Bill Barr Offers Rare Defense Of Donald Trump

The ex-Attorney General William Barr said on Sunday’s ABC’s “This Week” broadcast that the NYC case against former President Donald Trump is weak and unfair.

Five days after a grand jury in Manhattan indicted him on 34 counts of felony, Trump pleaded not guilty in court on Tuesday. Donald Trump has been charged by Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, of manipulating company documents to hide hush money payments made to former porno “star” Stormy Daniels to avoid publication of their alleged romance. These payments were made so that Daniels wouldn’t go public with her claims that she had an affair with Trump.

After reading the formal indictment and accompanying statement of facts, George Stephanopolous asked Barr if he thought there was no foundation for this case. 

Barr said he didn’t feel there was any merit to that. To him, it is an extreme case of prosecution overreach for a political agenda. While he finds it an unfair example, he didn’t think that every legal hurdle the president must surmount is without justification. “But this one is the exception.”

Stephanopolous said for the sake of argument, let’s say that they fabricated company records. He asked, without getting into whether or not he’d go to court over it if he disagreed that this was a problem.

He said that some of his company’s financial documents were fabricated while he was serving as President of the United States.

Whether it was part of a fraudulent scheme or in the course of the fraud, Barr says, “falsifying a business record is a criminal felony.” “Nothing here seems to explain the nature of the fraud to me. These were his files at the company. He handed out the hush money; the files belonged to his own company.”

Barr later said the case was an “unfortunate… example” of prosecutorial “abuse” since Bragg had failed to reveal the felony allegation. When asked about the criticism, Bragg said he could relate.

As for the goal of turning the Republican primary into a circus, “I think that it may also be effective in reaching its purpose.”