Attorney General William Barr appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Last night, I held a dinner party. Most of my guests, predictably, leaned to the right. The conversation turned to how any American with a brain could believe that President Trump should be removed from office based on the evidence of obstruction contained in the Mueller Report. Although the Mueller team laid out eleven occasions where they alleged the President had obstructed justice, the incident Democrats frequently point to as the most egregious was Trump’s order to then-White House Counsel, Don McGahn, to fire Robert Mueller.
Yes, he became frustrated after then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed a Special Counsel at all, much less the conflicted Robert Mueller.
McGahn refused to carry out the request, even threatening to resign if Trump forced the issue. The President backed off. The Mueller investigation was in no way impacted by this episode and continued on its merry little way.
Further, even if McGahn had fired Mueller, Trump had the constitutional authority to do so. It would have been unwise, but it was not illegal.
Finally, Trump had been falsely accused of a crime he hadn’t committed. The ongoing investigation into the deep state’s manufactured charges was tainting his legitimacy and undermining his ability to govern. Can anyone blame him for his outrage?
Because most Americans receive their news from the mainstream media, which pushed the conspiracy story aggressively, they believed that Trump had both colluded with the Russians to win the election and obstructed justice by trying to end the probe.
What does that say to conservatives? It says that it’s time to start making their message heard in the places most Americans go to for their news.
PJ Media’s Roger Simon discussed Barr’s decision to appear on CBS as opposed to the more friendly Fox News. He said, Barr “clearly wanted his words to be heard by the skeptical or confused more than those who already believe the Russia probe was politically motivated from the beginning.”
Attorney General William Barr was smart to give his response to Mueller’s statement to CBS News. The network’s legal analyst, Jan Crawford, wasn’t exactly warm and fuzzy, nor was she disrespectful or rude. She conducted a fair interview and Barr was able to present his case to a large number of voters. Although he probably didn’t change the minds of any die-hard liberals, he may have given pause to the less extreme among them.
In his understated and goodnatured way, he let the public know that he is aware of what occurred in 2016 and plans to sort it all out.
Instead of dodging questions as many politicians and pundits do when pressed, he simply said, “That’s all I really will say. Things are just not jibing.”
The man is unflappable. I wrote about his performance shortly after the interview here. I wrote:
Barr did not engage in the analysis of Mueller’s motives, nor did he criticize Mueller for triggering a new round of calls for the President’s impeachment. (I posted about Mueller’s comments here, here and here.)
However, Barr did make it crystal clear that, despite the Office of Legal Counsel guidance, Mueller “could have made a decision about whether it was criminal activity.”
He expressed his surprise when Mueller informed him he had not come to a conclusion. Because that’s what he was hired to do. He was expected to determine if any of Trump’s behavior rose to the level of criminality and to make a recommendation to the Attorney General.
More conservatives need to follow his lead. This means crossing into enemy territory, presenting the facts and preventing the interview from turning into a fighting match.
Although CNN and MSNBC have recently experienced drops in viewership, many on the left will continue to tune in out of habit and because of their aversion to the logical alternative, Fox News. So, Republicans would be smart to follow the Attorney General’s example and wade into hostile terrain.