All I can think given his timeline is that he’s waiting to see if Barr comes up with something before the electoral college meets on December 14. If not, sayonara. Watch, then read on.
You would think the fact that his own lawyers are now 1-41 in post-election lawsuits would help him grasp why Barr “hasn’t done anything” about election fraud thus far, but this is what happens when you start with a conclusion and then reason backwards from it. Fraud must have occurred — so why hasn’t the Attorney General uncovered it yet?
Note also his insistence that something criminal happened here. Barr stressed in his interview with the AP earlier this week that, unless and until evidence of a crime is found, the proper avenues for challenging the results are civil lawsuits and election audits by state officials, not DOJ probes. “There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all, and people don’t like something they want the Department of Justice to come in and ‘investigate,’” said Barr, being verrrry careful not to specify which “people” — or person — he had in mind.
Reportedly his visit to the Oval Office on Tuesday, after he affirmed that the DOJ hasn’t found any proof of widespread fraud, went as well as we all expected:
Barr spent roughly two and a half hours on White House grounds on Tuesday for what White House and Department of Justice officials previously said was a pre-planned meeting with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
However, sources told ABC News that once Barr was in the building for meetings, Trump wanted to see him.
One source briefed on the meeting described Barr’s interaction with the president as “intense,” but would not elaborate on any additional details about the content of their discussion.
The president is allegedly “livid,” and not just because of what Barr said about fraud:
One senior administration official said there was a chance Trump would fire his attorney general and asserted that the president was not merely frustrated over Barr’s fraud-related assertions. The person said that several people are trying to persuade Trump not to do so. Like others, this official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Barr says he hasn’t seen fraud that could affect the election outcome
Trump, the official said, was perhaps even angrier that Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham did not issue a public report of his findings before last month’s election, and that Barr had secretly appointed Durham as special counsel in October, giving him extra legal and political protection to continue the work he started a year ago. Durham is examining whether crimes were committed by law enforcement during its 2016 investigation of whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia…
Barr and Trump’s relationship had been deteriorating even before his comments to the AP. One official said the two had barely spoken in recent months, as the president was frustrated by the attorney general’s not releasing any findings of Durham’s investigation before the election and not taking more aggressive steps to back his claims of election fraud. Barr met Tuesday with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, but it is unclear what they discussed.
We’re left with the eternal question of why deputies who’ve fallen out of favor don’t just resign instead of hanging around for POTUS to demean them or for rumors of their imminent firings to be whispered to reporters. The eternal default answer is that they fear if they quit they’ll be replaced by someone with weaker ethics and blinder loyalty to Trump than they themselves have — that is, they have an institutional duty to hang on as long as they can lest a less scrupulous crony take their place. Normally that’s self-serving nonsense but in Barr’s case there may be something to it. Trump probably can find someone within the ranks of the DOJ to be acting AG who’s willing to go out in front of cameras and start chattering about voter fraud whether or not he has evidence to bring a case.
Weird but true: Bill Barr may be the great Never Trump hope right now. What a plot twist to end this amazing series.
Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to convince the public of a massive conspiracy to rig the vote against Trump across multiple states continues. Yesterday he was in Michigan presenting witnesses like the lady who made the case for voter ID based on the fact that she thinks all Chinese-Americans look alike:
One of Rudy Giuliani’s witnesses just said she thinks “all Chinese look alike” while making the argument for a voter ID requirement in Michigan pic.twitter.com/WUCYRTzmgu
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 3, 2020
The real star was Melissa Carone, though, a contract worker for Dominion who insists that she saw vans bringing in fake ballots and who sounded to some as if she were slurring her speech at times. She got into a back-and-forth with one Michigan legislator — a Republican — over poll books, with Carone insisting that she saw some ballots counted multiple times and the Republican countering that the poll books didn’t back that up. “What’d you guys do, take it and do something crazy to it?” she retorted. Say what you will about her but she’s more credible than the star witness in Pennsylvania, an amateur ghost-hunter who believes that a “shadow person” once lived in his basement. Why hasn’t Bill Barr indicted anyone based on this compelling testimony?
Holy smokes the sequel is even better!
Rudy Giuliani tries to shush her to calm her down and the Republican even tries to reel her in!
She treats this Republican* like he’s a Chick-fil-A employee and the milkshake machine went down.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) December 3, 2020
Update: I realize POTUS believes the Justice Department should be an extension of the White House political shop, but this is ridiculous.
Heidi Stirrup, an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, was quietly installed at the Justice Department as a White House liaison a few months ago. She was told within the last two weeks to vacate the building after top Justice officials learned of her efforts to collect insider information about ongoing cases and the department’s work on election fraud, the people said.
Stirrup is accused of approaching staffers in the department demanding they give her information about investigations, including election fraud matters, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter…
Stirrup had also extended job offers to political allies for positions at some of the highest levels of the Justice Department without consulting any senior department officials or the White House counsel’s office and also attempted to interfere in the hiring process for career staffers, a violation of the government’s human resources policies, one of the people said.
Was she … bribing prosecutors with job offers to try to get them to reveal information about their cases?
If Trump thinks Barr is hiding something about voter fraud — which there’s no reason to believe — he should fire him immediately. It’s absurd to resort to snooping on an agency to try to get the “truth” while leaving the head of that agency in place.