politics william barr

Calls For Removal Of Bill Barr Hit Fever Pitch After Insane Federalist Society Speech

Barr went further on Friday. He compared progressives to a "dangerous", "occupying military power".

Bill Barr has made a habit of delivering unnerving speeches since becoming attorney general, and on Friday, during remarks at an annual meeting of the Federalist Society, he took things up another notch still.

“Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they call ‘The Resistance’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver to sabotage the functioning of the executive branch”, he declared.

Then, he accused “the left” of “undermining the rule of law” and engaging in a “systemic shredding of norms”. Here’s the offending clip:

 

It was an ironic contention, to be sure.

For one thing, Donald Trump enjoyed Republican control of the Senate and the House for most of the special counsel probe. Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller are both Republicans.

But more to the point, Trump arguably represents the biggest threat to the rule of law in the history of the country. And when it comes to the “shredding of norms”, Trump takes more than a little pride in trampling on tradition and decorum at every possible opportunity.

Consider, for example, that in their efforts to block the enforcement of a subpoena seeking Trump’s financial documents, the president’s attorneys argued last month that in a hypothetical case where the president made good on his campaign trail “joke” about “stand[ing] in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot[ing] somebody”, local authorities could not even look into the murder.

“Local authorities couldn’t investigate? They couldn’t do anything about it?”, Denny Chin, one of the three judges on the federal appeals panel which reviewed the case asked, inquiring as to what options police would have if Trump literally grabbed a rifle, ran out into the middle of the street and gunned down a half-dozen pedestrians for no reason. “Nothing could be done? That’s your position?”, Chin asked.

“That is correct”, Trump’s attorney said.

Let that sink in. It’s not clear that the president’s supporters understand how far down the road to authoritarianism Trump has taken the country. His attorneys were not joking. The president’s contention in the case to block Manhattan prosecutors from enforcing a subpoena is that Trump could personally execute a civilian (any civilian), in broad daylight, for no reason, and he would not only be immune from punishment, but in fact could not even be investigated.

That’s just one example. Trump makes a daily show of running roughshod over the rule of law and the “norms” that have defined America’s system of governance since the dawn of the republic. And he’s proud of it.

Read more: Trump Can Gun Down Pedestrians In The Street If He Wants, Lawyer Tells Federal Judges

Barr went further on Friday. He compared progressives to a “dangerous”, “occupying military power”, and also lambasted federal judges who he accused of acting “like amateur psychiatrists attempting to discern an executive official’s real motive, often after ordering invasive discovery into the executive branch’s privileged decision-making process”.

“Barr has long adhered to a school of legal thought that draws a vision of uncompromising presidential power from the Constitution”, CNN reminds you. “That ideology, in line with the unitary executive theory, has guided conservatives for decades, including many of the lawyers in the crowd that Barr addressed Friday evening”.

Last month, Barr delivered a widely-panned speech at Notre Dame’s law school, where he essentially argued for the establishment of a Christian theocracy and blamed “the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia” for mounting what he described as “an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values” leading to “the wreckage of the family… soaring suicide rates and a deadly drug epidemic”.

In his quest to defend Trump, Barr has gone to extraordinary lengths, including overseeing an investigation into his own Justice department and the FBI.

Over the past nine months, the attorney general has flown around the world (on taxpayer dollars, by the way) in search of evidence to support the president’s claims that US law enforcement and the intelligence community engaged in illegal conduct during their investigation of his campaign’s alleged ties to the Kremlin. Those allegations are based in part on conspiracy theories, some of which emanate from the seediest corners of the internet.

You can watch Barr’s full Friday night speech below, although we most assuredly do not recommend it to anyone who wants to have a good weekend.


 

7 comments on “Calls For Removal Of Bill Barr Hit Fever Pitch After Insane Federalist Society Speech

  1. vicissitude

    There is much to learn from cheney and nixon actions, as they relate to trump abuses. Apologies in advance for a wall of text, but just trying to open a few doors:

    EXECUTIVE SESSION
    (Senate – November 08, 2007)

    ” … But, President Bush said he
    had authority to disregard the statute because he had constitutional
    authority.

    As a matter of constitutional doctrine, you can’t amend the
    Constitution with a statute. To amend the Constitution, you have to
    have a constitutional amendment. An amendment must pass the Congress by
    a two-thirds vote and be ratified by three-fourths of the States.

