Comey says Barr, Rosenstein just aren’t ‘strong enough’ to stand up to Trump

Former FBI Director James Comey didn’t have very many complimentary things to say about President Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a CNN town hall Thursday.

Barr and Rosenstein have both ruined their reputations, he said, due to their inability to push back against Trump. Looking at the way Barr handled the delivery and rollout of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice, Comey felt he “acted in a way that’s less than honorable.” Barr “continues to talk as if he’s the president’s lawyer,” he added, while Rosenstein is “very bright, but not strong enough. I think people like that, like Rod Rosenstein, who are people of accomplishment but not real sterling character, strong character, find themselves trapped.”

Trump fired Comey in May 2017, an event that led to the Mueller’s appointment. Comey has read the public, redacted version of the Mueller report, and he was asked about 10 incidents of potential obstruction by Trump described in the document. It “sure looks like” Trump had criminal intent to commit obstruction of justice, he said, with one “flaming example” being Trump ordering former White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller in June 2017.

“The president is not above the law, and I don’t accept the notion that because the president is the head of the executive branch he can’t ever obstruct justice in connection with executive branch activities,” Comey said. “That’s just crazy and a recipe for lawlessness.” He said he believes that during a future administration, the Justice Department “will have to take a serious look at” charging Trump once he is out of office. Read more about Comey’s reaction to the Mueller report, and how the former Republican is trying to help Democrats win in 2020, at CNN.

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