Attorney General Bill Barr testifies earlier this year on the Mueller report

Let’s Go Back To The Memo That Was Central To Attorney General Bill Barr Getting The Job…

And how he maybe could apply it to what’s going on today, but isn’t…


In his 19-page note, dispatched unsolicited to the Justice Department, Barr deeply criticizes the Mueller investigation for investigating the President. And he argues strongly against requiring the President to be questioned by investigators. Which he wasn’t. Which Mueller expressed strong frustration about, but also probably realized was never going to happen once Barr became his boss.

Barr’s central argument? We’ll paraphrase (at the risk of oversimplifying because we’re not lawyers): the President can’t be investigated by the Justice Department for obstruction of an investigation. Any investigation. Even one in which he is personally implicated, because as the nation’s Chief Executive, he controls the Justice Department, and he cannot recuse himself from being President.

Barr makes an exception for actual destruction of evidence. We don’t know why that’s not covered too, except for it’s what brought Nixon down, and maybe he doesn’t want to argue that investigation wasn’t legal.

Writes Barr:

The Constitution vests all Federal law enforcement power, and hence prosecutorial discretion, in the President….”conflict of interest” laws do not, and cannot, apply to the President, since to apply them would impermissibly “disempower” the President from supervising a class of cases that the Constitution grants him the authority to supervise. Under the Constitution, the President’s authority over law enforcement matters is necessarily all-encompassing, and Congress may not exscind certain matters from the scope of his responsibilities….[C]onstitutionally, as applied to the President…there is no legal prohibition…against the President’s acting on a matter in which he has a personal stake.”

And in case we weren’t paying attention, Barr continues:

The Constitution itself places no limit on the President’s authority to act on matters which concern him or his own conduct….Constitutionally, it is wrong to conceive of the President as simply the highest officer within the Executive branch hierarchy. He alone is the Executive…



Eric J Scholl
Dialogue & Discourse

Peabody award winning journalist. Streaming media pioneer. Played @ CBGB back in the day. Editor-In-Chief "The Chaos Report"