UNITED STATES: Former Attorney General William Barr came to the defense of the FBI and the justice department’s (DoJ) judicial staff to raid Donald Trump’s lavish Mar-a-Lago residence and country club compound last month.
William Barr supported the law enforcement agencies’ decision to search the property on account of concealing sensitive documents that could result in a national security risk.
William Barr spoke to The New York Times in an interview and said, “As more information comes out, the department’s actions look more understandable.”
“It seems to me they were driven by concern about highly sensitive information being strewn all over a country club, and it was taking them almost two years to get it back,” he said.
The former Attorney General resigned in December 2020 amid Trump’s repeated alarms about a fraudulent election and also rejected Trump’s call for an independent review of materials confiscated from Mar-a-Lago by a “special master”.
William Barr mocked Trump’s supposedly sneaky attempts to thwart the law and said, “I think it’s a crock of shit.”
“I don’t think a special master is called for.”
William Barr’s irksome attitude towards the former president is understandable as the former attorney general has been increasingly critical of Trump since leaving office. He declined to place criminal charges on the business tycoon over reports of Russian collusion during the 2016 election while he served as Trump’s top prosecutor.
A 2019 DoJ memo released last month revealed that prosecutors concluded that none of Trump’s criminal acts could be charged as ‘criminal’ for not being under criminal statutes.
Adding to the current controversy over classified documents, Barr said he found it “hard to wrap your head around him taking so much sensitive material“.
“There’s been a lot of jerking around of the government over classified materials. I am uncertain about the potential for prosecution.”
William Barr also added that the justice department, now headed by Joe Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, “have to think about the impact on the country of the precedent set by trying a former president.”
William Barr appeared on Fox News earlier on Friday and stated, “Given the fact it’s a former president, given the state of the nation, and given the fact; that the government has gotten its documents back, does it make sense to bring a case as a matter of prudential judgment?”
He said that the decision to pursue the case against him depends on the degree of evidence of obstruction. “If they have the president moving stuff around, hiding stuff in his desk, and telling people to dissemble with the government, they may be inclined to bring the case.”
Also Read: Documents Likely Concealed at Trump’s Florida Home during FBI Raid