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Former Legal professional Common William Barr on “Face the Nation,” June 18, 2023

The next is a transcript of an interview with former Legal professional Common William Barr that aired on “Face the Nation” on June 18, 2023.

ROBERT COSTA: We’re joined now by William Barr. He served as Legal professional Common beneath former President Trump. His guide One Rattling Factor After One other is now out there in paperback. Good morning. Mr. Barr, thanks for being right here.


ROBERT COSTA: Former President Trump now says everybody besides you says this indictment is about election interference and mustn’t have been introduced. He mentioned you recognize the indictment is complete BS That is his- that is our shorthand for what he truly mentioned. He is additionally recognized for watching the Sunday reveals, and he clearly noticed your look on one other community final Sunday. Why is he fallacious about this?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Effectively, you recognize, this is- this isn’t a circumstance the place he is the sufferer or that that is authorities overreach. He provoked this entire downside himself. Sure, he has been the sufferer of unfair witch hunts prior to now. However that does not obviate the truth that he is additionally a basically flawed one that engages in reckless conduct, and that results in conditions, calamitous conditions like this, that are very damaging and damage any political trigger he is related to. And this was a case, completely of his personal making. He had no proper to these paperwork. The federal government tried for over a yr, quietly and with respect, to get them again, which was important what they did, and he jerked them round. And he had no authorized foundation for conserving them. However past that, when- when he confronted his subpoena, he did not increase any authorized arguments. He was engaged in a course of deceitful conduct, in keeping with the indictment, that was a transparent crime if these allegations had been true, and had been outrageous. What he did was, in keeping with the indictment, is he took the paperwork out of storage, led his lawyer to imagine that he’d be conducting a full search of the containers, after which trigger his lawyer to file with the court docket one thing mentioned that he had accomplished a search.

ROBERT COSTA: How robust is the particular counsel’s case on obstruction particularly?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Effectively, it is very robust, as a result of a whole lot of the proof comes from his personal attorneys. And moreover, there’s proof of him saying issues which might be utterly incompatible with any concept that this was an harmless doc dispute.

ROBERT COSTA: Do you imagine he lied to the Justice Division?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Do I personally imagine it? Sure, I do.

ROBERT COSTA: And do you imagine that- that he continues to say that he has all these privileges and rights beneath the Presidential Information Act, is he mischaracterizing the act?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Completely. The authorized idea by which he will get to take battle plans and delicate nationwide safety info as his private papers is absurd. It is simply as wacky because the authorized doctrine they got here up with for having the vice chairman unilaterally decide who gained the election. The entire objective of the statute, the Presidential Information Act, is to cease presidents from taking official paperwork out of the White Home. It was handed after Watergate. That is the entire objective of it. And due to this fact it restricted what a president can take. It says it is purely personal, that has nothing to do with the deliberations of presidency coverage. Clearly, these paperwork aren’t purely personal, they’re apparent. They usually’re not even now arguing that it is purely personal. What they’re saying is the President simply has sweeping discretion to say they’re, although they squarely do not fall inside the definition. It is an absurd argument.

ROBERT COSTA: Do you imagine if he’s convicted, he ought to serve his jail sentence?

Effectively, I do not- we’ve not even gotten to the purpose of whether or not he is been punished and in addition what his sentence ought to be–

ROBERT COSTA: If it occurs?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: You already know, I do not like the concept of ​​a former president serving time in jail.

ROBERT COSTA: Republicans stay crucial of the Legal professional Common who spoke out this week in addition to Director Wray on the FBI, they’ve rallyed the Trump facet. Are they fallacious to say that this Justice Division is performing in a political manner?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Effectively, in the event that they’re pointing to this case, I feel they’re fallacious. I feel the Division had no alternative however to hunt these paperwork. Their fundamental argument actually is not to defend his conduct, as a result of Trump’s conduct is indefensible. What they’re actually saying is, he ought to get a cross as a result of Hillary Clinton bought a cross six or seven years in the past. Now, I feel, you recognize, that is not a frivolous argument. However I- I am undecided that is true. I feel if you wish to restore the rule of legislation and equal justice, you do not do it by additional derogating from justice. You do it by making use of the suitable customary right here. And that is not unfair to Trump, as a result of this isn’t a case the place Trump is harmless and being unfairly hounded. He’s dedicated to the crime, or if he did commit the crime, it isn’t unfair to carry them to that customary.

