I remain skeptical, but my skepticism felt a mite woozy for a sec just now.
Laura Ingraham broadcasts the second part of her interview with AG Bill Barr (majority transcribed below). In this segment we can get a sense of where the DOJ is going with the ongoing investigations by U.S. Attorney John Durham into spygate and the current status of FISA against the backdrop of the prior administration abuse.
BARR – “I think the president did the right thing in removing Atkinson. From the vantage point of the Dept. of Justice, he had interpreted his statute; which is a fairly narrow statute that gave him jurisdiction over wrong-doing by intelligence people; and tried to turn it into a commission to explore anything in the government, and immediately report it to congress without letting the executive branch look at it and determine whether there was any problem. He was told this in a letter from the department of justice, and he is obliged to follow the interpretation of the department of justice, and he ignored it. So I think the President was correct in firing him.”
INGRAHAM – What can you tell us about the state of John Durham’s investigation? People have been waiting for the, the final report, on what happened with this, what can you tell us?
BARR – “Well I think a report y’know, may be, and probably will be, a by-product of his activity; but his primary focus isn’t to prepare a report, he is looking to bring to justice people who were engaged in abuses if he can show that there were criminal violations; and that’s what the focus is on. And, uh, as you know, being a lawyer yourself, building these cases, especially the sprawling case we have between us that went on for two or three years here, uh…, it takes some time, it takes some time to build the case.”
“So he’s diligently pursuing it, uh.. My own view is that, uh, the evidence shows that we’re not dealing with just mistakes or sloppiness, there was something far more troubling here; and we’re going to get to the bottom of it. And if people broke the law, and we can establish that with the evidence, they will be prosecuted.”
INGRAHAM – “The president is very frustrated, I think you, you obviously know that; about Andrew McCabe, uh, he believes that people like McCabe and others just were able to basically flout the laws, and so far with impunity.”
BARR – “I think the president has every right to be frustrated, because I think what happened to him was one of the greatest travesties in American history. Without any basis uh, they, uh, they started this investigation of his campaign; and even more concerning actually, is what happened after the campaign; a whole pattern of events while he was President. uh, So I, to sabotage the presidency; and I think that, uh, or at least had the effect of sabotaging the presidency.”
As I said, I remain skeptical, and will hold to my previous assertions that my faith that justice might be served will only be restored by seeing higher-level Deep State weasels frogmarched off for a stint in the greybar hotel wearing those pretty chrome bracelets with the short chain connecting them around their wrists, helped along on their journey by a close-packed phalanx of burly, unsmiling gentlemen in dark suits and sunglasses.
Admittedly, though, Barr made all the right noises in this interview, and he has been all along. Maybe it’s all just some sort of bait-and-switch, hide-the-sausage connivance or something, a ploy to keep stringing us all along for a while longer. But those are some pretty strong words, the parts I boldfaced especially, and they’re enough to keep hope a-flickering even yet. We’ll see, I guess.
Update! More support for cautious optimism.
First of all, it seems apparent that the Durham investigation has completed most of its evidence gathering–whether documentary or through interviews. That doesn’t mean the investigation is finished. There is also the question of putting together a prosecutive case, and that will probably involve complicated negotiations with the lawyers for the persons being investigated. That, in turn, could lead to further substantive investigation. But the bottom line is that at this point Barr appears confident that he knows what happened and, most likely, who was behind it. As Barr says, this is a “sprawling” case.
Second, Barr several times refers to things that “they” did. Not things that “were done.” So, multiple human perpetrators. That points toward the strong likelihood that a conspiracy case is being pursued that will encompass an attempt to “sabotage the presidency.” As Barr says, this is a “sprawling” case. And this case is very much focused on developing a criminal prosecution of the conspirators.
Third, Barr says that, while Durham’s “primary focus” is not on preparing a report, a report will “probably” result from Durham’s investigation. That’s important. IMO, the American people deserve a report that lays out the narrative of how a group of highly placed federal government operatives conspired to “sabotage the presidency.” Such a report would be unusual coming from a prosecutor, but this is an unusual case that goes to the heart of our constitutional order. The American people deserve to have a report that they can read and readily understand, rather than having to glean the narrative from complicated testimony, court proceedings, and documents written in bureacratic language and, possibly, released without full context. The release of the Papadopoulos interview is a down payment, as are no doubt the firings of corrupt Deep State operatives such as Dan Coats, Michael Atkinson, and others.
We can but hope. And then, should our hope prove vain, we can but head to Mordor On The Potomac en masse with pitchforks, torches, tar and feathers, and plenty of good, stout rope.