Trump has given William Barr, one of his principal toads, the power to declassify anything he wants. Allegedly, this is so Barr can investigate how the investigations that led to the Meuller investigation got started. Paul Waldman explains why this is a big deal.
Barr is not trying to learn more about whether there was something fishy about that investigation. He’s looking for information that can then be selectively declassified in order to help Trump and undermine his perceived enemies. If that involves compromising sensitive intelligence, he won’t hesitate for a moment.
We can be pretty sure of what’s going to happen. Barr will scour every record he can to learn as much as possible about the Russia investigation. Whenever he comes across something that can be spun to make the FBI or anyone Trump has decided is his enemy look bad, he’ll put it in the “Declassify” pile. Then he’ll release it all to the public and hold a news conference where he suggests that there was a conspiracy to take down Trump. The president will then take to Twitter to proclaim that he was indeed the victim of a vile witch hunt that has at last been exposed. The news media, in possession of only the materials Barr has chosen to give them, will struggle to avoid amplifying and reinforcing Barr’s claims.
In case you were wondering what happens when an infinitely corrupt president decides to use the powers of the federal government for his own self-interest with the help of lackeys he has installed to protect him, this is it. Now just wait until he tells Barr to go after the Democratic nominee for president.
Yep, that’s how it will go down. Kind of amazing the United States lasted as long as it did, consideringa circus clown is doiing such a bang up job destroying it.