Before he approached William Barr to be his next attorney general, Trump had already tried to hire Barr as his private defense counsel in the Russia investigation.
It's not hard to see why Trump tapped William Barr to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general of the United States. Barr shares many of Trump's delusions about the Russia investigation, like the idea that Hillary Clinton should be investigated instead of Trump, or that Robert Mueller hired too many Democrats for the special counsel team.
But it gets worse. Barr got on Trump's radar because of his sycophantic comments in the press — and Trump liked what he heard so much that he tried to hire Barr as private counsel to lead his defense in the Mueller case.
It's no secret that no one of note wanted to represent Trump in the Russia investigation. Four of the highest-profile law firms out there declined the honor in 2017, and at least a dozen big-name lawyers had said no by April of 2018.
One of the people that the White House reached out to back in 2017 was none other than William Barr. Barr and Trump had a meeting, and Trump offered him the job, Yahoo News reports.
Barr didn't quite say no, but said he'd need to think about it and that he had other obligations.
Rudy Giuliani ended up getting that job instead. It's not clear if Barr actually said no, or if Giuliani was picked instead because he was so eager to become Trump's new attack dog and perennial defender.
Barr playing hard to get seems to have paid off — for both him and Trump. Barr gets to be the next attorney general, if the Senate confirms him, and Trump gets to appoint a Justice Department chief who has already made it very clear that he's more interested in protecting Trump than pursuing justice.
It's exactly what is to be expected of this administration. It's also exactly what everyone should keep in mind when pundits inevitably claim that Barr will be a noble and upstanding public servant.
Barr was asked to take this job because he'll provide the sort of cover Jeff Sessions wouldn't. He's there for Trump, not the country.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.