Barr Insists That He’s Protecting The Presidency, Not Just Trump

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 13: U.S. Attorney General William Barr delivers remarks during the National Police Week 31st Annual Candlelight Vigil on the National Mall May 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. Thousands of law enforce... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 13: U.S. Attorney General William Barr delivers remarks during the National Police Week 31st Annual Candlelight Vigil on the National Mall May 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. Thousands of law enforcement officers, their supporters and family members of those officers who have died in the line of duty gathered on the National Mall to remember and honor them. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 21, 2019 8:37 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr is insisting that he signed on to be President Donald Trump’s attack dog to protect the institution of the presidency — not just the man currently holding the title.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Barr is resistant to criticism that he has consistently acted more like Trump’s personal attorney than the attorney general.

“I felt the rules were being changed to hurt Trump, and I thought it was damaging for the presidency over the long haul,” Barr said of the investigations and lawsuits Trump fielded during his first two years. “At every grave juncture the presidency has done what it is supposed to do, which is to provide leadership and direction. If you destroy the presidency and make it an errand boy for Congress, we’re going to be a much weaker and more divided nation.”

The House Judiciary Committee has already recommended that Barr be held in contempt over his refusal to release an unredacted copy of the Mueller report to Congress.

His critics more generally are unlikely to buy his expressed devotion to the presidency, taking issue with his investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation (which he has termed “spying”) and his four-page summary of the Mueller report, which prompted even the special counsel himself to express his displeasure.

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