As Attorney General William Barr is learning to his dismay, in Trump world, there is no bottom.
No matter how completely a once-respected professional abases himself, still more will be demanded until the man in charge demands final, total subjugation and humiliation.
For a second week, Barr is trying to stop President Trump’s Twitter interference in active criminal cases before the Justice Department. Last week, the AG went on TV to share that Trump’s tweets about Roger Stone’s trial were making it impossible to do his job. The adolescent in the Oval Office promptly popped up to tweet that he had the right to say whatever he liked, injecting politics into what are supposed to be on-the-merits prosecutions.
This week, Barr’s reportedly telling colleagues that he is considering quitting, as more than 2,000 former DOJ employees have urged. Trump’s response: “I am the chief law enforcement officer,” a title traditionally applied to the attorney general. To boot, Trump’s now retweeting radical advocates supporting the notion that a president should be able to interfere in criminal cases and urging Trump to purge Justice Department officials perceived to be disloyal.
In any normal administration, Barr’s only sane choice would be resignation. The hitch here is that without a Senate-approved attorney general at the tiller, it’s likely Trump would go even further off the rails.
This is the choice faced by all nominally responsible Cabinet officials. Take a stand for integrity by exiting the administration, or keep their bodies between Trump and the abyss.