As I write, we have seen the morning Barr show but have not yet seen the report—that would be the one with the itsy, bitsy, teeny, weenie redactions.
A Good Lawyer Making a Bad Case
The Barr performance this morning was that of a good trial lawyer making an opening statement to the judge and jury, with respect to a very bad case.
The Theology of Conspiracy
I was an antitrust lawyer, so inevitably that’s one of the perspectives I bring to the situation. In antitrust, we were forever dealing with complicated, messy, ambiguous fact patterns and deciding whether those complicated fact patterns should or should not be called a conspiracy. To that end, we applied legal criteria—legal criteria that are, themselves, the subject of much legal debate and “refined” analysis.
Having that perspective, I wait to see what legal criteria Mueller employed to look at a complicated fact pattern and find insufficient evidence of an illegal conspiracy. I can guess and speculate, but of course I won’t, especially at this hour.
A Man is Presumed to Intend the Natural Consequences of His Acts
Applying this well known legal maxim, one thing we can say for sure is that William Barr has acted in a way calculated to generate many, many headlines proclaiming that he has joined the Cult of Trump and become the complete toady.
William Barr knows that his conduct is generating these sorts of headlines.
Therefore William Barr intends that these sorts of headlines will be generated.
If it Walks Like a Duck and Talks Like a Duck …
Or, to change the metaphor, if it looks like a strawberry shortcake and smells like a strawberry shortcake and tastes like a strawberry shortcake, then it’s very probably a strawberry shortcake.
Therefore, it’s entirely understandable that if Bill Barr walks like a Trump toady and talks like a Trump toady, then he’s really a Trump toady.
I still don’t believe the act, though the acting is really good, and the act is becoming more convincing. Maybe even good enough to yank the wool over the Trumpster’s eyes, if such is the intent.