US Attorney General William Barr on Friday fired a broadside against critics of US President Donald Trump — and congressional Democrats in particular — in an address to the Federalist Society.
Trump’s opponents are using every tool they can to intentionally sabotage his administration, Barr said.
“Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called the Resistance,” Barr said. “They essentially see themselves as engaged in a war, to cripple by any means necessary, a duly elected government.”
Barr castigated Democrats in the US Congress over their investigations, multiple subpoenas and court rulings against the administration.
“The sheer volume of what we see today — the pursuit of scores of parallel investigations through an avalanche of subpoenas — is plainly designed to incapacitate the executive branch and, indeed, is touted as such,” Barr said. “While the president has certainly thrown out the traditional Beltway playbook and punctilio, he was upfront about what he was going to do and the people decided they wanted him to serve as president.”
While Barr’s speech came as House Democrats were holding their first public hearings in an impeachment inquiry against Trump for what they say are abuses of power and obstruction of the US Congress, Barr did not mention impeachment in his speech.
The thrust of his address was to promote the idea of a robust executive branch and a strong president, and he argued that constitutional separation of powers has been eroded, especially in recent years.
The attacks on Trump could weaken the government itself, he said.
“One of the ironies of today is that those who oppose this president constantly accuse this administration of shredding constitutional norms and waging a war on the rule of law,” he said. “Of course there is no substance to these claims.”
“In waging a scorched-earth, no-holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that has engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law,” Barr said.
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