Attorney General William Barr said Friday that President Trump’s political opponents are pursuing a “scorched earth, no-holds-barred resistance” that is solely intended to “sabotage” his presidency.
“The pursuit of scores of investigations and an avalanche of subpoenas is meant to incapacitate” the administration, Barr said during his speech to the conservative Federalist Society.
Attorney General Barr defended the president and said the political “harassment” contravenes the intent of the Constitution’s framers who, he said, meant to provide the chief executive with sweeping authority.
“I am convinced that the deck has been stacked against the executive,” Barr said.
Barr’s comments were made to express his opinion that Trump has been wrongfully dragged through an impeachment inquiry over allegations he pressured the Ukrainian President to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, which have already been denied by both country’s leaders.
Prior to his remarks on Friday, Barr rarely made public comments about the impeachment proceedings, but his recent remarks left no doubt that he supports the president.
He commented on the “steady encroachment of executive authority” that he said has “substantially weakened the institution of the presidency.” He also said that Congress has “drowned” the administration with demands for testimony and documents.
While audience members applauded Barr’s words several times during his speech on Friday, he has drawn harsh criticism from Democrats for his support of the president.
The reasons Democrats criticize Barr should, however, be noted. Barr began the controversy with his contention that “spying did occur” by the FBI on the Trump campaign in 2016. He has since opened an investigation to determine if the FBI’s actions were “properly predicated” and whether “government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale.”
In addition, just a month after taking office in February, Barr concluded that Robert Mueller’s investigation did not offer enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice. His involvement in that decision caused Democrats to be concerned that he was a threat to their agenda.
Barr also wrote a 2017 op-ed for The Washington Post saying that Trump had the constitutional authority to ban travel to the U.S. from a some of the predominantly Muslim nations, and that the president was right to fire acting Attorney General Sally Yates since she directed the Justice Department not to defend the order in court.
“Presidential powers are not exercised by a body or group. The Constitution vests ‘all executive power’ in one and only one person – the president,” Barr wrote. “The president need not ‘convince’ his subordinate that his decision reflects the best view of the law.”
Barr has expressed his belief for the need for a strong executive branch and has spent his career supporting presidents and assisting their efforts. He was there for President George H.W. Bush during the investigation into the Iran-Contra affair, for President Reagan during the Nicaraguan issues with Caspar Weinberger, and now is showing his support for President Trump during this ‘witch hunt’ of an impeachment inquiry.