Attorney General William Barr’s authoritarian leanings make him a perfect attorney general from President Donald Trump, despite his recently expressed frustrations with Trump, according to journalist Adrian Feinberg of the Independent.
The attorney general said in an interview with ABC News that Trump’s interference with the Justice Department was making “it impossible for me to do my job,” after the sentencing recommendation for his longtime confidant Roger Stone was reversed.
Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in federal prison on charges from jury tampering to lying to Congress.
“Despite the public break with Trump and the recent reports of extant resignation plans,” Feinberg wrote, “sources who’ve known Barr over the years aren’t convinced that he’s going anywhere anytime soon. Barr, they say, has exactly what he wants in Trump, namely a president whose lack of firm convictions -- except for a sense that his allies should never face criminal convictions -- has allowed his third attorney general to have free reign.”
Feinberg interviewed people that have known 69-year-old Barr for decades and they described him as someone who is motivated by a ruthless type of ambition with authoritarian instincts.
Jonathan Smith knew Barr when they were classmates at Horace Mann High School in New York City and described him as someone who has long been “radically right wing.”
“I don’t even know if Trump has an ideology, but I think Barr does,” Smith told the Independent. “I don’t think he’s uncomfortable with the idea of a certain kind of authoritarianism being wielded towards those ends, and he sees Trump as someone who isn’t going to be circumspect about it.”
Jimmy Lohman, a criminal defense attorney, knew Barr from Horace Mann as well and recalled Barr picketing an event because it was serving as a fundraiser for the NAACP.
Barr believes in “some weird ass version of Catholicism,” according to Lohman, and “almost unlimited executive power.”
“There are people out there who are fascist; William Barr, in my view, is one,” Lohman said. “And I evidently picked up on that a long, long time ago.”