This article is written from a Democratic point of view.
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
Hover to Expand
A potential rival against Donald Trump seeking the Republican presidential nomination next year approves of the job Attorney General William Barr is doing with the Mueller Report, but he lambasted Trump himself.
At issue is how much of the report–based on special counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and subsequent obstruction–Barr will make public.
“Bill Barr is a pretty strong guy. I think April 15th is not an unreasonable deadline,” said former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who is looking at challenging Trump next year in the primaries, referring to deadline Barr announced for release of a redacted version of the report. Weld also is a former federal prosecutor. He ran as the 2016 vice presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, before returning to the GOP.
“I think the Justice Department, quite frankly, all the way from Mueller up to [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein and Barr looks pretty good in this,” Weld added during a recent appearance on MSNBC.
That is where Weld’s kudos end. He slammed Trump for essentially exonerating himself based on the few sentences Barr quoted in a summary he released almost immediately after Mueller submitted his sealed report.
“You know, the president had 25 allegations of potential criminality against him and he was cleared of one of them. I wouldn’t exactly put out a press release highlighting that if I were the president, with all the other matters swirling around him in politicization of the Justice Department, demanding loyalty oaths from law enforcement officials,” Weld added, apparently referring to former FBI director James Comey stating that Trump asked Comey to swear his loyalty to Trump not long after Trump came to office.
“That is perilously close to obstruction of justice, speaking of obstruction of justice,” Weld concluded.
Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday, along party lines, to authorize a subpoena to compel Barr to release to the committee an unredacted version of the Mueller Report and any underlying evidence.