tv Elie Honig Hatchet Man - How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutors Code and... CSPAN October 19, 2022 5:59am-6:59am EDT
booktv.org or consult your program guide. : >> the justice department, a couple of brief house notes first though, because the questioning point, just click on the q&a icon at the primary screen. and you will find a link for purchasing copies of hatchet man. now the key thing to know about the aspect of his background, the highlights in the book is
his experience as a prosecutor. he served 14 years as one first of the federal level in the southern district of new york 2004 - 2012 and at the state level in new jersey division of criminal justice and 2012 - 2016. he states that he served as a legal analyst for cnn, and host podcast in which a special counsel in a law firm. and advising on investigations and trial strategy. it is his time as a prosecutor that he draws on for his book, his stories from the party did that highlight lessons that he learned from the norms in the principles of law enforcement. lessons that he says for himself, should learn that he ever been a prosecutor. an essay that he is a lower guard and performing as attorney general under donald trump, that
is an understatement, for a range of sins charging him with lying, acting as a political and opposing his own legal and philosophical views of how civil society to function. and that's just in the opening pages. and the weekly told comprehensive indictment and tenure as america's top law enforcement officials and review describe the book as a damning account and more forward-looking notes that concluding the book with suggestions of form which i am sure he will get to in a minute. and la will be in conversation this evening with warmer cnn correspondent, based in chicago. the screen is yours. >> thank you brat, i appreciated elliot is to see you as always printed see each other so much
in this virtual setting, we gotta set up in person at some point. >> thank you brad and omar, and we somehow have become fast friends and what are you hearing what you think of it. so thank you for doing this and i asked him to do it because i really think you're such a talented reporter and you spoken to my classes and you connect so well with them so thank you for doing that pretty. >> thank you for having me and for everyone this year and i am excited for this conversation mainly because it is rare that you have a book and of course is a text cover to cover but also continues into the world as we move forward from its very relevant in a new cycle now, and william barr continues to make headlines even after being attorney general and finish this book. there we go. i love it.
so one of the things that i want to start with it has to do less with the new cycle and more about the style and impressions you have been telling the story. a lot of it is woman between anecdotes every time is a prosecutor and makes me want to be a prosecutor the mainly, about how lessons that you have learned is a prosecutor, were blatantly disregarded and bill barr's performance as a tenor and trent attorney general supported the idea come from to tell the story in the manner you did. it. >> so i will take credit for that particular approach and i will tell you interested in the publishing industry, they came to me asking because the snowman cnn and they were reading things. he said we could be good to write this book about bill barr it but he did at the justice department and what i would like to do is tell the story for my time as a prosecutor lessons
that i have learned in trying out the principal but i call the prosecutor's code applying it to the one of the many bill barr scandals. it's on my editor for said write up a couple of chapters in the me see how that looks and i said in the first few chapters and responded a day later like one sentence he said or two sentences, i blinking love it, keep on doing what you're doing. and the reason i do it this way is to reasons, is for him to's entertaining people are really fascinated with what prosecutors really do and what happens behind closed doors of the southern district of new york and tell him stories about the trials in my mafia prosecutions and type of thing but the other thing is it really serves to underscore one of the fundamental points in the making the is bill barr, little trivial russians one of two people of the united states history ever to serve as attorney general twice, the first thing i think first time was before you were
born in 1991 - 1993, under george h to be bushed many get 25 years later but the man never try to case is a prosecutor, he never worked in u.s. attorney's office and he never had that upbringing that i had with the values from the core values of the justice department which we will talk about i call the prosecutors code for most of you never lie or stretch its truth, your credibility is everything in the other thing is your political and if it be sacrificed. bill barr never learned those lessons are internalized number was never made to do them so he trash those norms and principles when he became 80 and that is a big part of what i write about this book. i try to make it more sort of real intangible for the reader if i did it that way. >> and i tell you is someone who is not from a prosecutor back rent is very interesting and compelling and i've learned so many terms. just throwing around in the u.s.
