Attorney General William Barr stated the obvious: He's been trying to protect Trump.
William Barr tried to claim he took the job of attorney general to protect the office of the presidency — but in the process, he also admitted his goal was to protect Trump.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Barr said: "I felt the rules were being changed to hurt Trump, and I thought it was damaging for the presidency over the long haul."
The rules haven't changed, but the norms have — and they've been changed to favor Trump. He's engaged in widespread obstruction and corruption that makes Nixon look tame, but has suffered no consequences because Republicans in Congress are willing to enable his behavior.
Barr, in giving his reason for taking the job, likely thought he sounded noble rather than entirely partisan. Indeed, it is true that he resisted Trump's initial requests to take the job. And he's long been an advocate for the "unitary executive" theory — the idea that the president's power should be nearly unlimited.
To hear Barr tell it, he's reluctantly taken the position so he can defend the power of the executive, not the power of Trump.
But he's aligned himself directly with Trump, not the office of the president, from the very start.
That's evident from the fact that prior to taking office he sent an unusual — and completely unsolicited — 20-page memo to the Department of Justice criticizing the very foundation of the special counsel investigation. That was problematic enough, but the fact that he then refused to recuse himself from the Russia investigation made it even worse.
As attorney general, Barr has displayed an almost pathological willingness to back Trump at every turn. He recently traveled to El Salvador to "step up international support" for Trump's theory that the street gang MS-13 is symbolic of the problem of illegal immigration.
Barr was also the one to tell Trump that he should declare executive privilege over the entire unredacted Mueller report, a decisively odd move when the bulk of the report was already available. He threw his personal friend Robert Mueller under the bus. And of course, he's now entirely refusing to testify to Congress.
Trump is perfectly aware of Barr's loyalty. At his rally in Pennsylvania Monday night, Trump accused the FBI of treason and then bragged that he has "a great new attorney general who will give it a very fair look."
Since Barr has already signed on to Trump's ridiculous theory that Obama spied on his campaign — and has now ordered yet another investigation into the origins of the Russia probe as a result — it isn't much of a stretch to think Barr will happily investigate the FBI for any reason Trump invents.
Barr may tell himself he took this job because of long-held ideals about the presidency. But everyone knows that's just not true.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.