Donald Trump’s former attorney general William Barr to publish his memoirs
William Barr, Donald Trump’s second attorney general and perceived “ hatchet man ” until he split from the former president over his lies about election fraud, will publish his memoirs in March.
HarperCollins, the publisher of One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General, promised a “vivid and forthright” read on Barr’s long career in law and conservative politics, in which he was first attorney general under George HW Bush.
“Barr takes readers behind the scenes during seminal moments of the Bush administration in the 1990s, from the LA riots to Pan Am 103 and Iran Contra,” the publisher said on Tuesday.
“With the Trump administration, Barr faced an unrelenting barrage of issues, such as Russia-gate, the opioid epidemic, Chinese espionage, big tech, the Covid outbreak, civil unrest, the first impeachment, and the 2020 election fallout.”
The publisher also said Barr would help readers understand how Bush and Trump “viewed power and justice at critical junctures of their presidencies”.
During the investigation of Russian election meddling and links between Trump and Moscow, Barr stoked rage among Democrats who accused him of interfering on behalf of the president.
His handling of Robert Mueller’s report also prompted protest from the special counsel himself.
Republicans and other observers defended Barr but the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, then a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, called him “a disgrace” and “not a credible head of federal law enforcement”.
Barr was also present during key flash points of the Trump administration, for instance, walking at the president’s side in summer 2020 when he marched across Washington DC’s Lafayette Square, which had been cleared of protesters against racism and police brutality, to stage a photo op at a historic church.
Barr split from Trump as the president refused to admit defeat by Joe Biden in the 2020 election. Angry scenes between the two men have been reported in other books, including bestsellers by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of the Washington Post and Jon Karl of ABC News .
Barr stoked Trump’s rage by telling the Associated Press he had not seen evidence of “fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election”.
He was no longer in office during the culmination of Trump’s concerted attempt to overturn his election defeat – the deadly Capitol riot of January 6.
On 7 January 2021, Barr condemned Trump for “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress” and said: “The president’s conduct was a betrayal of his office and supporters.”
The same day, the Guardian published an article examining the state of the Department of Justice after Barr’s second stint in the chair.
Vanita Gupta, a former head of the civil rights division, said: “The morale and the reputation of the department has been gutted because of undue political influence on the decisions of career staff.
“The department needs to be rebuilt by new leadership committed at every turn to decisions made on the law and on the facts, and not on what the president wants.”
On Tuesday, Sadie Gurman, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was among observers to note the provenance – and irony – of Barr’s chosen title.
Current attorney general Merrick Garland, Gurman said, might appreciate that “Barr’s book title is actually an homage to his hero , Ed Levi”, who, when asked “to describe the job of attorney general … famously replied , ‘It’s just one damn thing after another.’”
Ed Levi, a law professor and “non-politician” , was installed by Gerald Ford in 1975, after the Watergate scandal brought down Richard Nixon and his attorney general, John Mitchell – who served time in prison .