- Former Attorney General William Barr said Sunday he believed Donald Trump deserved to be prosecuted.
- Barr told CBS that his former boss’s handling of classified documents was “indefensible.”
- Trump is a “complete narcissist” who puts his own interests before those of the country, Barr said.
Until the 2020 election, former Attorney General William Barr was seen as the epitome of a Republican loyalist, one who ‘twisted’ the findings of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, in the words of a federal judge, and who spent preparing for the presidential vote casting doubt on the integrity of mail-in ballots.
But during a Sunday appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Barr — who dismissed former President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud before stepping down from office in December 2020 — accused his former boss and the Republican frontrunner for being a “complete narcissist” and a “troubled man” who deserves to be prosecuted for allegedly mishandling classified information.
“It’s not a circumstance where he’s the victim or it’s government abuse,” Barr said of this month’s 37-count federal indictment. accusing Trump of taking classified national defense information from the White House and lying to federal officials who tried to obtain it. back.
“He caused this whole problem himself,” Barr said, adding that while he thought Trump had already been the subject of “witch hunts,” that “doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s also a fundamentally flawed person who engages in reckless driving, and that leads to situations – calamitous situations like this – that are very destructive and hurt any political cause he is associated with.”
Barr said he believes Trump lied to the Justice Department when he asked his attorneys to claim he turned over all classified documents. He called it “indefensible” behavior, which he said resulted in a deserved prosecution.
Barr rejected some Republicans’ argument that Trump is unfairly subjected to a double standard because Hillary Clinton herself was not prosecuted for using a private email server while she was secretary of state. A 2018 review by the Justice Department’s inspector general determined that prosecutors correctly decided not to charge Clinton with a crime based on available evidence, not undue political influence.
“It’s not unfair to Trump,” Barr said, “because this is not a case where Trump is innocent and unjustly prosecuted. He committed the crime, or if he committed the crime, he didn’t. It’s not unfair to require them to meet that standard.”
Besides the question of whether Trump should be prosecuted, Barr said Republicans should consider whether they should name a man accused of sharing national defense secrets with unauthorized persons.
“Should we put someone like that forward as the leader of the country, leader of the free world, who engages in this kind of conduct? Barr asked, arguing that the classified documents case is “not just an isolated example.”
“He will always put his own interests and the satisfaction of his own ego above everything else, including the interest of the country, there’s no doubt about that,” Barr said. “He’s a perfect example of that.”
Barr wasn’t the only former Trump official to blast his former employer on Sunday.
Mark Esper, who served as Secretary of Defense from 2019 to 2020, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the allegations about Trump’s handling of classified information are “very disturbing,” noting that some documents outline US defense plans and a proposed military attack on Iran.
If what is stated in the federal indictment turns out to be true, Esper said, then Trump should never again be entrusted with classified information.
“It’s just an irresponsible action that puts our military at risk, puts the security of our nation at risk,” Esper said.
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