William Barr Is ‘Playing With Fire,’ Says Watergate Prosecutor

Attorney General William Barr attends a celebration in the East Room.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

In an interview broadcast Friday, Nick Akerman, the assistant special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal, blasted Attorney General William Barr, accusing the Trump confidant of “playing with fire,” Newsweek reports.

Akerman discussed the latest developments pertaining to Robert Mueller’s investigation with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. According to the former Watergate prosecutor, Barr is “not going to get away” with covering for Donald Trump, and he will have to release the report soon.

“He is really playing with fire here. There’s only so much you can do as a political hack and get away with it. He’s not going to get away with it because sooner or later that entire report is going to come out. A judge is going to order it.”

The attorney general is under intense pressure from top Democrats, who have repeatedly urged him to release the full Mueller report as soon as possible. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the public has only seen a summary of Mueller’s report, written by the attorney general. However, even though the special counsel appears to have cleared the president of conspiracy, the commander-in-chief has not been exonerated of obstruction of justice.

What increased the already intense Democratic pressure were anonymous statements from members of Robert Mueller’s team. The prosecutors aired their dissatisfaction with William Barr’s interpretation of Mueller’s findings, arguing that the attorney general downplayed Mueller’s obstruction case in his brief letter to Congress. The president has repeatedly insisted that Mueller had exonerated him of both, collusion and obstruction, but that does not appear to be the case.

Barr vowed to release the Mueller report by mid-April, volunteering to testify before both chambers of Congress, but Mueller team members’ statements appear to have reignited the calls for the immediate release of the full report. The report will be released, according to Barr, but parts of it will be redacted.

According to Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman, Barr’s refusal to immediately release the report is part of a broader strategy. The lawyer opined that the attorney general is, in coordination with the White House, delaying the release of the report so that President Trump can “go out and go to his rallies and talk about how he’s so innocent.”

“It may be that he didn’t commit a federal crime, but he may have done some other things that don’t look so good,” Akerman said.

As Newsweek notes, many have drawn parallels between the Trump-Russia scandal and Nixon’s Watergate affair. Throughout his interview with Chris Hayes, Nick Akerman drew these parallels as well, comparing Trump to former President Richard Nixon.