WASHINGTON, D.C. — During a hearing with the House Judiciary Committee today, Attorney General William Barr was asked by Louisiana Democrat Cedric Richmond what recourse, if any, President Trump has to challenge the results of an election he clearly lost. In an interview with Fox News recently, Trump said he would “have to see” about accepting the results of the election.
Constitutional scholars are generally in agreement that there is no mechanism in the Constitution for Trump, or any sitting president, to deny the results of an election.
During today’s hearing, Barr was pelted repeatedly with heated questions and accusations that he had turned the Department of Justice into Trump’s personal law firm. Barr was assailed for intervening in the cases of three men directly related to Trump including his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, his longtime political adviser Roger Stone, and his disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Congressman Richmond asked Barr if he agreed with Jared Kushner, Trump official and son-in-law of the president, that a president can move the date of the election in any circumstances.
Barr says in response to @RepRichmond that he "hasn't looked into" whether the president can move the date of the election, then says there's a "high risk" that vote-by-mail will lead to massive voter fraud. This from head of DOJ which is responsible for protecting voting rights.
— Vanita Gupta (@vanitaguptaCR) July 28, 2020
AG Barr seemed reluctant to answer Rep. Richmond’s question directly. However, he did say in later questioning that he would “leave office” if Trump lost in November. As the hearing took a short recess, however, Mr. Barr seemed to heap loads of gasoline onto the fire when asked by a reporter directly if there’s any way in which Trump can fight the election results if he loses overwhelmingly.
“Look, I said it in there, okay? But, sure, I’ll say it again,” Barr began, “there is no way for a president to contest the results of an election that he clearly loses…”
The reporters breathed an audible sigh of relief and began writing on their notepads, but stopped quickly when Attorney General Barr finished his sentence.
“…but I’m working on it,” Barr finished. “I’ve got a butt-load of these big books in my office, and I’m pretty sure that one of them has a paragraph or two in it that gives the president the right to stamp his feet and hold his breath long enough and he gets to set aside an election result that hurts his presidential feelings. Let me reiterate the operative word here, presidential feelings.”
The hearing’s proceedings were heated, to say the least. At several points, Barr raised his voice, and seemed to grow agitated with Democrats’ repeated criticisms of his behavior during his tenure as Attorney General. The tenor of the hearing got so tense, in fact, that Congressman Gym Jordan (R-OH) decided he had to directly defend Barr and thanked him for his “courage.”
“You had the guts, Mr. Barr,” Jordan howled at another point in the hearing, “to tell the president what he wants to hear, when he wants to hear it! You are the only one who is brave enough to give the president his binky, tuck him in at night, and tell him to sleep tight while you protect him from the mean Constitution and all its laws and accountability!” (AltFacts)
Congressman Jordan floated his own, personal theory as to why the Democrats on the committee were so critical of Attorney General Barr.
“In fact, you know what the real issue is, don’t you, Attorney General Barr? The real issue is that Black Guy McDemocrat face did his job,” Jordan screamed. “He did his job! He saw a mobbed-up, reality-TV conman with deep ties to Russia inviting and getting help from Russia and he let the intelligence community do their jobs, thereby doing his job, and that makes me very, very, very cranky!” (AltFacts)
In the Senate, one of the president’s most vocal defenders came out in full support of Barr’s attempts to find a legal justification for Trump holding his breath, stomping his feet, and and setting aside the 2020 election, should he lose.
“Well, I’m just a simple man with a simple penchant for a simple reality-TV star’s rectum,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said, peeking his head out from behind the president’s trousers, “so you can take my opinion for what you want, but for me? I think this is a great development. The best, the absolutely best. Who needs a republic when a monarchy makes you feel so good inside?”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.