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Trump calls on Barr to ‘act’ against Biden before election

The New York Times reports:

President Trump on Tuesday called on William P. Barr, the attorney general, to take action before Election Day against his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., over his son’s foreign work, an extraordinary attempt to pressure the government’s chief law enforcement to help him politically.

The president made the remark during an interview with “Fox & Friends,” after days of caustic criticism of Mr. Biden, the moderators of the presidential debates, the news media and, increasingly, Mr. Barr. He recently said the attorney general would go down in history “as a very sad, sad situation” if he did not indict Democrats like Mr. Biden and former President Barack Obama.

“We’ve got to get the attorney general to act,” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday, when asked whether he wants to see investigations into unverified information about Mr. Biden and his son Hunter that the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, claims he recently obtained. Mr. Giuliani, who has made a range of outlandish and false assertions in an effort to damage the president’s rivals and critics, has refused to provide news outlets with the information he claims to have.

Mr. Trump called on Mr. Barr to appoint a special prosecutor or similar official, saying: “He’s got to act. And he’s got to act fast.”

“This is major corruption, and this has to be known about before the election. And, by the way, we’re doing very well. We’re going to win the election.”

A spokesman for Mr. Biden declined to comment.

Critics have accused Mr. Barr on a number of occasions of intervening on issues to help Mr. Trump politically. But for the president to publicly call on him to take action against a political opponent was remarkable, especially two weeks before a presidential election. On Monday, Mr. Trump repeatedly called Mr. Biden “a criminal.”

“He is sounding desperate,” said Charles Fried, a Harvard Law professor who was solicitor general in the Reagan administration. “He’s been urging the attorney general in several ways to investigate his political opponents and to somehow validate his preposterous charges of criminality.”

“And even as loyal a henchman as Barr seems to have been able to draw the line somewhere — and it’s driving Trump crazy,” added Mr. Fried. [Continue reading…]

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