House Republicans unite behind Barr amid corruption claims

It would be difficult for any attorney general to resist a deputy attorney general from the same party who calls him “the greatest threat in my life to our rule of law.” It would be even more difficult to resist congressional testimony from two serving Justice Department prosecutors about their subordination of justice to the president’s wishes. But Bill Barr had a fantastic day in Congress on Wednesday.

That’s not because official antitrust prosecutor John Elias and former prosecutor Roger Stone Aaron Zelinsky have revealed their stories. It’s because Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee remained enthusiastic behind Barr. And it’s also because Democrats offered little more than a harsh invective, thanks to a deep reluctance among their own leaders to enter yet another impeachment fight.

When Elias and Zelinsky testified about inappropriate or lenient antitrust investigations shown to convicted friends of the president, Republicans on the panel applauded the attorney general as the Deep State assassin for catching Donald Trump. Either that, or it was after Elias, Zelinsky, or George HW Bush’s former deputy attorney general, Donald Ayer, who went much further in criticizing Barr as a kind of unconstitutional officer.