attorney's office but one of my favorite sort of prosecutor coded crossovers so to speak i came from the chapter and i'll be just a little bit of it. specifically because i have called you about this. because the promise of that was about when the body was being dug up in massachusetts predict .but it was about the fact that it seems like an exciting thing to do that you got somebody to tell you the location of the body that had been buried for years but your role as a prosecutor and you wrote specifically that the prosecutor knows, not a cop, united fbi agent coming out of forensic anthropologist, you are prosecutor, you know your role, william barr never learned that lesson and then you go on to exemplify there. and what happened at the park in
dc when prosecutors are protesters were clear about previous of told me about the dynamic, that relationship in particular, why you felt that relationship was so strong. i why you felt bill barr never learned that lesson as you did >> so is mafia case where we charged a bunch of guys with murder in springfield, massachusetts, next town over famous for the best both anybody is been there. i'm not sure if you played in college. >> oh yeah. [laughter] >> but they did the murder in springfield which we charge for and one guy flips and comes in and tells us the right about this in a book about he says, you're seven years ago, and he gives us the name and i don't know who it is but the fbi agent say oh my god this guy has been missing for seven years. they said yes, we buried him in the woods and i can tell you
where we had to get a team ready, the fbi team with the jackets and tobacco and me and the other prosecutors are like, we should go. like we wanted to go because it sounded so exciting that we knew in her heart of hearts that is the wrong thing for a prosecutor to do for a variety of reasons but probably the most important is you can make yourself a witness. crime scene you see something in your off the case. another dude and tv shows the prosecutors are there at the mercy. real prosecutors do not do that and you have to know you will need to have a lot of powers prosecutor but you're not fbi agent or forensic expert, we sort of laid back in europe we did the right thing. bill barr, ulf i felt almost a year ago now and i've yet part, protest happening around the country and protesters the white house and probably remember the seymour bill barr just like i am now, like in a business casual multi- and walks onto the white
house lawn after meeting at the white house and gives an order and 70 whispers a video of this and said something to one of the commanders and then they clear the place using all sorts of over-the-top force and pepper spray and worse on the assembled crowd. in my criticism of bill barr there is that is beyond his area of expertise come outside of his role, yes he's the attorney general has the power to order these guys to do whatever he wants but he overstepped at any, he is a military guided by the way, immediately after that donald trump walks across that just cleared area to the church and there's been reported that his come out since then, couple of weeks ago. where the department of the interior said that this was not planned to clear the way for donald trump however, with that report it does type bill barr directly to the order to clear the place. some bill barr, some people said exonerate him, not at all not if
you read the report fact is that what bill barr said to that person was on these people still going to be here when the president comes out in a couple of minutes which we knew the attorney general says like that, when the clearing immediately follows in the present walk-through, think it is fair to blame him for that. so that is sort of one of the lesser remembered i think anecdotes predict to me it exemplifies the arrogance of bill barr and his lack of humility which i talk about a lot because he never had to go through this morning process. sometimes painful burning process that i had to the turnabout in the book. >> and i think one of the things that strikes me, not just reading the book but also drawing parallels to the real world is that we are in the midst of this information battle in trying, there's always the narratives of politics and to pretend that is able to really concerted efforts to throw off what should be plain information i think you laid it out maybe no more distinctly than where you
talked about the mueller report. obviously who could forget this. american history but especially dc history in regards to politics and specifically talking about the comparisons between the mueller reports can the bill barr for page summary that came out after that. i want to read a tonic on how you describe that, they powerfully dishonest, the history should remember it as a moment when he first subordinated at the justice department to the presidents need. what is this moment stick out in your mind is that again, the first subordination printed. >> this is really bill barr's first, the crazy thing is is pretty told us all what he was going to do remember before his nominations, not five months before, when it became obvious that catullus after the midterm some of bill barr did the audition memo an unsolicited 19 page memo where he lays out is to the justice department, and
to the white house, why the mueller's investigation in bill barr's view, is fatally misconceived. it's a fatally means a dead, so bill barr is telling saw in advance, i'm going to kill this case and it's exactly what he did. so the way he did it was so devious and dishonest and so manipulative. so the timeline, bill barr is basically the first person outside of mueller steam to get the mueller report, was a friday night and i remember, panic is cnn when we got and understood this was happening, march 22nd, 2 days later, sunday night, march 24th, bill barr issued a letter summarizing the principal conclusions, the key in his supporters say it was not a summary. you can call it whatever you want, it is a four-page accounting of the mueller report and so powerfully dishonest, he leaves out all of the stuff about how russia, even actually one instance bill barr custody sentence and have a lives in the
part of the race and there's no chargeable federal sentence in the first part was essentially mueller findings that russia commitment and committed crimes because they wanted from him and they knew about this and expected and had dozens and dozens of contact with them trying to coordinate and facilitate on it. so those powerfully dishonest to take out all of the and to only give us a back half is something that in a judge if i ever saw that as a prosecutor, i tear my head off rightly so. it would be out rages, and maybe even honestly fired if you try that as a prosecutor and then bill barr, and mueller not sitting clearly he gave us all of the evidence on obstruction but he never said and therefore find it, is the present under policy can't charge them and i wouldn't want to slowly his reputation. then bill barr gleefully jump into a phrase elected to me so i
