Fox's Chris Wallace suggests it's normal for attorneys general to “protect [the president] from getting in trouble”

Wallace: “I suspect that the president was pretty pleased with the performance of Bill Barr today and particularly on the issue of obstruction”

From the April 18 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom

Video file

BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): Just to read the statement, Bret, that you're referring to: “The president took no act in fact to deprive the special counsel the documents and witnesses necessary to complete the investigation. The evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation the president had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.” Chris Wallace on this then, that would be Bill Barr trying to determine intent. 

CHRIS WALLACE (FOX NEWS ANCHOR): Well, that's right. You know, I have to think Bill, just stepping back for a minute, that historically attorneys general are one of the most sensitive positions that a president appoints and frankly they put somebody they really trust in that position because oftentimes it's somebody that is going to protect them from getting in trouble. You can go back to John Mitchell in the Nixon years, you can go to Eric Holder in the Obama years. And obviously the president was very frustrated with the actions of his first attorney general because of the fact that he felt that Jeff Sessions was not protecting him, was not functioning in that role and he ripped the bark off him for over a year for his decision to recuse.

I suspect that the president was pretty pleased with the performance of Bill Barr today and particularly on the issue of obstruction. Because again, on collusion it does appear and I will say that the attorney general said it about a half dozen times, I lost count after that, there was no collusion, there was no cooperation, there was no coordination. But there doesn't seem to be any contradiction there. When it came to the obstruction case, and as he pointed out, there were at least 10 instances that the special counsel raised that could be considered potential obstruction. Then you got into this very curious area where the attorney general seemed almost to be acting as the counselor for the defense, for the counselor for the president, rather than the attorney general: talking about his motives, talking about his anger, his feeling that this was unfair and he was being -- there were leaks. And really as I say, making a case for the president. I suspect that Democrats' heads on Capitol Hill were exploding and they're going to come down very sharply about the way that Bill Barr today laid this out because there's no question this is going to be -- this is the first look, in a sense, that everybody has gotten today, at the Mueller report, and this was as good a case as the president and the president's lawyers could make that there is nothing to see here, let's move on.


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