Attorney General Bill Barr accused congressional Democrats Friday of “using every tool” to “sabotage” the Trump administration by setting a “dangerous” precedent in implying that the government is illegitimate.
During a speech at the Federalist Society’s dinner in Washington, Barr took aim at the “resistance,” accusing liberal lawmakers of attacking the very foundations of the Constitution.
“I deeply admire the American presidency as a political and constitutional institution,” he began. “Unfortunately over the past several decades, we have seen a steady encroachment on executive authority by the other branches of the government.”
Barr said the “avalanche of subpoenas” and constant attempt to derail appointments by the Trump administration have only served to “incapacitate” the executive branch.
“Immediately after President Trump won the election, opponents inaugurated what they called the ‘resistance’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver to sabotage the functioning of the executive branch and his administration.”
“The cost of this constant harassment is real,” he continued.
Barr likened the language used by Trump’s opponents to that of groups who attempt to overthrow militant rule of seized governments.
“Now resistance is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate. This is a very dangerous and, indeed, incendiary notation to import into the politics of a democratic republic.”
He continued: “They essentially see themselves engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.”
Barr claimed that while Trump’s presidency falls outside the norm of previous administrations, he was elected with the public fully aware of this.
“The fact is, that, yes, while the president has certainly thrown out the traditional beltway playbook and punctilio, he was upfront about what he was going to do and the people decided that he was going to serve as president.”
Barr’s comments came on the same as Congress held a second public hearing in the House impeachment inquiry.