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Trump Says It Would Be 'Appropriate' for Him to Talk to Barr About Launching an Investigation Into Biden
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=50739"><span class="small">Reis Thebault, The Washington Post</span></a>   
Sunday, 12 May 2019 08:36

Thebault writes: "President Trump said Friday he thinks it would be 'appropriate' for him to talk to Attorney General William P. Barr about opening an investigation into Joe Biden, the current front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination."

William Barr. (photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
William Barr. (photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Trump Says It Would Be 'Appropriate' for Him to Talk to Barr About Launching an Investigation Into Biden

By Reis Thebault, The Washington Post

12 May 19


resident Trump said Friday he thinks it would be “appropriate” for him to talk to Attorney General William P. Barr about opening an investigation into Joe Biden, the current front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In an interview with Politico, Trump said he and Barr hadn’t considered an inquiry into his potential 2020 opponent — but he didn’t rule it out, either, saying “certainly it would be an appropriate thing to” discuss with Barr.

“Certainly it is a very big issue and we’ll see what happens,” he told the outlet. “I have not spoken to him about it. Would I speak to him about it? I haven’t thought of that. I mean, you’re asking me a question I just haven’t thought of.”

The suggestion that Trump would contemplate directing his Justice Department to investigate Biden drew condemnation from some legal experts, who said the idea smacked of an abuse of power.

“Does anyone doubt that this could have catastrophic consequences for democratic and electoral legitimacy?” said Susan Hennessey, executive editor of Lawfare, on Twitter. “Yet we seem to be hurtling towards this possibility with no one, certainly not congressional Republicans, drawing the line.”

In the Politico interview, Trump weighed the idea of an investigation into Biden in response to allegations that the former vice president had inappropriate interactions with the Ukrainian government while his son, Hunter Biden, was working for a gas company run by one of the country’s oligarchs. There is no evidence that Biden’s conduct was improper and at least one expert has said the accusations don’t hold up.

Yet that didn’t stop Trump from saying it “could be a very big situation” for Biden.

“Because he’s a Democrat it’s about 1/100 the size of the fact that if he were a Republican, it would be a lot bigger,” he told Politico.

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, also said Friday that he’s traveling to Kiev to urge Ukrainian officials to open an investigation of their own.

“Explain to me why Biden shouldn’t be investigated,” Giuliani said, responding to criticism from Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

But by Friday evening, Giuliani had changed his mind. He said in an interview on Fox News that he had reconsidered and would not be going to Ukraine.

“To remove any political suggestion, I will step back and I’ll just watch it unfold,” he said.

Some on the left have seized on the president’s comments, saying they bolster Democrats’ case for impeachment. Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe argued that Trump is “all but certain to abuse his powers as president to undermine the campaign of whoever his opponent turns out to be.”

Longtime Democratic adviser Ronald A. Klain warned on Twitter that, “If he can do this to @JoeBiden, he can do this to any other Democrat. If he can do this to any Democrat, he can do this to any Republican in Trump’s way. If he can do this any political rival, he can do this to any American.”

Trump’s comments come the week after Barr appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and seemed to stumble over his answer to questions from Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) about Trump-directed investigations. Harris asked Barr whether the president or any other White House official had ever suggested that he open an investigation into someone.

After an exchange, Barr told Harris, “I don’t know.”

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-7 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-05-12 10:43
No, it would not be appropriate for Trump to ask Barr to open an investigation of Biden or any of the other potential democratic party nominees. Biden clearly has problems. His role in the Ukranian coup following which his son got lucrative contracts is possible criminal. But no one is ever going to prosecute that so leave it alone.

This idea of turning the DOJ and FBI on political opponents is the wages of Russiagate. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that this is what happened in the 2016 election. The FBI turned directly from the investigation of Hillary's emails to an investigation of Trump and his possible connections with Russia. The FBI was already inserting spies into the Trump campaign to find incriminating information. The investigation began with Comey, Strzok, McCabe, Rosenstain, Yates, and many others. Then it morphed into the Mueller Probe.

It is time to stop this bullshit. The FBI has always been a political police. It has blackmail information on everyone in Washington and elsewhere. It uses that blackmail frequently. The FBI is the problem. It needs to be seriously regulated and restricted. I am worried that we will see FBI Russiagate style smear campaigns against many of the 2020 contenders, esp. the progressive ones. They won't care about Biden
+3 # lfeuille 2019-05-12 15:43
What the hell is the matter with him. He has to go now.
+1 # 1dfnslblty 2019-05-13 06:58
Clearly an abuse of power, and clearly an indication of potus' mental illness - rather than proceed on his own qualifications [ha], he wants to tear down an opponent.
Destroying is potus' MO - the emotional equivalent of a two-year-old child.
potus is unfit for office, and this remark is one more loud indication of that unfitness.