As Attorney general William Barr testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning, former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey published an opinion essay in The New York Time. There, he posed the question about how Barr, “a bright and accomplished lawyer,” could fall into “channeling” Donald Trump. Comey cited Barr’s frequent use of favorite Trump phrases such as “no collusion” and “spying” as examples of how Barr seemingly parrots Trump.
As Inquisitr reported, it was revealed on Tuesday that Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller was disturbed by Barr’s misleading characterization of his report. In fact, in a four-page letter to Congress on March 24, Mueller took the extraordinary step of putting his objections in writing.
Comey, in his Times op-ed, asked how Barr could write a letter describing the Mueller report that was “so misleading” that it provoked a sharp response from Mueller himself.
Barr’s testimony on Wednesday also contained instances in which Barr appeared to make misleading or false statements, even about seemingly unimportant matters. Because Trump fired Comey in May of 2017, initially claiming that Comey had mishandled the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Barr was asked if he had “a problem” with Comey’s handling of the Clinton matter, as reported via Twitter by legal expert Ryan Goodman.
Barr answered that he did have a problem with Comey in the Clinton case, and “said so at the time.” But at the time, as Goodman noted, Barr wrote a Washington Post op-ed essay titled, “James Comey Did The Right Thing.”
In his Wednesday New York Times essay, Comey attempted to answer the question of why Barr and other administration officials — including outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — appear to fall under Trump’s spell.
“Proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. I think that’s at least part of what we’ve seen with Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein,” Comey wrote, saying that people who lack “inner strength” will easily succumb to the “compromises necessary to survive” working with Trump. Comey cited former Defense Secretary James Mattis as an example of an official whose “character” allowed him to resist Trump’s influence.
“It takes character like Mr. Mattis’s to avoid the damage,” Comey wrote, adding, “because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.”
Comey even confessed that prior to being fired by Trump, he found himself agreeing with such Trump falsehoods as “that he had the largest inauguration crowd in history.” Another example was when he agreed with Trump that “he has been treated very unfairly.”
The former FBI director concluded that those around Trump often do not realize the effect that he has on them. They find themselves repeating the United States President’s use of certain words and phrases, and praise Trump for his “leadership,” Comey wrote.
“And then you are lost. He has eaten your soul.”