My VIP for this week is Attorney General Bill Barr, whose resignation is effective on December 23, 2021. This is the second time that Barr has served as Attorney General, the first time being in the George H.W. Bush administration. Many conservatives do not like Barr because “his first loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law, not the president.” This is a direct opposite in understanding from that of Eric Holder, the attorney general in the Barack Obama administration, who described himself as Obama’s wingman.
No one should believe that Barr has been President Donald Trump’s wingman because it is not true. Trump said many good things about Barr, but he has also criticized him. The most recent criticism came because Barr did not acknowledge the investigation of Hunter Biden under after the 2020 election. Barr did not want to influence the election by revealing that an investigation was taking place. Even though knowledge of the investigation may have influenced some Biden voters to change their minds, Barr was observing Department of Justice rules.
There were numerous other times that Barr did his own thing instead of kowtowing to Trump. He did not change any of the report about Trump and the Russian collusion delusion prepared under the direction of Robert Mueller. He allowed Mueller to be interviewed by Congress. He worked with the Mueller team on the decisions about the redaction of material that might be sensitive in the report, but he wanted to make the report available to the public as much as possible. Hans von Spakovsky at The Heritage Foundation wrote the following about Barr:
It is hard to summarize all of Barr’s accomplishments. Under his leadership, the Justice Department defended religious liberty, brought back the carrying out of the federal death penalty, and changed the Justice Department’s procedures in light of the buses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The abuses were revealed by the Russia investigation and the work of the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.
Barr’s willingness to reveal the misconduct of government officials involved in the prosecution of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn also demonstrated how Barr is determined to do the right thing, not the politically correct thing….
Under Barr’s leadership, the Justice Department fulfilled its obligations to enforce federal immigration law. This included filing the first-ever immigration fraud prosecutions of individuals involved in the birth-tourism industry, a multimillion-dollar criminal industry that existed for decades but was ignored by prior administrations.
Barr also worked to reverse some actions of the Obama administration, which tried its best to terminate all cooperation that local authorities were giving to federal authorities to enforce our immigration laws.
Similarly, many colleges and universities – particularly Ivy League schools – have been violating civil rights law for years with impunity by discriminating on the basis of race in their admissions practices….
On top of all this, the Barr Justice Department has done everything it can to help our beleaguered state and local law enforcement agencies. This included opening up multiple investigations of the violent rioters who attacked law enforcement officers – something that many local prosecutors were ignoring (often at the direction of their mayors).
I am sorry to see Barr resign, but I can see that he has earned the right to spend some time with his family. I wish Barr and his family have a wonderful Christmas season and that his replacement acts according to the Constitution.