Bill Barr, the former Attorney General of the United States, called out “two standards” in the Biden Justice Department’s “aggressive approach” with the recent Trump indictment versus its “lenient handling” of the Hunter Biden investigation on Friday.
Barr, who has been critical of his ex-boss since leaving office during the last weeks of Trump’s administration, was vocal about defending the charges relating to the incident of Jan. 6 from an “onslaught” of criticisms by critics, who claim it is an abuse of powers or weaponization of the DOJ. He called these complaints “overkill.”
Barr said, “I believe there is a valid case from a law standpoint in response to a grave misconduct,” before questioning the wisdom of this decision. Barr said that all cases were at the discretion of the Attorney General to decide whether or not to pursue them. This was not because of any unfairness towards Trump but rather in the interest of the public interest. I believe that there are certain considerations in this case that I would seriously consider not bringing it.
He continued: “One is the divisiveness in the case as compared to the outcome, especially when you consider the Hunter Biden Case, which has crystallized this deep-seated belief that there are two standards.” “And you’re being aggressive towards President Trump.” I don’t say that bringing the case is wrong, but it’s aggressive compared to, I believe, Hunter Biden’s very lenient treatment. “I think this is a very divisive issue in the country and I would have considered that.”
Barr said that criminally pursuing a former President is “a big deal,” and he was worried it could become a slippery slope for “more and more users of our criminal justice system in our political systems.”
“I don’t think this is interference in the elections – but I disagree with that criticism. But as a practical issue, it will divert attention and distract the people from the election.” Barr stated that he was afraid the country would spend the next two years watching reruns from ‘The Perry Mason Show,’ rather than debating serious issues. “So these are practical reasons I think it might have been better to not proceed with it. I’m not a fan of all these overkill accusations that it was reprehensible for this to be brought. “What was reprehensible was the conduct after the elections.”
Barr said he was not sure if, at the end of it all, he had “pulled off the trigger” based on the way the Jan. 6, 2016 investigation was conducted and the “inept manner in which the Hunter Biden Case was handled.”
Barr said: “I don’t have a problem with the investigation of what happened on the 6th, I think it was the right thing… but I am not sure if I would have taken the final decision… in this case.” There are really two levers in this case. The Hunter Biden case is separate from this one. Both are under the control of both the Attorney General and Department of Justice.”
“An Attorney General cannot say that this is being handled by this person or by an ex-Trump person. These are ultimately his decisions. Barr added, “He has to take responsibility for his decisions.” “I would have liked more coordination and a more forceful approach to the Hunter Biden Case. Do you think this is a fair resolution, given the wrongdoing? We also need to be assured that the financial aspect of Joe Biden’s involvement in promoting the company of his son and sharing the proceeds was thoroughly investigated.
Smith, who was appointed by Merrick Garland as Attorney General, filed two federal indictments involving Trump. The first indictment concerned his handling of classified materials and the second his conduct leading up to the Jan. 6 events.
Barr’s comments are not surprising. Critics have been pointing out that the DOJ handled the Trump cases differently than the Hunter Biden investigation, where the DOJ struck what was perceived to be a “sweetheart” deal before it collapsed in court because of confusion about the immunity he received despite ongoing investigations.
IRS whistleblowers who are leading the investigation into the younger Biden’s tax crimes claim that the DOJ interfered in their work. They told lawmakers they were discouraged to look into whether his dad was involved in shady dealings, and that Delaware U.S. attorney David Weiss had been blocked from bringing serious charges in California or Washington D.C. Weiss has himself backed off despite The New York Times partially verifying the claim.