tv Elie Honig Hatchet Man - How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutors Code and... CSPAN August 23, 2022 10:45am-11:05am EDT
says in his confirmation. i'm semi- retarded just want to spend time with my grandchildren. i think three reasons, one is our, the mounted been out of the public eye and not a political powerful man for 25 years. there's nothing wrong with that and try to get promoted and did as a prosecutor so good. i don't have a problem with that in the second, the let's not this not be misled by his sort of need this stuff, the mountaintop power in the audition it and he got it. the second thing is that bill barr is long had an extreme view of the law and unitary executive meaning the present sort of inner political system but bill barr push that so far to the point that he lost hustling the course because he is constantly arguing but he often succeeds in protecting trump by just going to court and dragging these things out to the sort of until he would then the third thing was sort of an moment that we
had in researching this book, bill barr is what i call a culture warrior, meaning is not just a deeply religious person, that is fine but he sought her saw it as his ultimate goal to bring it back to her government back to our public and how do we know that brady gave a little bit of it is speaking made very late in his tenure as a g unit turned heads when he was talking about the roles of religion but we dug up a bunch of speeches and articles that he had given in the '90s when he says really shocking alarming thanks and i will, his feel is that the only true organizing principles of our laws our country is religiosity, judeo christian and secularism meaning sort of nonreligious aspects of government, that's a source of all evil so in one of these papers and ago, god's law and he cried, bigotry against catholics
and erase this. we are being pushed stanley off the battlefield or have been for the last few decades and occasionally we are jabbing back and poking back as we backpedal off the field of predict so here's the real kicker, what is our larger strategy for preserving the church and seeing it prevail. how will we get back on the battlefield so he viewed this in militaristic in terms that the church must prevail and then go on in the other writings to rail against buddy calls social pathologies including in a quote, the homosexual movement which he blamed for secularist which he blamed basically all the ills in society homelessness depression, mental illness and increase in violence. the way he viewed it basically is to put them again, 300 free government is only sustainable for a rated in front religious people and again this is outrageous tough to bring into your public life.
three government is only suitable and sustainable for religious people and to hundred judeo christian moral standards are the ultimate rules for human conduct party did that to me is what ultimately drove bill barr coming seasons as a battle, his own words, that the church is have a strategy for retaking his power away from the secular and away from me homosexual movement as he put it away from the militant secularists. and this is his last shot and i think he was willing to do anything to make that happen i do think it's important to know that he is never been a member of opus dei, that's a persistent rumor that he's a member of the strange group and is not true and he is however a true cultural warrior. omar: in this question comes from dorian to says that in your opinion, what was his motivation for serving as attorney general under trump. he already served under one
administration, why would this one. >> there's an interesting question that i can tie into that, how did he viewed donald trump and i think that he saw donald, not argue based on his, bill barr did not see him as the sort of wonderful mystical being to be worshiped that the way that i don't know who his biggest believers are, he is sort of this gifted person we all must follow. i don't think he viewed in that way i don't think, i think that bill barr viewed donald trump sort of as a tool in the vehicle to an end and i think you recognize that they share similar views of how powerful the president should be. he understood donald trump wanted to be untouchable and was willing and able to make that happen. as i sort of synergy there between bill barr's executive you and donald trump read and he didn't praise academically big
remember the donald trump said either present, i can do whatever i want and bill barr recognize that we are sort of together on this and he could really implement a lot of his agenda and personal beliefs through donald trump or without donald trump interfering so i think they did sort of you each other as a means to an end afraid donald trump viewed bill barr, he said i will clear you for mueller which is exactly what happened that's all trump cared about and sort of it may be somewhat unwitting means to bill barr's own personal and buried. >> and i think the relationship was apparent when you go back to what was uncovered without trump viewed it giuliani and bill barr almost an a similar grouping and i don't know what it says more about either trump or bill barr to be viewed in that manner or
