William Barr's chilling vision of unchecked presidential power - 2019-11-18
Even judged by the frenetic pace of the Trump era, the competition for most dismal bit of political news was especially fierce last week.
There were, of course, the impeachment hearings about the president's attempted extortion of a foreign power to get it to investigate his political rival. And President Trump's intimidating tweet about Friday's witness, former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. And his pardoning of alleged war criminals. And his long-time confidante, Roger Stone, being sent to prison. And the Republican National Committee channeling large sums of money into the president's pocket by opting to hold its winter meeting at the Trump Doral Resort. And evidence that the senior presidential adviser in charge of immigration policy, Stephen Miller, is an avid reader and purveyor of white nationalist literature. And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly humiliating the president and the country during his visit to the White House.
Yet all of that moral debasement and rank corruption may pale in long-term significance in comparison to one more event that took place last week: a speech delivered by Attorney General William Barr on Friday at a convention of the conservative legal organization The Federalist Society.