Attorney General Bill Barr warned on Wednesday, Dec. 18, that the Democrat’s desperate action to remove the president could cause impeachment to become “trivialized.”
In an interview on Wednesday with Fox News, Barr told Martha MacCallum the Constitution is specific in its requirement for a high standard for any impeachment, and he believes the allegations against President Trump do not meet that requirement.
“As a general matter, I think we have to be careful about trivializing the process, and they put in a hurdle of high crimes—of treason, bribery, and other high crimes,” Barr told MacCallum.” The articles of impeachment here do not allege a violation of law, and it looks as if it’s going to be along partisan lines, I think—you know, I’m concerned about it being trivialized and used as a political tool.”
On Wednesday, Republicans had argued the same case on the House floor with Democrats, clashing over the articles of impeachment against the president, with Democrats alleging the president abused his power and obstructed Congress, by his efforts to have the Bidens investigated, and withholding aid to Ukraine.
GOP members said that abuse of power is not a statutory crime. If the Democrats had been concerned with the president asserting privilege when he instructed witnesses not to comply with Democrats’ requests to testify, then they should have taken the matter to court.
Barr then turned his concerns to the matter of comments made by former FBI Director James Comey after Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz’s report came out, and the testimony that followed concerning the FBI’s conduct during the Russian investigation. It was determined that FBI officials had misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) through irregularities and omissions in the warrant applications that were used to survey Carter Page, the president’s former Trump campaign adviser.
“There are so many errors, we couldn’t reach a conclusion or make a determination on what motivated those failures other than we did not credit what we lay out here were the explanations we got,” Horowitz told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee during a Wednesday hearing, reported Fox News.
Barr commented on this during an interview with NBC News after the report came out.
“These irregularities, these misstatements, these omissions were not satisfactorily explained, and I think that leaves open the possibility to infer bad faith,” he said.
Yet Comey said Barr had made “an irresponsible statement,” telling Fox News’s Chris Wallace that Barr “does not have a factual basis as the Attorney General of the United States to be speculating that agents acted in bad faith.”
Comey defended the FBI in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” and insisted there was no intentional misconduct by FBI agents.
Barr said he has a different view of the situation than Comey.
“One of the things that I object to is the tack being taken by Comey, which is to suggest that people who are criticizing or trying to get to the bottom of the misconduct are somehow attacking the FBI. I think that is nonsense,” Barr said. “We’re criticizing and concerned about misconduct by a few actors at the top of the FBI, and they should be criticized if they engaged in serious misconduct.”