    So the President took the position that his constitutional power
    superseded the statute, and he rejected it and ignored it. I have grave
    doubts about the propriety of what the President did. We didn’t find
    out about it until it was disclosed in the newspapers in mid-December
    of 2005 when we were in the midst in this Chamber of debating the
    PATRIOT Act.”

    That is why I was so disappointed by Judge Mukasey’s answers
    suggesting that he sees little occasion to check the President’s power.
    I was disturbed by his insistence that, with regard to warrantless
    wiretapping and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the
    President has inherent authority outside of the statute and could
    authorize and immunize conduct contrary to the law. I fail to see a
    valid distinction justifying his assertion that the President could
    have the power of an executive override in the surveillance context,
    but not in the torture context, and I worry about where his reasoning
    could lead us.

    https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2007/11/08/senate-section/article/S14147-1

    Also see: “Unilateralism in secret is sometimes necessary at the height of a crisis, and Cheneyism was effective in the short run. But it is disastrous over the medium and long term. The president cannot accomplish much over time without the assistance of his bureaucracy and the other institutions of government. And he cannot garner that assistance through mere commands. He must instead convince these institutions that his policies are good and lawful ones that they should support”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/how-dick-cheney-reined-in-presidential-power.html

  2. Irrespective of President Trump’s ego trips and wild behavioral swings, You cannot point fingers at “Conservatives”, some of which are “Republicans” and at the same time support the behaviors being exhibited,by the so-called “Democratic” Party. Exhibit A is the dismal failure of the State of California, a wildly degenerate political sweatshop that became divorced from reality several decades ago. The voters need to get better informed before voting any more clowns into high office.

    • This comment has no basis whatsoever in reality, and as such, the person who left it has been banned permanently from commenting.

    • yeah, right. Failed state, LOL.
      gross state product of Cali is the largest in the US, by a wide margin.
      If California were a country of it’s own, it would sport the 5th-largest GDP in the world.
      It is home to some of the most valuable companies in the world.
      Plus, the Cailfornia goverment, unlike the federal one under president stable genius, has been running a balanced budget for the last couple of years.

      But I guess facts fall on deaf ears in this case.

      • incidentally, my banning that person isn’t arbitrary. as far as i can tell, that person is the same person who has made inflammatory comments of other sorts previously.

  3. vicissitude

    As a nation we can only hope that barr follows in the footsteps of Nixon’s AG — and removed from office ASAP.

    After his tenure as U.S. Attorney General, he served as chairman of Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign. Due to multiple crimes he committed in the Watergate affair, Mitchell was sentenced to prison in 1977 and served 19 months.

    On February 21, 1975, Mitchell, who was represented by the criminal defense attorney William G. Hundley, was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury and sentenced to two and a half to eight years in prison for his role in the Watergate break-in and cover-up, which he dubbed the “White House horrors.” As a result of the conviction, Mitchell was disbarred from the practice of law in New York.[55] The sentence was later reduced to one to four years by United States district court Judge John J. Sirica. Mitchell served only 19 months of his sentence at Federal Prison Camp, Montgomery (in Maxwell Air Force Base) in Montgomery, Alabama, a minimum-security prison, before being released on parole for medical reasons.[56]

  4. Stephen in Canada

    From a distance – a different country but only a couple of hundred miles from where I’m writing this to our border – Barr’s words seem to reflect the single most consistently perverse (and phsycologically telling) form of response – “projecting”. That is, accusing the “others” of exactly what you have done / not done , said / not said. This is not new to this president. Remember “no, you’re the puppet, you’re the puppet” in one of the debates with Ms. Clinton?

    It is as if the paucity of facts and imagination with which to attack your opponents is so limited, and therefore their positions and arguements are so weak, as to leave no alternative but to twist and otherwise bastardize what they do and say and then accuse those “others” of exactly what you and your cronies do and say. Sad, pathetic and unacceptable. Hopefully, this charade will become as glaringly obvious and persistent enough that a sufficient number of Trump “supporters” eventually change their views and vote accordingly.

    As one of your othe readers notes, this is not the first time the Dept. of Justice / A.G. has been co-opted to defend a guilty president. Maybe it is time to take the DOJ and its leaders away from the Executive” (sic) branch of government and put them into “The Judiciciary” along with the Supreme Court….

    As it is, this is a sad and sick circus…

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