Somebody was using the Justice Department to go after perceived political enemies. And when they did, the investigations stretched into months, and then years, expanding as time passed.

As Brower said, the inquiries had devastating effects on the people investigated; just ask Flynn or Page or another former low-level Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos. They have paid a high price, in both money and reputation, for running afoul of the investigative apparatus.

Also, as Brower said, the investigations were a potential political benefit for the people orchestrating them. Just ask virtually any Democrat on Capitol Hill.

But none of that was much of a concern to the combination of opposition politicians, resistance and Never Trump activists, and a go-along press that fed the investigation machine since before Trump took office. The targets were figures unpopular with Democrats and many in the media.

But now, as Barr seeks to shine a light on how the investigation machine revved up, we suddenly hear concerns about the costs of such probes.