So when Barr announced this week that “I think it’s time to stop tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” and that the president’s statements “make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity” — he wasn’t actually standing up for the Justice Department’s integrity, or its independence, or for the rule of law.
To the contrary, as his (and my) friend Fox News host Laura Ingraham put it, “Barr was basically telling Trump, don’t worry I got this.” In other words, don’t blow this by calling attention to all that I do for you. Don’t say the quiet part out loud.
But the president will never listen, and what Barr does for him will never be enough. Now having been acquitted by the Senate, Trump thinks he’s bulletproof, legally and otherwise. He now brags, as he tweeted on Saturday, that he is “‘the King’” who was targeted but not taken down. And, drawing on a story in the New York Times that suggested he is stained but unshackled, Trump boasted that he has indeed survived “’triumphant’” and “’emboldened’” and “’focused’” more than ever on prosecuting “’his case of grievance, persecution, and resentment.’”