Last week, America ended.
Well, not exactly. But the end of the Republic seems to be the message that Democrats are going with. William Barr is a political hack. He is protecting the president better than any of his personal attorneys ever have. (Well, let’s be honest: there wasn’t much competition there to begin with.) But Democrats have painted Barr as a liar and a joke following his testimony in front of Congress regarding his management of the Mueller Report. They don’t like the summary of the report his office issued on March 24. They don’t like his characterization of wrongdoings of the Trump campaign and administration since the Mueller investigation began. They don’t like him. At this point in the game, I think it’s important to look back at the case as a whole from the beginning and see if the Democrats have a point.
Let’s start back where this all really started – the whole reason Robert Mueller was brought in to begin with. In March of 2017, then AG Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigating the Trump campaign on counts of conspiracy with Russia to influence the 2016 elections. The move was in response to Session’s communications with Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak in 2016. In retrospect, this reasoning was pretty awful since Sessions was a member of the Senate at the time and routinely would meet with foreign diplomats. Session’s recusal paved the way for Robert Mueller to be appointed as Special Counsel to the DOJ.
Fast forward to March of 2019. There is a new AG, and Mueller has finally completed his years-long investigation. After turning his report over to the DOJ, Barr releases his summary. After the summary was released, Mueller sent a letter to the DOJ, which expressed disappointment in the details left out of the summary. Barr called Mueller who reportedly told him that while nothing in the summary was inaccurate, there were some important facts left out of the summary. All of this information was left out of Barr’s April 10 testimony in front of the Senate, including a point when Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) asked Barr directly, “Did Mueller support your conclusion?” Barr’s response was, “I don’t know whether or not Bob Mueller supported my conclusion.” It is this answer and subsequent revelation of the Mueller letter that is causing Democrats to throw a conniption, threatening impeachment, or at the very least, calling for Barr’s resignation.
So to recap, an attorney general was given information about a high-ranking government official, and despite there being a lot of reprehensible activity, decided that based on the information in front of him that he wouldn’t pursue legal action. This caused Democrats to seek revenge on the AG and a call to investigate the investigator.
Now let’s travel back in time to 2016, when Hillary Clinton was being investigated for her email server. In that case, then-attorney general Loretta Lynch recused herself from the investigation following an ill-advised tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton. Lynch determined that it would be in the best interest of the integrity of the investigation that she stay out of it, and instead adhere to whatever the FBI findings would produce. Enter FBI Director James Comey. Comey determined that “there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, [but] our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” He even added that “this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences.” Immediately after Comey’s announcement, Lynch made the call that she would not pursue a case against Clinton.
Republicans were up in arms over this decision. They called Comey a political hack and someone who was protecting Clinton more effectively than her personal lawyers (again, not too difficult). So let’s recap once more. An attorney general was given information about a high-ranking government official, and despite there being a lot of reprehensible activity, decided that based on the information in front of her, she wouldn’t pursue legal action. This caused Republicans to seek revenge on the FBI director and a call to investigate the investigator.
The similarities in these cases are shockingly similar. Neither Trump nor Clinton were completely exonerated. Both investigations led to the publication of some very damning materials, but in the end, neither were charged with a crime, and the reaction of political opponents were to go after the individuals responsible for determining criminality. In both cases, political opponents were determined from the start that if charges were not brought against the individual in question, that political hackery was at play. Both cases induced cries of “nobody is above the law” and “our justice system is broken.” In the end, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump will suffer any repercussions for their actions. James Comey and Bill Barr have had their names and reputations destroyed. And we lowly citizens are relegated to complaining, while Washington elites use the cases to bolster their careers and statuses while refusing to acknowledge their biases and inherent contradictions.
And nothing changes.
Izzo Zwiren works in healthcare administration, constantly concerning himself with the state of healthcare politics. The topic of healthcare has led Izzo to become passionate about a variety of political issues affecting our country today. Aside from politics, Izzo is a fan of trivia, stand-up comedy, and the New York Giants. Izzo lives on Long Island with his wife and two adorable, hilarious daughters.