ROBERT COSTA: You say Trump’s alleged conduct is indefensible. So many Republicans continued to defend him. What wouldn’t it say if the occasion, your longtime occasion, places him ahead as their nominee?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Effectively, that is the issue. I do not suppose they’re truly defending his conduct, however they’re saying it is unfair to prosecute him. However that then raises one other query. Okay, if it is unfair to prosecute, and that is not the entire reply. The query is, ought to we put somebody like this ahead because the chief of the nation, the chief of the free world, who’s concerned in this sort of conduct? The opposite factor is, this isn’t simply an remoted instance. Trump has, you recognize, has many good qualities, and he achieved some good issues. However the truth of the matter is, he’s a consummate narcissist. And he continuously engages in reckless conduct that- that places his political followers in danger and- and- and the conservative and Republican agenda at risk–

ROBERT COSTA: Would he put the nation in danger if he was within the White Home once more?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: He- he’ll at all times put his personal pursuits, and gratifying his personal ego, forward of every part else, together with the nation’s pursuits, there is not any query about it. It is a excellent instance of that. He is like, you recognize, he is like a 9 yr outdated, defiant 9 yr outdated child who’s at all times pushing the glass towards the sting of the desk, defying his dad and mom to cease him from doing it. It is a technique of self assertion and exerting his dominance over different individuals. And he is a really petty particular person who will at all times put his pursuits forward of the nation’s, his private gratification of his, you recognize, his ego, however our country- our nation cannot, you recognize, cannot be a remedy session for you recognize, a troubled man like this.

ROBERT COSTA: This isn’t the one particular counsel investigation, an ongoing one on January sixth, so many witnesses being known as in, you had been the star witness for the Home January sixth. Committee. Are you keen to testify? Or have you ever already examined earlier than the particular counsel?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Effectively, in the event that they, you recognize, in the event that they name me in as a witness, after all, I’d- would testify, however all I mentioned was what I mentioned, you recognize, what I recounted in my guide about this full story a few stolen election.

ROBERT COSTA: Have you ever talked to them in any manner behind the scenes, if not formal testimony?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Effectively, I am not going to get into any communications I had with the federal government, however I do not anticipate to be a witness, however I might be glad to be one if I am known as.

ROBERT COSTA: Trump was simply indicted and organized within the information case. Do you imagine he is a goal, probably, within the January sixth case?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Sure. And I’ve mentioned from the beg- by the way in which, I’ve defended him after I suppose there’s instances which might be unfair, just like the one up in New York and so forth. And I’ve at all times mentioned, I feel the January sixth case will probably be a tough case to make due to First Modification curiosity. However I am truly beginning to suppose they may pull the set off on that, and I’d anticipate it to be this summer season.

ROBERT COSTA: Do you imagine the Fulton County District Legal professional Fani Willis will indict Trump in Georgia?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Yeah, I do not know a lot about her case. I do not know if it is, you recognize, a sound case or not. I am skeptical about that. However I’ll- if–

ROBERT COSTA: Why are you skeptical?

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Once more, due to the First Modification pursuits. You already know, we do not wish to get right into a place the place individuals cannot complain about an election, and declare that an election–


ROBERT COSTA: Trump mentioned on tape he needs the Secretary of State to get votes.

FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Yeah, I do know. However, you recognize, there’s- they’re harmless interpretations of what he mentioned, you recognize, which is, look, of all of the votes that we expect are unhealthy. you actually can discover amongst them some which might be slam dunk, however whether or not that is the right interpretation or not, I- I’m extra skeptical of that case. However however, I feel it is seemingly that will probably be introduced.

ROBERT COSTA: Former Legal professional Common William Barr, we actually respect you taking the time to cease by. And “Face the Nation” will probably be proper again. Do not go away.

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