if trump saw him as someone who just go along with things as opposed to being in it for in a personal attorney more than an attorney general. >> this early how trump viewed him. there's that terrible moment for bill barr with the ukrainian president. i'll connect really and bill barr, no pretty well i see the book of there's no evidence that bill barr actually did that naturally got involved with ukraine but is not a good look for the edgy with the president just casually thinks of you as a rudy in the federal payroll. >> of course and part of that i think into this question as well is that there are a lot of things not just in your book but beyond a lot of situations that are actually involved in and situations that he could've gotten involved in that he did not and i think that this question from tina is when you were writing this book, was bill barr given that book to comment on this book. did you reach out to him and if not, has he reach out to you
directly to express his dismay. >> i'm really glad that question was asked for it yes my reached out twice in writing to bill barr and his team and i was forthcoming and i said, look at writing this book and i said it's all hatchet man and is very critical however, i be more than happy to come in and sit down with did attorney general and interview him and hear his perspective and they did not respond even time. and i give them a chance to do that and by the way do want to say this, is important and i said in the book, i was positive on bill barr and his name came out. i was on cnn, things have in your sitting there and said, i always remember it. and came out as they'd know many of the person that trump was about to nominate any kind in my ear. and said, can you just in a few minutes were going to ask you what you think so named bring about a new he was somebody in the bush administration. i did a quick search as i had a
pretty good record and reputation and i said, i answer producer at cnn to publicly for me because i wanted to call myself i said something like he's a serious person, he's on the job before and seems well-qualified and i think he is a good pick. a day or two later we'll learn about that in addition memo which but my point is, i did not have enough of the sky to the contrary. at first i was willing to give him the benefit of the data in a quote various other people who have been critical of the trump administration who originally said he looks like a good pick and later said, is the worst attorney general we ever had so think that's important. i absolutely did give bill barr the opportunity to come and speak with me. he could've issued a statement just said i've been a good idea and i disagree with your premise. but he has reached out to me directly from him or on his behalf rated but i do think that he is trying to do a little bit of pr campaign the atlantic pisan others. >> and part of what i thank you so so interesting about all of the situations remind us of it's
hard to keep up when you look back on for years on the trump administration and how many either scandals or controversies the bubble up from different parts of the federal government. in this question those interesting one because the variation of and i wondered on as well, and that this mark is act and trent that is asking. what you think that jeff would have done a really my variation is any other attorney general would've done with mueller report had he remained as attorney general during that time. >> of course jeff recused himself which is what trump what caused trump to publicly buried him. and ashcroft, gonzales, all under the bush administration eric under the obama administration. moment made it so easy, he could've made it easier to
release those mueller summaries, the two volumes of the mueller report. interference by russia and injustice and at the top of each one, robert moeller himself is the seven-page summaries, here are my findings and they were already scrubbed for classified information they were ready to go in fact this one like these details you forget about i said oh yeah, robert moeller wrote a letter to bill barr and bill barr put into bogus four-page letter and more said, essentially anything according right, you have mischaracterized the substance nature and conclusions of my report then he goes on to say that i give you the summaries bill barr, you are supposed to just put them out, you could've done that on day one. and the detail that i forgot about during the research is so floor since his letter to bill barr saying that you misstated my report pretty couple weeks later bill barr testifies in congress, i went down to dc to cover this for cnn but we didn't
know about the letter yet and i come out and a member of congress, asked bill barr has anybody the mueller team expressed displeasure to you about your four-page letter and bill barr looked into the cameras in the end of the letter came out anyway back in front of congress and said, he lied to us, and you got this letter from mueller. and essentially he said it's just this board solid than a quart of the book. linda boiled down to i didn't think robert moeller himself counted as a member of his team to infest mode on any of his team had sent a letter like this but he doesn't count is on his team which is like come on at a certain point were just allowed to say, bull. and he would not buy them from your kid if that was your kids excuse. hey did anybody in this class have a problem with your behavior. nope.
