Attorney General Bill Barr has consistently demonstrated that his primary responsibility is protecting Donald Trump rather than the rule of law in the United States. From attempting to drop an ongoing investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn to pushing for shorter sentences for Trump cronies like Roger Stone, Barr has flagrantly disregarded his responsibilities as the head of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Now, Barr is arguing that the DOJ should help defend Donald Trump against a private defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll. Carroll had previously accused Trump of raping her and is now suing him for defamation after Trump denied having ever met her.
Barr’s willingness to use federal tax dollars to defend Trump in a private legal matter is troubling in itself. However, Barr’s actions also signal a broader attempt to shield the president from all private suits, including those unrelated to his duties as president. No president is above the law, but Barr’s actions signal he would happily ignore that foundational principle to defend Trump on the taxpayers’ dime. Congress must impeach Barr and ensure the DOJ focuses its efforts on defending the law, not a lawless president.