News and Analysis

Bill Barr’s Book Torches Trump, Blames Him For January 6
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: US Attorney General Bill Barr holds a news conference to provide an update on the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 on the 32nd anniversary of the attack, at the Department of Justice December 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Barr announced criminal charges against one of the alleged Libyan bombmakers. The bombing occurred on December 21, 1988, killing all 259 people on board and eleven on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Former Attorney General William Barr’s new memoir, “One Damn Thing After Another,” reportedly pulls out all the stops in attacking former President Donald Trump and his “erratic personal behavior.”

The 600-page book is due out March 8, and according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Barr uses it to attack Trump’s credibility, leadership, and temperament — framing his own service in the Trump Administration as a “personal sacrifice.”

From the report:

Former Attorney General William Barr writes in a new book that former President Donald Trump has “shown he has neither the temperament nor persuasive powers to provide the kind of positive leadership that is needed,” and that it is time for Republicans to focus on rising new leaders in the party.

Barr makes it abundantly clear where he stands on Trump’s often-repeated claims that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him, saying in no uncertain terms, “The election was not ‘stolen.’ Trump lost it.”

That loss, according to Barr, might have been avoided if Trump had behaved differently in the weeks and months leading up to the election. He argued that Trump could potentially have changed the outcome of the election if he had “just exercised a modicum of self-restraint, moderating even a little of his pettiness.”

Among other anecdotes, Barr recalled a December Oval Office meeting during which Trump angrily scolded him for saying in public that there was no evidence the election had been stolen.

The Wall Street Journal’s preview of the memoir wrapped up with Barr’s comments about the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill, which he said was entirely Trump’s fault. “The absurd lengths to which he took his ‘stolen election’ claim led to the rioting on Capitol Hill,” he said.

Critics immediately piled on Barr for waiting to write a book when he might have been able to do something to change Trump’s behavior or blunt its impact if he had come forward earlier.

“That Barr feels himself free to write a book describing Trump’s excesses, framing his own service to Trump as a “personal sacrifice,” & purporting to “advise” the Republican Party, is a damning reflection of our profession’s failure to hold its standards,” Sherrilyn Ifill tweeted.

“How on character that Barr waited until he could make money off of it with a book to say Trump was totally unsuited for the presidency, instead of doing something about it when he had the power to,” Joyce White Vance added.

Politico’s Kyle Cheney compared Barr to former National Security Advisor John Bolton, saying, “Bill Barr 2022 = John Bolton 2019. Both had visibility into actions by Donald Trump that caused them great alarm and would have been useful to impeachment investigators. Both withheld that knowledge and saved it for tell-all books.”

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