wait, ms. johnson wrote you letter. it will she is count as part of the class. you'd be like get out of here. you don't have kids yet but this will happen. >> i have been around enough. [laughter] one of the things that i actually went to asking all good in a few more questions to be fully wrap up the one of things i want to ask is you honing in the book is but bill barr decided this is important to the public. when narrative whether it is voter fraud or on order or whatever is read was important for the justice department for him and do what you decide is not important what i thank you so interesting is that you singled out the case out of michigan where the people were arrested in the kidnapped and potentially being killed by witmer and you said it was the most significant potentially these most significant criminal charge case in the entire tenure yet didn't quite capitalize on that reputation there other
ways he could have elevated elevated his name is stood out s attorney general even while still doing what he was doing for trump read. >> that is a great question and there are three things that bill barr tried his start is to never acknowledge or never say never give any oxygen to grade and one was the idea of voter fraud, he was very big on pumping that narrative in shying away from all of the evidence that there's really no sin to be get voter fraud and to his domestic terrorism. white nationalist terrorism. he bends over backwards and every opportunity to blame black lives matter and all of the problems and then returned to something white nationalist and despite all of the words, he refused to publicly in good knowledge that in the case which was the domestic extremist, the fact that bill barr did not make a repeat on the case any 8g would make a statement.
you can go to the press conversation, they would issue a written statement or do some strong things that they did for major case we feel strongly about this, he did nothing until we drive did out of him and said cnn said are you going make a statement. a boilerplate or whatever. and the third big one is racial disparity in policing in that was a holy crap moment when he was asked that do you acknowledge there's some systemic racism. and bill barr said nope. that's not a matter of opinion. so those three things by the way what do they have in common, they were all related directly to common political talking points of donald then candidate for reelection, donald trump created the massive voter fraud and everything from nt 4.0 or blm. and racial problems here in the country so bill barr felt right and blind in politicizing post talking points.
>> was apparent. i can just say estimating media if you do after digging to find out what is actually important here because usually if you get a statement coming from the department of just run and justice we are taking it seriously because it is something that usually has meet behind it. nevertheless question, is a fitting one in this comes from the viewers here. i'll add on to this question is what comes from ronald reed and he said any thoughts about subjects for your next book. and if not, i'll throw one back and, if not, is there anything the try to fit in this book that you couldn't write. >> those are great questions. so first of all, before we conclude, thank you markham we did a great job and went to
i almost felt like walking into a cathedral when i walked in there. the thought that i would ever do an eventthere is still hard for me tofathom . was there anything i wanted to fit into this book that i couldn't ? no accept the unfortunate physical reality that it had to go to the printer at some point a couple weeks ago and i can't tell you how many times i tried . just one thing, just one page. and i knew the answerwas no . it's been printed, it's on paper. but i will have a bit of materialfor the paperback about the stuff that's come out over the last couple of weeks . my next book, i definitely want to doanother book. it's exhausting but exhilarating .on my next book i'd like to focus on a specific case. i don't know which one but the a case, criminal case that either has sort of been underappreciated in our
history. a great subject that's getting a lot more attention now is the tolstoy massacre. that's an example of the kind of thing i'd like to do. i think that was significant but didn't get enough attention at the time or maybe even just ... i don't want to do just a thriller. i want to do a piece with a social and public importance but i'm flexible. i can do anything in the law and i want to get more into reporting. we did a lot of research in this case but i want to start looking at the stuff you do every day. but i am looking forward to doing another book at some point and harpercollins as a standard book stuff they have to write if the next book if you want it. i'd like to continue writing in the criminal justice field. that's really thefield i know best .
>> great moderating, omar and ellie, i have a feeling that people who will be talking about bill barr's tenure as attorney general for a long time and when they do you provided a useful account that is lucid, entertaining and ultimately quite devastating so thanks for that . and to everyone watching thanks for tuning in. a reminder that in the chat column you can find a link for purchasing copies of that man . there they are. multiple copies. from all of us here at politics and prose, stay well and well read. >> if you're enjoying book tv then sign up for our newsletter using the qr code on the screen to receive a schedule of upcoming programs, other discussions, book programs and more. book tv every sunday on c-span2 or online at booktv.org . television for serious readers. >> c-span now is a free
mobile app featuring your unfilteredview of what's happening in washington live and on-demand . live streams of floor proceedings of hearings from the u.s. congress, white house events, the court, campaigns and more from the world of politics all at your fingertips. stay current with the latest episodes of washington journal and find scheduling information for tv networks and radio plus a variety of compelling podcasts. c-span now is available at the apple store and google play. download it for free today. proceed to washington anytime, anywhere. >> good evening ladies and gentlemen. and welcome to the richard nixon library and museum. [applause]