Letters to the Editor: William Barr is a big reason our democracy is on the brink
To the editor: As someone who has long followed the horror story of former President Trump and how he has corrupted our democracy — fitting all the disgraceful pieces into one frightening puzzle — I have been stumped lately as to why former Atty. Gen. William Barr is suddenly all over the news, defending the Biden administration’s Department of Justice against Trump’s attacks. I didn’t believe it was merely a last-minute attempt to save his ruined legacy. (“Bill Barr is telling the truth about Trump. Too bad it’s too little, too late,” Opinion, Sept. 9)
In the last few days, I got my “aha!” moment. In Geoffrey Berman’s book “Holding the Line,” which was just published, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York exposes all the details of how Barr and other Trump lemmings turned the Department of Justice from an independent, apolitical agency into a corrupt extension of Trump’s presidency.
Now, on to the next piece of the puzzle.
Susan Shell, Los Angeles
To the editor: Columnist Jackie Calmes makes a common mistake about the report issue by former Justice Department special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in 2019. She writes: “It’s worth briefly recalling just what Mueller actually concluded. Yes, his investigation found that Trump and his campaign did not conspire with Russia to interfere on his behalf in the 2016 election, though the Trump campaign actively welcomed the help.”
The report did not conclude that Trump did not conspire with Russia. Mueller just did not find enough usable evidence to prove conspiracy or coordination. That’s a big difference.
In Volume I of the report, Mueller cited many problems with obtaining reliable information, including witnesses pleading the 5th Amendment, some witnesses lying, communications being deleted and more. Mueller wrote: “Accordingly, while this report embodies factual and legal determinations that the Office [of Special Counsel] believes to be accurate and complete to the greatest extent possible, given these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in this report.”
The case has withered from a legal standpoint, but certainly not from a historical one.
Bill Lawrence, Hawthorne
To the editor: Barr is auditioning for a future job and trying to rehabilitate his image. It’s a failure on both counts.
Just as Trump, Barr deserves investigation and prosecution if it proves necessary. No mercy, no deals. He helped lead us to the breaking point we are at right now as a democracy and a country.
Scott Hughes, Westlake Village