declare note obstruction to the state bill barr is never defended that determination and i became one of 2000 former prosecutors who shows under both parties to say there absolutely is obstruction here and bill barr's on the wrong, never seen a letter from 2000 door 20 and a prosecutor saying that. here's the thing that people may forget that is so deceptive, bill barr took today's to read the whole 448 report which ended mindy remember how long bill barr held onto that report and kept away from the public in congress, 27 days and during that key 27 day time, the whole narrative was gone. trump said i'm exonerated and all the people in follower said he was exonerated and by the time he came out 27 days later, it was very crystallized in his reason for withholding it was that he said he had to redact and cross are classified. it takes a little bit of time but when you're in a d, you can have a command in your tire
power of this, you should get that done in a week max. by the way of the federal judge later found that it was a bogus thing and he didn't even reject it properly the first place. that is so manipulative and it gets even worse when remember robert moeller gave bill barr summaries, six-page and seven-page summaries that had already scrubbed and bill barr if he said he wanted them to take out the blood. this just reminder how manipulative and dishonest on and honestly i think he's saved president trump's height on that predict. >> anything to be very good as you know that bill barr with his help, he was able to turn a lot of these controversies on the head and create them as weapons so the mueller report became the fake russia and use that in campaign rallies and slogans to raise money and so on and so forth. so tomorrow your prosecutorial anecdotes, you use a lot of
mobster metaphors, trump is the head of the van and where does bill barr fit into this metaphor and wife. >> is gonna be, is on point but that is a counsel i guess' translates as he does more than just give trump advice he carries out some of the dirtiest deeds that trump has for him and the thing is, there are many instances were bill barr did something overly political but he never spoke with at present about it printed like president mark trump is tweeting you're doing things the very next day. the roger stone case, like so roger stone in the sentencing recommendation comes out from the prosecutors for people try to convict him predict the approved all of the way as high as they had to go and justice department up to the u.s. attorney and that night donald trump tweeted that this is now great, a miscarriage of and an hour later bill barr takes the steps of undermining his own
prosecutors and reside from the case are from the doj. and then bill barr said i didn't know and i never saw the president's tweet. and again i can't disprove that but i very dubious audit so in the mob bosses, donald trump does not have to calling people to say, there's understanding. they get into a flow are instances that there are explicit things between the two. but i think that is close of an analogy that i can make it to the mob world. with that relationship. >> of course, and one of the think so, i want to give away too much in the book so i will stop pulling from too many exurbs. but one of the things in outlook of the big picture here, so part of why i like this book so much is that you see a lot of the real world the curse news cycle and the current world in the time capsule of the bill barr rain as attorney general and during the trump years. in one of the more pertinent new
stories that has come out i'm imagining since your this book, as part of the eg carroll saga, she gives president trump rate in the '90s but more pertinent entered defamation in 2019, during his administration. there was a question whether that suspense would still hold up in the president trump was out of office and the new administration was coming in and even though a federal court said this is essentially bogus, the merrick garland administration said well, because this happened during trump's administration, we are going to take this on. defending president trump. what does that say to you. >> so i've been critical of america garland in a price on some other things but this i disagreed with. some very critical in the book so bill barr determination with donald trump came over to the justice department i would like
you to represent me in this matter. defamation and termination for bill barr is must conduct in the official course on the presidents duty. the way it was a find me is the prosecutor as if you indicted somebody because of something you said in court, will be covered by doj. but if you get a bar fight or something you won't be covered by doj. and bill barr look to that determined that donald trump's comments, that was part of the presidency and i was very outspoken at the time and that was absolutely wrong, the wall the present has a very broad a job description, they can to be part of it. i felt vindicated a couple weeks or months later when a federal judge who appeared in front of, took the same vision as an outcome of the doj coming cannot do this case because it can possibly be within the scope of the residency to defame somebody who is accused of assault predict and under bill barr,
that doj appeal to, and when merrick garland comes in, and said we will continue this appeal keep fighting. i think it was wrong. and i think also america garland it missed an opportunity to say that we are different, not doing things this way and stretching the law does prosperous extreme just in order to protect donald trump. i think what merrick garland was doing is searching for the path of least resistance the path of least political turbulence. i think his approach to sitting doj back on its path was to make a few waves as possible. and pick his few fights as possible i think that was mistaken i think he needed to aggressively undo some of the words that they can be undone but to undo some of the worst abuses of the bill barr administration. we'll see how it comes out on appeal but i think it's a missed opportunity by america garland. >> in his right after that,
