No. of Recommendations: 19

8 June 2018
To: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
Assistant Attorney General Steve Engel

From: Bill Barr

Re: Mueller’s “Obstruction” Theory

The above is a link to the 19 page memo.

Am I the only one who read the Barr memo before he was confirmed as AG? It's just that we all seem so surprised at how the Barr/trump union has worked out. The memo made Barrs's intentions clear--the Presidency is a position akin to a God. A President is unassailable and insulated against any and all legal proceedings and has the absolute power to direct any & all legal proceedings.

I'm guessing even if the GOP Senators had bothered with it, they would have applauded the sentiment, invited Barr to a confirmation and enthusiastically given him a thumbs up--maybe even two thumbs up.

The vote was:

Yes 54
No 45
Absent 1

Three Democrats voted yes:

These are Democrats in red states in shaky seats. These same Democrats voted to convict trump in the Senate impeachment trial.

One Republican voted no on Barr--Rand Paul

Richard Burr didn't vote--he was at the funeral of Congressman Walter Jones. He did make clear Barr had his complete and unqualified support as a well-qualified and eminently highly qualified experienced lawyer.

Since the catastrophic vote and Barr's subsequent failure to perform as the unbiased and non-partisan guardian of American justice, what are they saying now?

The GOP is still thrilled with Barr's unflagging devotion to shaping the executive office into his lifelong dream of a fully empowered president; above the law and above constraint.

The Democrats seem a bit shell-shocked, giving way to disgust and outrage. What I hear most often is the lament they all thought he was a solid reliable institutionalist, bound to uphold the Constitution. Most Democrats did vote no and they have that to hang on to.

Republicans have no excuses. They also tried to put lipstick on the hearing and convince anyone who was listening that Barr was the best choice for the job and America should feel good about the nominee.

Republicans tried initially to portray Barr as some welcome relic from the past, an adult in the room, a man with the spine necessary to push back against the president who nominated him.

Barr said that he took the job because he’s “in a position in life to do the right thing”

What is the right thing according to Barr?

His memo told us exactly where he would go and as the saying goes:

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

---Maya Angelou

“I’m allowed to be totally involved. I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country. But I’ve chosen not to be involved.”

We can blame Bill Barr directly and completely for this delusion.

From the memo:

Conflict of interest laws do not, and cannot, apply to the President, since to apply them would impermissibly “disempower”the President from supervising a class of cases that the Constitution grants him the authority to supervise[translation there is no case beyond his reach; even those that involve him and his family].

Under the Constitution, the President’s authority over law enforcement matters is necessarily all-encompassing, and Congress may not exscind certain matters from the scope of his responsibilities[translation for those who don't speak Barr is Congress has no power over trump and any legal matter or case he wants to pick at].

The Framers’ plan contemplates that the President’s law enforcement powers extend to all matters, including those in which he had a personal stake, and that the proper mechanism for policing the President’s faithful exercise of that discretion is the political process ~ that is, the People, acting either directly, or through their elected representatives in Congress.

That just one very small piece of the huge edifice Barr constructs in an effort to make a president a king.

What we are left with is impeachment, since the executive cannot be investigated and cannot be charged and indicted. Since Barr contends a president can't be investigated and cannot be charged with obstruction, impeachment has been defanged and is a dusty relic. This now useless but critical and brilliant part of the Constitution is the peoples' only recourse and only answer to an executive who freely mixes it up with sentencing guidelines, judges' rulings, juror intimidation, & obstruction. Impeachment is no longer an option. How does Congress impeach with no documents, no witness, and no power over a president who can never be charged with obstruction. The first ten pages of the Barr memo savages Bob Mueller and tears up any notion a president could ever have a corrupt motive to obstruct. The last 10 pages tries mightily to rationalize this extraordinary and deranged premise.

The Framers could never have anticipated trump and the complete compliance of the president's majority making impeachment an impossible remedy.

BTW the Constitution does not give the executive the absolute power, the plenary power, to make law and apply it to any case he chooses. He is bound by a Constitution that says he shall faithfully execute the law--not take charge of it, shape it and bend it to his own needs. He has the power to pardon and grant clemency. He does not have the power to be Congress, judge and jury, making laws as his particular need dictates at the time. He does not have the power to rule on the law and he is not the jury dispensing justice. But Barr told him he was and he ran with it.

Makes us long for the days of Jeff Sessions, doesn't it?
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