Scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns & Money wrote a post today about Attorney General William Barr titled "Professional Cover-Up Artist Tries to Create Diversion for Trump." That's a widespread interpretation on of Barr's "I think spying did occur" statement in a Senate hearing Wednesday, in reference to the Russia investigation -- that it was meant to distract from whatever the Mueller report might reveal about the actions of President Trump and his associates, and it's meant to be verbal catnip for right-wing conspiratorialists.
But on the right, they're not just pleased with Barr's words. They actually expect their enemies' heads to roll. Rush Limbaugh said it on the radio today:
I think criminal referrals are gonna happen, and I think criminal prosecutions are gonna happen, and I think criminal convictions are going to happen, and I think all of these people know it....
The investigation of this coup is not a conspiracy theory. It’s the first thing that’s real in the last two years about this! Trump-Russia collusion was the conspiracy theory.
This is the general consensus on the right, and when Barr announced that "both the genesis and conduct" of the Russia investigation are being investigated, he raised the level of wingnut expectations.
This is QAnon for right-wingers who think they're too sane for QAnon. (For QAnoners, it's probably a confirmation of much of what they believe.) The right-wing media has spent so long hyping the I'm-rubber-you're-glue notion that the real crimes were committed by Democrats and the investigators that the GOP base now expects a purge even more extensive than the one Rachel Maddow-watching optimists anticipated as a result of the Mueller investigation.
The downside for Barr: If this doesn't lead to indictments, he becomes Jeff Sessions 2.0. He'll become Public Enemy #1 on Sean Hannity's show. He'll be denounced by Limbaugh and Breitbart. Eventually the president will begin asking what happened to all the indictments he demanded. He'll be in Trump's doghouse at best, on his way out at worst.
Does Barr know this? He doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would recoil from phony indictments on behalf of his team. On the other hand, his specialty seems to be obfuscation and misdirection, not malicious prosecution.
He may think it's sufficient just to bamboozle the media and the public on behalf of his client (Donald Trump, of course, not the American people). It won't be. The Republican base will be furious if there isn't much more.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog