William Barr distances himself from ex-president Donald Trump, asserting that the extensive indictment is “very damning”.
Former US Attorney General William Barr
has cast doubts over Donald Trump
's political future following a sweeping 37-count federal indictment related to Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. Speaking candidly to Fox News, Barr, who was a key figure in Trump’s administration from 2019 to 2020, expressed both surprise and concern at the scale and severity of the charges.
“I was shocked by the degree of sensitivity of these documents and how many there were,” Barr stated during the interview aired on Sunday. He further asserted, “If even half of it is true, then he’s toast… It’s a very detailed indictment and it’s very damning.”
Breaking with Trump
This stance marks a notable departure for Barr, who has been largely supportive of Trump in the past. His recent comments stand in stark contrast to Trump's own vehement dismissal of the charges, which he claims are part of a “witch hunt” by federal prosecutors.
Barr, however, remained steadfast in his disapproval, adding, “Presenting Trump as a victim here, the victim of a witch hunt is ridiculous.” He clarified that while he stood by Trump’s side in the past when he believed him to be unfairly targeted, this case was different.
The Indictment Details
Unsealed on Friday, the indictment alleges that Trump kept classified documents in insecure locations such as “a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room” at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
It further claims that Trump instructed his valet and aide, Walt Nauta, to move boxes of records in order to “conceal them from Trump’s attorney, the FBI, and the grand jury.” The indictment alleges that the documents possessed by Trump “included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack, and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.”
Barr was unequivocal in his criticism regarding this alleged mishandling of sensitive materials, stating, “Those documents are among the most sensitive secrets that the country has. They have to be in the custody of the archivist. He had no right to maintain them and retain them. And he kept them in a way at Mar-a-Lago that anyone who really cares about national security, their stomach would churn at it.”
In addition to charges of mishandling classified documents, the indictment includes several counts of obstruction of justice and making false statements to investigators.
Trump Remains Defiant
Despite the extensive charges, Trump has staunchly maintained his innocence. In his first public appearances since the indictment was unsealed, he addressed crowds in Georgia and North Carolina, vowing that he “will never be detained.”
Furthermore, he did not mince words in criticizing federal officials, asserting, “Now the Marxist left is once again using the same corrupt DoJ [justice department] and the same corrupt FBI, and the attorney general and the local district attorneys to interfere … They’re cheating. They’re crooked. They’re corrupt. These criminals cannot be rewarded. They must be defeated. You have to defeat them.”
As the legal proceedings unfold, Trump’s political future hangs in the balance, with even former allies like Barr raising alarm at the gravity of the charges.