“Where’s my Roy Cohn?” were the words spoken by President of the United States of America Donald J. Trump on the heels of his public display of disappointment, make that outrage, that Attorney General Jefferson Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Who is Cohn you wonder?
Cohn was an American attorney who served as Senator Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel during the infamous Army-McCarthy hearings during the early 1950s. As such, he assisted McCarthy with his bogus investigations into “suspected” Communists in the State Department and the U.S. military. Scare tactics that sound all too familiar in today’s political environment.
Cohn was also known as a top political “fixer” and served as Trump’s mentor and personal attorney and was his “fixer” well before Michael Cohen ever took up that mantle.
So, then, is there really anyone in his or her right mind who could think that when Donald Trump forced out Sessions from being attorney general only to replace him with anyone who would not serve as his “Roy Cohn?” Someone who would also recuse himself from the investigation? An attorney general who would put country before Trump?
The last few weeks have made it clear that the answer to “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” can be found in the name William P. Barr, the recently appointed attorney general.
With his misrepresentation of the findings of the Mueller Report and blatant lying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1, it is abundantly clear that this country has an attorney general that is serving as the personal “fixer” for Donald Trump and is not the people’s attorney.
Let’s start with the Mueller Report and the issue of obstruction of justice as discussed throughout Volume II of the report.
The report specifically refers to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel’s (OLC) opinion that, and I quote, “a sitting president may not be prosecuted” as the basis for not moving forward with an indictment of Trump. The report also states, as part of its reasoning, that a criminal accusation against the president would not allow him to defend himself in a court of law during his presidency.
So the report clearly states that it did not bring charges against the president, not because he is innocent, but instead, because of the OLC’s policy regarding charging a sitting president. Rather, as clearly stated in the report, Mueller chose to provide the so-called “roadmap” of offenses to Congress to act on its Constitutional responsibility to address the offenses of this president.
Not how Barr portrayed it. In his March 4 synopsis of the findings of the report, Barr clearly lied when he stated that neither the OLC policy nor the expectation that Congress would take up further action served as the basis for the conclusions reached in the report.
That brings us to the May 1 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee during which the Barr lying became even more evident. To backtrack a little, during his earlier testimony before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees hearings a few weeks ago, Barr was asked by Congressman Charlie Crist if he was aware of why the members of the Mueller team were dissatisfied with his summary of findings.
Barr replied that he did not know what went into their thinking. During the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, Senator Chris Van Hollen was a bit more specific when he asked Barr, and I quote, “Would Bob Mueller support your conclusion?” explicitly referring to page four of Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report issued on March 24.
To that question, Barr replied, and I quote again, “I don’t know if Bob Mueller would support my conclusion.”
The important thing to consider here, and clear evidence that the attorney general of the United States lied under oath, is the fact that this reply to Senator Van Hollen’s question came AFTER Barr had already received a letter from Bob Mueller. That letter, dated March 27, indicated that Barr, and I quote one more time, “…did not capture the nature, context and substance of this office’s work and conclusions.”
It is pretty clear that Barr lied during his testimony before the Appropriations Committees and then continued his lying before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Quite the role model!
Here is something further to consider when it comes to the lengths that Barr would go to protect his president. During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he stated that it was his opinion that the president, if he, the president, was convinced that the investigation was unfounded, had the authority to shut it down at any time. Think about that for a while.
If the president of the United States was allowed to shut down an investigation against him if he believed it was unjustified and unfounded, then the only investigations that he would not be able to shut down would be those investigations against him that he considered JUSTIFIED and FOUNDED. To bring it a step further, that would also mean that if the president did not shut down an investigation against him, not doing so would, effectively, serve as an admission of guilt.
Does anyone in his or her right mind believe that Richard Nixon thought the Watergate investigation was justified? How about Bill Clinton thinking the White Water investigation was warranted? Let’s go back even further to Andrew Johnson. Does anyone believe that he thought Congress’ investigation of him was justified?
The Barr legal opinion on the authority of the president of the United States to shut down investigations against himself tells you all you need to know about William P. Barr, personal attorney and “fixer” to the president of the United States.