Players in the Democratic Party have spent the better part of the last 2 years piling on Attorney General William Barr, alleging that he is a political hack who can not be trusted to run the Department of Justice. While speaking from the Senate floor, Charles Schumer (D-NY), said: “His confirmation occurred only a few months ago and yet in a short time Mr. Barr’s conduct has raised damning questions about his impartiality and about his fitness…”
That’s the same Charles Schumer who directly threatened Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh when he addressed demonstrators on the steps of the Supreme Court: “…I want to tell you, Gorsuch… I want to tell you, Kavanaugh… you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
For this outburst the senior Senator from New York earned a reprimand from Chief Justice Roberts as well as the American Bar Association and others. Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, hardly a right wing extremist, agreed with Justice Roberts, characterized Schumer’s remarks as “inexcusable” and called on him to apologize. Schumer, of course, did no such thing.
There is another apology that Schumer and Company ought to be make, namely to Attorney General Bill Barr. Note that AG Barr recently said that the Justice Department looked at claims of electoral fraud in the November elections and did not find evidence to conclude that fraud changed the outcome, thereby pulling the rug out from under Trump’s claim of victory, not to mention his legal strategy, such as it is.
And then, just yesterday the story broke that Hunter Biden, son of President-elect Joe “Here’s the Deal” Biden, is under federal criminal investigation both in Delaware and in the Southern District of New York. Moreover the investigation has been going on for some time, at least since the spring of 2020. In keeping with Justice Department guidelines, the investigation was kept under wraps so as not to influence the upcoming election in November.
Compare that with the behavior of Loretta Lynch in the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. Or with the gusher of leaks coming out of the FBI for the purpose of taking down the Trump presidency. Or with the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS during the Obama years. Or with the grandstanding of Sally Yates.
There has indeed been plenty of norm busting in the Justice Department in recent years. But it wasn’t the work of Bill Barr. He played it straight, and in so doing he enraged Democratic partisans whose idea of norms is whatever behavior advances progressive goals.
Democrats owe Attorney General Bill Barr an apology, but it’s an apology that will never be offered. That would require a sense of honor.