William P. Barr, who served as attorney general under President Donald J. Trump, criticized his former boss on Sunday for « reckless conduct » that led to Mr. Trump’s indictment on charges of mishandling confidential documents, stating that the case was « entirely of his own making.
Mr. Barr, in an interview with CBS News’ « Face the Nation, » outlined the seriousness of the allegations against Mr. Trump. He described the former president’s actions — set out in a 49-page indictment — as damaging not only to the country, but also to the Republican Party and the Trump-led conservative movement.
Mr. Barr also attacked Mr. Trump’s character in striking language, describing him as « a consummate narcissist » and a « fundamentally flawed person » who would always put his ego before everything else. He added that he believed Mr. Trump had lied to the Justice Department about confidential documents in his possession of him.
« He’s like a defiant 9-year-old who’s always pushing his glass to the edge of the table, daring his parents to stop him from doing it, » Barr said, adding that « our country can’t be a therapy session for a man. » problematic like this.
Mr. Trump, accused of illegally withholding classified documents and obstructing efforts to recover them after leaving office, is the first former president to be charged with federal crimes. He pleaded not guilty last week.
Mr. Barr has become an outspoken critic of the former president but was once a staunch defender, including during the special counsel investigation into Mr. Trump’s campaign ties to Russia in 2016, which Mr. Barr sought to discredit.
Mr. Trump « has been the victim of unjust witch hunts in the past, » Barr said Sunday. But, he insisted, the allegations in the documents case were very different.
« This was a case entirely of his own making, » Mr. Barr said. “He had no right to those documents. The government tried for over a year, quietly and respectfully, to get them back – which it was imperative they did – and he yanked them. And he had no legal basis for keeping them.’