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‘He Should Know Better’: Acting AG Whittaker Slams Bill Barr For Trusting DOJ In Trump Cases

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The man who preceded William Barr as attorney general under then-President Donald Trump has taken issue with his successor’s views on the Justice Department both of them used to lead.

In an interview with Just the News, former acting AG Matt Whitaker ripped Barr’s recent comments approving of the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence last month because it appears to conflict with all of the Justice Department wrongdoing Barr himself uncovered regarding, among other things, the discredited ‘Russian collusion’ probe.

Beginning late last month, Barr offered up scathing criticism of conservatives and of Trump who were blasting the unprecedented raid as overtly political.

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Barr said he was getting “tired” of the “constant pandering” on the right over the outrage stemming from the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month, which is being viewed as highly political in nature by the former president’s supporters.

In an appearance on Bari Weiss’s “Honestly” podcast, Barr defended the Justice Department’s ongoing probe of Trump while acknowledging that fallout from the ‘Russian collusion’ hoax “created the condition” of the many Americans automatically thinking “the worst” of the agency and the FBI it oversees.

That didn’t sit well with Whittaker.

“Bill Barr continues for some reason to be an institutionalist when it comes to the Department of Justice, even though based on what he presided over, he should know better,” Whitaker told John Solomon of Just the News.

“We have seen far too many examples as it relates to Donald Trump, and investigations into Donald Trump, that the Department of Justice just doesn’t seem to follow its own traditions, rules and ethical considerations,” Whitaker continued.

The former acting AG also gave his take on a federal judge granting Trump’s request for a special master to examine the documents taken by the FBI to see if any of them were seized inapprorpriately.

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“I think it’s a very helpful fact, if you’re for a special master being appointed,” Whitaker said. “Several of the documents that weren’t included in the search warrant and authorized to be grabbed included the passports, medical records, attorney-client privilege documents, accounting records and potentially tax returns.”

He went on to note that the FBI “taint team” was not effective in filtering out what was and was not authorized regarding the search, as per department protocols and guidelines.

“This was a very broad warrant,” Whitaker concluded. “And obviously, Judge Cannon was not impressed by the taint team’s work, and just forwarded much of this information on to the investigative team.”

During his interview with Weiss, Barr was asked what message he had for those on the right who are aghast that the former president’s home was searched after reports claimed Trump had been working for months with federal officials regarding documents and other materials

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“So what do you say to conservatives who say, ‘Why should we possibly trust these institutions to prosecute people — let’s say who protested on January 6th or agents of the state going after a president they so obviously despise? Why should we trust them anymore?’” Weiss asked. “You still give them the benefit of the doubt, but many other people in your party don’t.”

“Well, the Russiagate thing, I think, to the extent the FBI was misused was decisions made toward by high-level officials in the FBI. I don’t think that Chris Wray is that type of leader nor do I think the people around Chris Wray are those types of leaders,” Barr answered.

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“I think there are problems in the FBI, but it’s not that. It’s not Chris Wray. Wray is going to wake up and say, you know, ‘How do I throw the FBI’s weight around to interfere in the political process. Just the opposite. I think he’s very cautious about that,” he added.

Weiss said that response was likely “unsatisfying” to most conservatives who see political bias within the DOJ.

“Well, what’s the alternative?” the former AG fired back. “You know, something I’m pretty tired of from- from the Right is the constant pandering to outrage and people’s frustrations. And picking and picking and picking at that sore without trying to channel those feelings in a constructive direction.”

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