"Former AG Bill Barr Ready to Testify Against Trump: Calls Him a 'Dangerous Person'"

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/19/2023
In the continuing investigation involving Trump's handling of secret papers as president, former Attorney General Bill Barr says he would be prepared to testify against former President Donald Trump.

A variety of confidential papers, including those with the highest degree of classification—"top secret"—are allegedly mishandled by Trump. President Joe Biden's Department of Justice is leading the probe, which Trump has called "partisan" and a "witch hunt."

Now, Barr, who has previously criticized his old employer, stated he would testify against Trump if requested to do so by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is in charge of the federal investigation against Trump.

During an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" on June 18, Barr stated, "If they called me in as a witness, of course I would testify," adding that he doesn't anticipate being called in for any such testimony.

Since the conclusion of the 2020 election, Barr, a longtime Trump loyalist who served as his attorney general, has tended to distance himself from the president. Now, the former AG declares that he is "adamantly against" another Trump administration.

In his testimony on Jan. 6 to the now-defunct House Select Committee, Barr refuted Trump's assertions that widespread voting fraud impacted the outcome of the election in many crucial swing states. Trump was "responsible in the broad sense," according to Barr, for the Capitol hack.

During his interview on CBS, Barr disputed Trump's stance as well, accusing his former commander in chief of having brought it on himself.

The president is not the victim in this situation, and the administration did not overstep its bounds, according to Barr. "He initiated the entire issue himself. Yes, he has been the target of unjust witch hunts in the past, but it doesn't change the fact that he is a dangerous person who has basic flaws. And that generates disastrous situations like these, which are extremely disruptive and harm whatever political causes he is affiliated with. Barr said, "This was a case that was totally of his own invention."

Trump had "no legal right" access the records, according to Barr, who praised the administration for working to return them "quietly and with respect" since they were "important" to the case.

Trump has claimed that the Presidential Records Act, a law controlling the management of presidential management of papers taken from the White House upon leaving office, safeguarded his actions. However, Special Counsel Smith is pursuing charges under the Espionage Act, a World War 1 law that has undergone significant revision and expansion over time, rather than the Presidential Records Act.

Trump presented his stance on CBS, but Barr fought against it.

"The legal principle under which he gets to take battle plans and vital national security secrets, as his personal files, is ludicrous," Barr added.

The act was created following Watergate, and its entire goal was to prevent presidents from removing government documents from the White House. Barr cited the law's definition of "purely private" files, or documents "that have nothing to do with the discussions of government policy, as limiting what a President can take.

These records are obviously not strictly private, he added. They aren't even making the claim that it is only private. They claim that despite clearly not fitting the criterion, the President has unrestricted authority to declare them to be [purely private]. It's a ridiculous argument.

Barr, on the other hand, indicated opposition to Trump being imprisoned as a result of the scandal. If found guilty on all the charges the government has brought against him, Trump could spend more than ten years in jail.

The host questioned Barr, "Do you think if he is convicted he should serve his prison sentence?"

Barr stated, "I don't like the concept of a former president doing time in prison," and added, "We haven't even reached to the issue of whether he's been convicted."

Additionally, some GOP members have claimed that bringing charges against Trump would be hypocritical following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's acquittal in 2016. A staff member claims that Clinton instructed them to acid wash her laptop, which held sensitive data. James Comey, the then-director of the FBI, controversially decided not to press charges against her.

Barr also addressed this stance.

The fundamental thrust of [Republicans'] argument, according to Barr, isn't to justify [Trump's] behaviour because it's impossible to do so. "What they're essentially arguing is that if Hillary Clinton had a pass six or seven years ago, he should also receive one. Now, I believe it is a valid argument, but I'm not sure if it is true.

"In my opinion, you don't further undermine justice if you want to reestablish the rule of law and equitable justice. You do this by using the appropriate criterion, which is not unfair to Trump since this is not a situation in which Trump is innocent and is being unjustly pursued. It's not unjust to hold him to that standard if he committed the crime or if he did."

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