maybe hours. as usual, good to go. and so court of the other things i wanted to ask about is i'm fascinated with this context of the endgame and we seen it with multiple other trump administration officials either into the time in the administration at or after they resigned and they say know what, along i was not game and i push internally you just didn't see it. one of the interesting things is that after president trump lost the election and was cleared, especially while it seemed that bill barr was changing his tune a little bit. he was not going along with the president every decision. and over the course of the administration and it specifically, we have spoken now to bill barr being in the news, recently an article reeves quoted saying that i had
suspicions all along that donald trump's voter fraud claims were both should despite the opposite. so my question to you as you initially recommend this book book that it is too late for that, why is it too late and what can you do if anything. >> i don't criticize everything that bill barr did in the book in one of the things that i said that he did that was important in the right thing to do was when finally, i will get to that, came forward in december, 2020 and said we the justice department found no evidence of the election fraud and this is three to half half weeks after the election now and is clear to any rational non- rooted giuliani person that it is over. and bill barr is certainly smart enough to see that in the donald trump numbered in days are numbered. and if he was go for bill barr and he was asked about michael
flynn case, he said with a sort of a slight chuckle, history is written by the winners. by this point he knows is not a winner not quite be writing a history and i believe he is trying to salvage any bit of reputation and avoided being sort of group ten with rudy giuliani in the city towels and others. the true rudi's. the problem with bill barr's little image rehab a tour in this article in the atlantic is a talk about that and bill barr tells us the story of standing up and i don't know what happened behind closed doors and the problem is the bill barr completely in the article completely omits and we can forget is that for months leading up to the election, bill barr was one of the biggest cheerleaders for the election fraud conspiracy theory and he was one of the biggest spreaders perpetrators amplifiers of the big lie. and he did it as attorney general i give you and i like this out, he didn't interview with npr when he talked about the massive threat of fraud by
the way, i talked before about the responsiveness and shortly after donald trump started 20 things to be everyday about this bill barr picks it up and he did this document the threat and then run an article shortly after that we allowed at the attorney general to tell falsehoods on our air and then they coded actual expert the things he was saying and i quote, prosperous, false and my favorite, they were just nuts. npr, i love that. and then he goes from the congress and he does the same kind of garbage in congress called him out and you know this and he says, i have no proof but is just common sense for you to me to get, if i made a serious assertion in court and the judge said how you know that and i said, having proof, is just obvious kind of thing. i would been thrown out and he came on cnn. in september and was very combative and a massive threat and there was nothing he could do about it and then he told, we indicted the case of 1700 false
ballots were recovered in texas and watching this and thinking wow, okay, that is substantial like get ready to hear about this. it was state persecutors it was one single fraudulent ballot modesty of gw, ed markey back and issue a correction you what they did, their statement said some low-level staffer got it wrong in a letter. if this was our case any person who wants a real truth, they get on the phone to make sure. those three instances and other with the mall report, first impressions are so powerful that he is out there using doj seal to fan the flames of this thing. it's better me to the back later than if he didn't yes it is but it did so much damage of what he did early on that i don't think you could forget it.
and posted the q&a if you have questions, post them in the q&a the chat. i think last 20 minutes or so we will try to take the viewers q&a. >> will open those questions have been five or six minutes and now the time is a time to put the man. will start reveling them often. now this one's a little bit more pushing about a little bit forward obviously major event and ensure you would've written about extensively. on january 6 on insurrection day at the u.s. capitol. >> so obviously hundreds of indictments stemmed from what happened at the capitol and blame comes from all sides from president trump and others that were involved that day and even bill barr, of course at this point. and notably after being out of the administration and president trump that he committed a
betrayal of his office but i am curious based on everything that you everything, all that you started with bill barr was asked for and how with an attorney general bill barr have handled that day under president trump. >> that is a great question. so the attorney general on the day was jeffrey who had been bill barr's longtime deputy and bill barr left shortly before christmas. and jeffrey rosen was mia that day. i can't really. ellie: what bill barr would've done the day but i think that bill barr, give them enough credit for being rational enough and unwilling, he crossed an awful lot of lines, blinds thati would never thought i would never seen an attorney general crossed but not everyone freedom willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and that he would've done the right thing and certainly not disappeared. i think attorney general has a job and that is to get in touch with the president and tell him like a lot of people are urging him to do, and equipment of all
statement to call this thing off. but some of the blame sits on bill barr and the tendency to underwrite bill barr's danger level because unlike some of the obvious rudi's and the brooks and the donald trump tutors out there yelling to the crowds group. even others, very aggressive in your facing bill barr has a soft-spoken manner and he looks the part of the sort of lawyer and he's not a fight picker and not upon prayer. but because he carried the weight of the justice department behind what he did because it was so devious and sort of did things under the veneer of intellectual law. i argued in the book, a lot of what he did was even more dangerous than some of the sort of unhinged rhetoric that you year for more visible trump supporters. >> of course, he has working and actually takes us more is more powerful position.
