Barr says prosecutors ‘probably have the basis for legitimately indicting’ Trump


Donald Trump and Bill Barr
Former President Donald Trump and former Attorney General William Barr. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Barr says prosecutors ‘probably have the basis for legitimately indicting’ Trump

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Newly appointed special counsel Jack Smith likely has a legitimate basis for indicting former President Donald Trump, his onetime ally, former Attorney General William Barr, surmised.

Talking about the classified document portion of Smith’s mandate, Barr argued it was “increasingly more likely” the Justice Department would pursue charges and postulated that it already has the goods.


“I personally think that they probably have the basis for legitimately indicted. I don’t know I’m speculating, but given what’s gone on, I think they probably have the evidence that would check the box,” Barr told PBS Firing Line host Margaret Hoover.

When pressed about whether he personally would indict Trump, Barr declined to answer. During the last special counsel period that Trump endured under the Robert Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Barr ultimately decided not to pursue charges against Trump, who was the sitting president at the time.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of a special counsel Friday and noted he would be tasked with weighing charges against Trump for the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Smith has been known for prosecuting war crimes.

Barr had a tumultuous tenure in the Trump White House that ultimately ended with a bitter falling out between the two over the 2020 election, which Trump claimed was “stolen” from him, much to Barr’s chagrin.

Back in September, he previously highlighted wrongdoing on Trump’s part regarding the documents stashed at Mar-a-Lago. He contended that the DOJ was “getting very close” to amassing what it needed to indict, but he expressed hope that it wouldn’t for the sake of the country.

Seeking to be balanced in his assessments of Trump’s legal woes, Barr has also disparaged the New York attorney general’s civil lawsuit against Trump as a “political hit job.”


Trump announced his 2024 campaign Tuesday, which Garland alluded to in his announcement of the special counsel, insinuating it served as part of the impetus for the appointment. He has ferociously denied wrongdoing on both the Mar-a-Lago and Jan. 6 fronts.

“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel,” Garland said at a press conference Friday.

In typical Trump fashion, the former president raged against the special counsel appointment as “unfair to the country” and expressed dismay at the string of investigations he has weathered during his time in the political limelight.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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