On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a short clip of Attorney General William Barr saying that he is constantly asked when the president’s enemies are going to prison for their treatment of President Donald Trump, and he jokingly responded: “these things take time.”
In the clip, Barr says: “Nowadays I’m constantly hit, ‘Why aren’t people going to prison for what they did to the president?’ And on the other side, you know,’Throw Bill Barr in prison.’ ”
“These things take time,” Barr added with a big smile and laugh.
Trump Jr. quoted Barr in his tweet, writing: “These things take time,” accompanied by a series of laughing face emojis:
These things take time. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/TX7DuYgAsr
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 13, 2019
In a fiery speech last month before the conservative Federalist Society, Barr said Trump’s opponents are using every tool they can to intentionally sabotage his administration.
“Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called the Resistance,” Barr said. “They essentially see themselves as engaged in a war, to cripple by any means necessary, a duly elected government.”
The attorney general castigated Democrats in Congress over their investigations, multiple subpoenas, as well as court rulings against the administration.
“The sheer volume of what we see today – the pursuit of scores of parallel investigations through an avalanche of subpoenas – is plainly designed to incapacitate the executive branch and, indeed, is touted as such,” Barr said. “While the president has certainly thrown out the traditional Beltway playbook and punctilio, he was upfront about what he was going to do and the people decided they wanted him to serve as president.”
Earlier this month, Barr accused the FBI of operating out of “bad faith” when it investigated whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and he contends the FBI acted improperly by continuing the investigation after Donald Trump took office.
Barr dismissed the findings of the Justice Department’s inspector general that there was no evidence of political bias in the launching of the Russia probe, saying that his hand-picked prosecutor, John Durham, will have the last word on the matter.
“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press,” Barr said. “I think there were gross abuses …and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI.”
“I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith.”
Barr’s blistering criticism of the FBI’s conduct in the Russia investigation, which went well beyond the errors outlined in the inspector general report, is bound to stoke further debate about whether the attorney general is acting in good faith, or as a political hatchet man for Trump.
Barr, without evidence and in direct contradiction to the report’s findings, asserted that the Trump campaign was spied on by the Obama administration.
“It was clearly spied upon,” he said. “That’s what electronic surveillance is … going through people’s emails, wiring people up.”
He also claimed that former President Barack Obama posed the “greatest danger” to democracy in the 2016 election — not Russia.
“I think, probably, from a civil liberties standpoint, the greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government used the apparatus of the state — principally, the law enforcement agencies and the intelligence agencies — both to spy on political opponents. But as to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of the election,” Barr alleged. “As far as I’m aware, this is the first time in history that this has been done to a presidential campaign.”
Barr’s comments were criticized by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Barr is acting in incredibly bad faith,” tweeted Warner. “With this revisionist campaign to undermine a thorough, two-year IG investigation, the Attorney General is once again substituting partisan rhetoric for politically inconvenient facts.”
“We cannot overstate the damage Bill Barr is doing to the rule of law,” added Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.
“Barr’s accusation that the career men and women at the FBI were acting in bad faith a day after a comprehensive investigation failed to find that is a new low,” former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller said. “Just sheer partisan hackery.”