for the last question that i want to ask will start with questions after this one. we've seen the impact of bill barr on the justice department but the everlasting question as many came from the trump administration is what about the time versus what when you look at history. so my question is, how did bill barr impacted justice department as a whole, do you think his impact is permanent pretty think it is already something that and you you were crawling our way out. >> i think it would be long-lasting and one of my hopes is that the end is that they don't look at what he didn't say she, that is not exactly the right way to do things pretty do something ethical or moral or proper under prosecutorial principles but it's easy and he got away with it the most part is beneficial to him and the
president so a lot of what has to happen is that we just need better people in these jobs in one of the things i stress the because there are two ways to look at this. a written rule of policy, when the drgs internal policies and i offer up at the end of the book, non- in front nine legal things that need to be changed to prevent future ag from going down the same really committing some of the same transgressions bill barr mess with the other thing is doj has to get back to what i call the prosecutors code meaning all of those rules and norms and ethical, never understood never learned, never a trial prosecutor. in some instances you realize the prosecutors and i talked this very early, prosecutors are getting a staggering amount of power. when i do my cases, you realize i started when i was 29 years old as a prosecutor omar and at that point, i was a baby.
i had the power to take away liberty of a human being and to my doing that to destroy families and businesses in relationships. and you learn that when you are in the trenches and going to a sentencing and somebody has their kid there and you realize how much power you have you learn to respect that and you gain some humility. bill barr never had that come he never had to stand face-to-face with witnesses and defendants of lawyers and judges as a result the to purchase job with a real lack of humility. the only real thing to prevent standing between the prosecutors and the abuse of power is one of the main things is the integrity and principles of the people who have those jobs. one encouraging sign that he i'm saying from merrick garland administration as they do seem to be observing these very strict while the separation between doj and white house and i think it is absolutely necessary i give you one example. just recently, the date maybe a month or so ago and doj with rudy giuliani's home, there was
reporting later that the biden white house was really ticked off because that night was biden's first joint address of congress and they wanted to be a moment and get the big talk of the news media was diverted to this rate on rudy and myself a story, about good. exactly how it should be. the last thing doj should never be doing is going on to the white house and say, we did do a big thing today that my takes media attention away are you cool with that printed you want to soften the fact that i was glad to see the biden white house was ticked off at that. should be no communication regarding the prosecutorial function doj and so i'm encouraged that were making progress on that level we need policy changes as well. >> and i want to get into some of the questions here from the viewers don't freak out. i'm just going to your first name. if you don't want me to use your first and last name just put it in there.
to start, ellen are you going to get reading e.g. carol, did they decide to continue with us to try to establish legal limits on how the president's responsibilities are or how to lose the case print is that a legal strategy makes sense in these policies royal strategy. >> it's an interesting question when i heard quite a bit. i don't think so, you have a duty as a prosecutor if you're going to pursue a case, say with any wire. to pursue it vigorously and i think it is an ethical for a prosecutor to say honoring this case up so that i can lose it. now it is possible, little bit of a variation on that. america garland and said, let's get a little bit more definitive guidance because we have a district court ruling, the trial of organ may be to bring it up to the court of appeals we will have a little bit more sort of definitive nets about where that line isn't whether this falls on one side of the line or the
other. could've been a motivation garland bennett think that's close to what she's asking but i think it's possible but i don't think he is case sort of more extreme version of that and some people but garland wants to take the case get a second ruling. he didn't appeal the case, it would be open they would be and we would have the judge kaplan's ruling, not as powerful as a court of the feels ruling but i think that is possible. it is good thought. >> one of the questions audio to nexus from rj to says that bill barr as we know, john carl over at abc news and part of this was where those claims about i didn't think these voter fraud claims were real all along came about previous question is what he believed is trying to rewrite history and do believe he is a future in a future in the administration. >> so i think he's trying to rewrite history because he must preserve his reputation and his legacy and standing.
