Bill Barr Had His Chance — and Blew It

In discussing the Hunter Biden investigation with The Federalist, Bill Barr, most recently Donald Trump's attorney general, said:

Intervening events, especially recent reports about FBI whistleblowers and the possible reach of the investigation, warrant adding the protections of special counsel status to assure that key decisions are made independently without political favor.

Wow!  Talk about an inflated sense of his own authority.  Barr exerted only minimal influence over the DOJ when he was in charge.  Does he really believe they care what he thinks now?

Why doesn't he just insist that Hunter, Joe, and the whole Biden clan confess their sins?  That's about as likely to happen as Merrick Garland taking advice from him.

But maybe Barr's newfound concern is more about assuaging his guilt than achieving anything resembling justice.  The Hunter Biden scandal is just a byproduct of the mess that Bill Barr left behind when he handed the DOJ over to the likes of Merrick Garland.

When Barr was appointed head the DOJ, he never seemed to recognize something that had been obvious for years to anyone without blinders on.  The DOJ was already steeped in corruption — the rot was part of its culture.

In the years preceding Barr's tenure, the DOJ had engaged in gun-running to drug cartels.  That was a departmental attempt to "juice up" the gun violence statistics in support of more gun control.  The attorney general at the time, Eric Holder, was even held in contempt of Congress for withholding evidence of the scandal.

The DOJ had spent at least a year functioning as Hillary Clinton's "fixer."  The Department of Justice destroyed evidence and granted immunity to guilty players — and got nothing in return.  The attorney general at the time, Loretta Lynch, even had a clandestine meeting with the husband of the target.  The DOJ declined to prosecute just a few weeks later.

The FBI, which is part of the DOJ, even attempted to overthrow a duly elected administration. Remember the Peter Strzok insurance policy?  It was a coordinated, multi-person attack on the president.  We call that insurrection these days.

The DOJ that Barr inherited had even turned a blind eye to spying on journalists, politicians, and private citizens by the CIA and NSA.

Bill Barr took over the department and attempted to lead by example.  In a normal, functioning DOJ, he would have been a good A.G.  But we didn't need someone to run the DOJ.  We needed someone to fix the DOJ.

Barr had a small window to effect change at the DOJ — and missed it.  The department didn't need conventional leadership.  It needed a turn-around artist.  It wasn't good enough to demonstrate good decision-making to the department.  The culture needed to be rebuilt.  Those who had violated their oaths with impunity needed to suffer the cost of that behavior.  Examples needed to be made — as a deterrent to others.  And Bill Barr had only two years to do it.

In short, we needed a George Patton, not a George McClellan.

After the U.S. Army II Corps was defeated in a rout at the Kasserine Pass, George Patton was given command of the unit.  He took over a force that had been beaten both physically and psychologically.

Patton took draconian measures to rebuild the culture of II Corps — and he had only two weeks to do it.  He changed tactics and instituted relentless inspections — with fines of half a month's pay for even minor uniform infractions.  Cooks, surgeons, and administrative staff were required to wear helmets and carry rifles at all times.  The message was clear: II Corps was a professional fighting force, and no deviation from that dogma would be tolerated.  II Corps won its next battle and many more after that.

Barr had any number of actions he could have taken to redirect his department's culture of corruption.  But it depended on bad players suffering serious consequences — something Barr was apparently loath to impose.

Andrew McCabe had committed the felonies of leaking information to the press and lying about it to federal investigators.  Jeff Sessions had fired him.  Bill Barr could have charged him, but he didn't.

Triggered by the Steele Dossier, the Mueller investigation spent three years attempting to dig up anything it could to indict President Trump with.  The investigators leaked to the press and used threats and intimidation to pressure innocent people into confessions.  At the conclusion of the probe, the investigators destroyed their cell phones (a felony), and Robert Mueller lied to Congress — claiming he hadn't even investigated the dossier.  Did any of them suffer any consequences from Bill Barr?  Nope.  The actions of Mueller and his team didn't call for an inspector general review; it called for a special counsel to investigate the special counsel.

Hunter Biden has been under investigation by the FBI since at least 2018.  In October of 2020 — a month before the presidential election — his laptop with incriminating evidence became public knowledge.  Bill Barr knew for the last three months of his time at the DOJ who the next president was going to be.  He knew that graft and corruption had surrounded Biden throughout his 49 years of government "service."  Vice President Biden even bragged about strong-arming the Ukrainians into dropping an investigation into the company Hunter worked for.  Did he really think Joe Biden wouldn't come to his son's rescue again?  Yet Barr didn't bother to appoint a special counsel when he could have.

While Bill Barr was in charge, nobody faced prosecution.  Nobody was publicly shamed.  Nobody even lost half a month's pay.  What did he expect his department to learn from his time at the DOJ?

What has an emboldened DOJ done since Bill Barr handed it off to the Biden administration?

That is the level of rot that has resulted from Barr's failure to take action.

Now, when he's not supporting the Democrat's "big lie" narrative, Bill Barr is calling for Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel.  He's asking an attorney general who is uninterested in justice to pursue justice.  Does he not see the flaw in that reasoning?  Has it occurred to him that politely asking evil to be righteous is an exercise in silliness?

I have some advice for Bill Barr.  If he really cares about justice, stop asking Merrick Garland to do the right thing, and start calling for his resignation.  Lacking that, perhaps he should spend a bit less time criticizing Donald Trump and bit more brainpower reflecting on his own failures.

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho.  He has written for American Thinker, American Free News Network, and The Blue State Conservative.  He can be followed on Facebook or reached at

Image: Office of Public Affairs via Flickr.

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