Bill Barr Offers Rare Defense Of Trump, Says Case Has No Merit And Is Abuse Of Power

[Screenshot ABC News]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

Former Attorney General Bill Barr said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” the Manhattan case against former President Donald Trump is weak and unjust.

Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges Tuesday after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict him five days earlier. Trump is accused by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, led by Alvin Bragg, of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments made to former pornographic actress Stormy Daniels in order to prevent disclosure of their alleged affair.

“Now that you’ve had a chance to see the actual indictment and statement of fact that went along with it, do you still think there is no merit to this case?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“I don’t think it has any merit,” Barr responded. “I think it is transparently an abuse of prosecutorial power to accomplish a political end. I think it is an unjust case, that’s not to say that every legal challenge that the president faces is unjustified. But this one especially is.”

“Looking at this one for a moment, they did provide significant detailing of what is alleged falsification of business records. Putting aside the decision whether or not you would choose to prosecute that, isn’t that problematic? Some of this falsification of business records actually happened while he was president of the United States.” (RELATED: MSNBC Guest Says It’s ‘Troubling’ That Judge Overseeing Trump Case Donated To Biden)

“Falsifying a business record is a crime if it is part of a fraudulent scheme if it was in the course of fraud,” Barr said. “I don’t see anywhere specified in here exactly what the fraud was. These were his own business records. He was paying himself the hush money and the business records were his own company.”

Barr then criticized Bragg for failing to specify the felony charge, calling the case an “unfortunate … example” of prosecutorial “abuse.”

“I think it also may accomplish its purpose which is to get into the middle of the Republican primary process and turn it into a circus.”