Former attorney general William Barr wants the world to know that he faced “one damn thing after the other” during his time in the Trump administration, at least according to the eye-catching title of his forthcoming memoir, which bears the same name.
The book, One Damn Thing After Another, comes out in March, and is one of the first books from a major Trump official to see the light of day, as others have struggled to find publishing deals.
“With the Trump administration, Barr faced an unrelenting barrage of issues, such as Russiagate, the opioid epidemic, Chinese espionage, big tech, the COVID outbreak, civil unrest, the first impeachment, and the 2020 election fallout,” his publisher, William Morrow, said of the memoir.
The Washington political media had a field day with the title on Twitter.
“Quite the title,” wrote Politico’s Andrew Desiderio, while Wall Street Journal reporter Sadie Gurman said “He nabbed that title before DOJ reporters could claim it for their own memoirs of life on the beat.”
Commentator Liz Dye added that she would add a “slightly different subhead: "And Each More Gobsmackingly Corrupt Than The Last."
Mr Barr was a long-running Republican official and lawyer in Washington before he joined the Trump administration in 201. He had previously served under President George HW Bush in the 1990s.
But it was under Mr Trump that Mr Barr took what will likely be his most memorable actions.
He faced fierce criticism from Democrats for his role in the Russia saga. Before the findings of the Mueller report were made public, Mr Barr suggested the president had been cleared of any wrongdoing, even though the Mueller report pointedly avoiding saying Mr Trump was 100 per cent innocent.
A federal judge later called this description “distorted” and “misleading.”
Mr Barr also oversaw the DOJ through the summer of 2020, when federal agents, sometimes unmarked, descended on Washington DC and Portland, Oregon, to break up racial justice protests that were sometimes veering into violence.
The former attorney general’s conduct “aided and abetted the worst failings of the president,” representative Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York, said during a contentious hearing with Mr Barr.
The attorney general, meanwhile, defended the decision to send in federal troops, arguing at the time that “rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims”.
The die-hard Trump loyalist had a dramatic split from the former president in the end though.
Following the November 2020 president race, he was the first, and essentially the only, top Trump official to unequivocally state that there was no evidence of widespread or influential voter fraud during the 2020 election.
“My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Mr Barr later told journalist Jonathan Karl. “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bulls***.”
Still, a week after the election, he authorised prosecutors to investigate what he called “substantial allegations” of voting problems that “could potentially impact” the 2020 results. The move broke from longstanding DOJ norms of avoiding voting investigations until after election results had been cemented to avoid the appearance of interference. The Justice Department ultimately declined to pursue any formal investigations, and none of the Trump campaign or its allies’ lawsuits during the five-week legal period when elections challenges are allowed revealed evidence of voting problems important enough to change even a single state’s voting totals, let alone the whole election.
The attorney general’s statements weren’t enough to stop a band of enraged Trump supporters from attacking the US Capitol the following 6 January.
Mr Barr, again breaking with many in Trumpworld, condemned the rioters and the president.
“The President’s conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and supporters," Mr Barr said, adding that Mr Trump was “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress.”
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