's personal document, period.
Bream quipped, “I'm guessing that you're not going to join his legal team.”
Then she moved on to talk about Hunter Biden.
You can watch Barr shred his former boss below, from the June 11, 2023 Fox News Sunday.
As scooter often writes: never forget, never forgive, dver
I find it revealing that Bream (and her sources) don’t cite Hillary’s emails as another supposed equivalence to Trump’s document situation along with document details of Obama, Bill Clinton, Biden, and Pence. To compare Hillary’s ‘crime’ to Trump’s might make a few MAGAheads wonder how bad Hillary was or how innocent Trump is. It would highlight the fatal flaw in whataboutism: even if other people violated the law without being prosecuted, that doesn’t make it OK for your guy to have done it, especially if your guy was supposed to have been draining a swamp.