in sort of a polite society. bill barr by the way is very image-conscious pretty don't let him, cortisol i don't really read the papers. and during his confirmation he said i really don't want this job predict no way, there's plenty of evidence that is very image-conscious including from some i can't really disclose of the folks i know who know him that he will talk to the media and he knows about my book and is not happy which i take as a good sign. so if you look at the atlantic article, it is so one-sided that it leaves out the whole six months that bill barr was fanning the flames. and it kept falling down saying when it is sort of come up with an explanation. and when i say those things to congress and i really didn't mean this really met this narrow way, or even maybe for even
knowledge. and since things before it turned out to be wrong. when i realized they were on, i corrected it. i would be okay with that, i would have at least given him partial credit for that but is nowhere to be seen in this article. i didn't go to journalism school and not sure exactly how people ask him that as a report that there. but is presenting us only the little sliver of the story that is good for him. one other thing that was missing was supposed script, bill barr had this moment of courage finally in december, december 120 said there's no evidence of voter fraud. many undercut himself again in his resignation letter which is this sort of fawning voted to donald trump and then he goes out of his way to say, i just consulted with you in the white house president and it was a pleasure to advise you that were still investigating the possibility of election fraud
meaning, that's all he needs. now he can say the bill barr didn't say that he still looking pretty did him a favor on his way out he undermined his own brief moment of courage and he seems to be very clear that that's exactly what he did. if you didn't care, why would he go out of his way to talk to john carl he was only a very incomplete pretty similar, what he did with all report predict one sliver that was good for whatever position he wanted and he ignored and tried to admit it, the huge body of evidence that went the other way but the difference is unlike the mueller report when he lied about it, we know that he said all of those things because of his microphone and on camera. so we can we should call them out predict. >> in this follows a pattern of the officials. and just say you know what, i am going to restart. >> and the other part of the question, no i don't think he has any other aspirations to
work in another ministration he's about 32 years old now if i'm not mistaken he made a fortune by the way rated he was worth at least $40 million when he became a g for the second time so he has set financially think he just wants to save his reputation, who wouldn't. but we don't have to buy it. >> and you brought it back again, that he served in their multiple administrations some of the questions from sandra or sondra, is that bill barr is ag under bush and we heard at least less about him, why and how did he change. >> we knew far less about them. his major controversy with the run contract defendants which was a bit of foreshadowing because it helps to live off of these people who could've could've harmed the present or vice president for that case, is interesting. what changed. i think the general tenor of our
politics change between 1993 and 2018. and with a trump's own, much more extreme version and protect yourself and attack everyone else and justify the means i'm a politics i think that bill barr is on board flattening the book i talked about the big question though why did bill barr want this job. he had plenty of money, and he 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 check this out and i really do appreciate and wish we could do this. you used to live in dc politics and prose and i was felt like walking to a three drove on the walking there the fact that i would never do an event there is so hard for me to fathom. was there anything that i wanted to fit in this book that i cannot, no except the unfortunate physical reality that i had to go to the printer at some point a couple of weeks ago and i can't tell you how me times i tried to add one thing to happen. and i knew the answer was no but they were like, it's printed on paper. but i will have quite a bit of material for the paperback about
the stuff is come out over the last couple of weeks in my next book i definitely want to do another book and it's exhausting but it's exhilarating and i think the next book i would focus on a specific case. i don't know which one but a big case of criminal case that either password of been underappreciated in our history, a great subject is getting a lot more attention alice the tulsa massacre come that's an example of what i would like to do, something enormously significant but didn't get enough attention for whatever reason at the time i don't want to do just like a thriller, want to do a case of the broader sort of a social and public importance. i can do anything in the law and you want to get a little bit more into reporting. we did a lot of research in the case but if you want to start working on kind of stuff you do omar, every day but i am looking
forward to doing another book sometimes of grade they do have the right to next book they want and i would like to continue writing the criminal justice fid that's the one i know best. >> great moderating and i have a feeling that people will be talking about bill barr attorney general for a long time. and when they do, this is a useful account of detail and entertaining and ultimately quite devastating. so thank you for that. and everyone watching, thank you for tuning in and reminder that in the chat column come he can find a link for purchasing copies of hatchet man. multiple copies.
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