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Former Attorney General Bill Barr defended his former boss, then-President Donald Trump, in response to the latest indictment out of Fulton County, Georgia, against the 77-year-old Republican presidential candidate, but predicts that he will be convicted in one of the two federal cases that he faces by next summer.
Barr made the remarks during an interview on Fox News Thursday afternoon after Trump was charged at the start of the week with 13 felonies in Georgia over his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“Well, I’m not happy with the Georgia case,” Barr said. “I think it’s much too sweeping, much too broad, excessive case that is — make it look like people are piling on and being excessive to Trump and feed the narrative that he’s being victimized here. And I also think there’s merit in the point that this is a case that I don’t think is going to be triable before the election. It’s just too sprawling.”
Barr also hit back again on the charges out of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, saying that it was a political hit job.
Barr said that he believes Trump will be convicted on some of the dozens of felony counts that he faces in the federal criminal investigations into his handling of classified material and his alleged actions to overturn the election.
“I think the federal cases are legitimate,” he said. “At the end of the day, at the core of this thing, he engaged, in the case of the documents, in outrageous behavior where anyone would be prosecuted. I don’t know of any attorney general who could walk away from it. He’s not being prosecuted for having the documents. He’s being prosecuted for obstruction — two egregious instances are alleged. So, I think that’s a very simple case, and that should be tried. If the judge is anywhere competent, that can be concluded before the summer, and the other case after the election, he, in my opinion, he did cross the line. It wasn’t just rough and tumble politics. He crossed the line.”
Barr said that if the decision was up to him, Trump would not go to jail and instead would pay a “very substantial penalty.”
Barr also added that the lawyers in the White House at the time after the election warned Trump “that if he kept on doing this, he would spend the rest of his life tangling with the criminal justice process.”
“And that’s exactly what’s happened,” Barr added. “He shouldn’t be surprised and no one else should be surprised.”