On Monday, the wall surrounding Donald Trump’s actions to use foreign governments to undercut American intelligence didn’t just crack—it collapsed. In the space of a few hours, it became clear that Trump had leaned on the Australian prime minister to work with Attorney General William Barr in an effort to discredit American intelligence agencies and undercut the conclusion that Russia was responsible for interference in the 2016 election. Even more extraordinarily, it wasn’t Trump who came up with the idea of going to a foreign government for help in discrediting America’s own agencies and leveling the national reputation.
Barr’s dishonor down under wasn’t a one-off event. It was soon confirmed that he had also reached out to Italy, asking it for help. Help in replacing facts with conspiracy theories. Help with exonerating Vladimir Putin. Help in destroying the reputations, lives, and careers of the people who work in his own department.
Then Barr made the same play to the U.K. , it seemed completely unsurprising to learn that staff lawyers working for the House of Representatives believe that Barr’s clamping down on the Mueller report and placing the report under an indefensible claim of executive privilege wasn’t just another flexing of White House muscle. Because it now seems that what Barr is hiding under his privilege claim and the black smears of grand jury redactions is that Trump lied to investigators about contacts between his campaign and WikiLeaks.
Then, on a day when it was once again achingly clear that Barr would not just lie for Trump, not just hide information for Trump, but would wreck the nation’s own law enforcement apparatus while doing untold damage to the national interest, there came a topper for it all: Late on Monday evening, the Justice Department announced that it would be joining the lawsuit currently being conducted in the state of New York by Trump over subpoenas for his tax returns.
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The DOJ is not joining on the side of the state, of course, but on the side of Trump. Even though Trump is entered into the lawsuit as a private citizen, U.S. attorneys will be joining the claim against the Manhattan district attorney and defending Trump’s refusal to hand over his tax forms—in violation of state law. Maybe this is what Trump meant by a civil war: He’s launched Barr into a war with a state to protect the secrets hiding in Trump’s taxes. Before Barr came along, Trump had been somewhat stifled in his attempts to remake the Department of Justice into a tool he could effectively use to both shield himself and slap around his enemies. Now King Trump has his Deputy Dawg, A lawyer with no regard for the history or legacy of the Department of Justice. Barr is just a Trump hound dog who eats out of the peoples bowl with no regard for the American people.