Lee Smith has just come out with the best and most thorough commentary so far on Barr's bizarre public statement yesterday--as well as on the Durham appointment as Special Counsel:
There's a lot of substance in the article, so I'll just offer a few highlights to whet your appetite:
Attorney General William Barr signaled on Tuesday that he has washed his hands of the president. He told the media that the Department of Justice has found no evidence of fraud that would change the election results in favor of Donald Trump.
U.S. officials I spoke with do not understand Barr’s motivation for speaking to a press corps typically hostile to him as well as Trump. “There’s no evidence that the DOJ spoke with any of the numerous witnesses with first-hand knowledge of election fraud,” said one senior official. “And many people reached out directly to the FBI and got no response back.”
And forget about the upside to the Durham appointment:
According to Barr, the scope of the investigation he asked the U.S. attorney from Connecticut to lead in May 2019 has “narrowed considerably.” At first, it seemed sprawling. The two men reportedly traveled to Italy and contacted officials in the United Kingdom and Australia to gather information on foreign nationals allegedly involved in Crossfire Hurricane. In August, Durham interviewed former CIA director John Brennan for eight hours. In September, the prosecutor reportedly sought information on the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
Republican officials reasoned that it was precisely because the investigation was so large and thorough that it was taking Durham so much time to deliver indictments. Reports claimed that he kept finding new evidence, was following more leads. On Tuesday, Barr said Durham’s work now “really is focused on the activities of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation within the FBI.”
There’s nothing to stop Biden from dismissing Durham. Trump reportedly considered firing Robert Mueller at least twice. But the president’s legal team defended the probity of the coup targeting their client. “I would never have anything to do with any attempts to attack Bob Mueller’s integrity,” said the former spokesman for the White House’s legal team, Mark Corallo. In other words, the aides hired to defend Trump were less concerned with the stability of the U.S. government than the prospect that their reputations would be trashed in the press.
It's an ugly picture. Why Barr would publicly humiliate himself in this way is anyone's guess.