After mulling it over for most of yesterday, a plausible reason for Barr’s quick meeting with McConnell dawned on me: Barr was probably advising McConnell to brace himself for the fallout from the oncoming election fraud investigation. Here is how I envision Barr’s last few days–hypothetically. The actual events would not have played out exactly like this, but may have played out like this in essence.
Trump tells Barr to investigate the Democrats for election fraud.
Barr says that if he issues orders to his 95 field offices to investigate accusations of election fraud, being impartial they will have to investigate all parties for election fraud. Therefore, Republicans will also be in danger. Trump will also be in danger because he has been trying to rig the election in his favor over the past year. Much of what he has done will undoubtedly come to light. He will also have to abrogate forty years of precedent in not pursuing cases of election fraud immediately before, during, or immediately after an election. Barr knows breaking this precedent will bring a lot of unnecessary attention to the investigation and probably a lot of opposition in the courts. Barr foresees a fraud investigation at this time opening up a nightmare scenario in which whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly.
Trump either does not foresee the danger to the GOP as Barr does or he sees it coming and does not care that it might damage the Republicans because he is simply in a blind rage and wants to win the election no matter how he does it or who it effects. This is an impetuous move, which is entirely within Trump’s character, and may lead to his own destruction, particularly as he has been trying to rig the election in his favor over the past year. However, Trump may believe he is in no danger, because Mitch McConnell has packed the courts in Trump’s favor–as much as he can. Trump orders Barr to do it anyway.
Barr goes into isolation to research his options and to carefully draft a message to all DOJ to investigate accusations of election fraud. He tries to find a legal way to protect the Republicans but he can’t.
While Barr is in seclusion, McConnell, in his public appearances sticks to the absolute truth that no one can argue with: that Trump has a right to ask for an investigation. This it true and it shows that he is somewhat standing up for Trump without being completely committed to Trump’s cause, while protecting him from probable Democratic accusations that he is aiding Trump in his madness. McConnell is walking a fine knife’s edge.
Before he orders his field offices to commence the investigation, Barr goes to Mitch McConnell directly and in person to warn him of the dangers to the GOP and that he, against his better judgment, will have to issue the directive later in the day. Mitch’s own campaign may be at risk along with those of other GOP senators and congressional representatives.
Barr, at Trump’s behest, issues the directive later that day.
Does this sound plausible?
Some Democrats have been calling for investigations into McConnell’s, Graham’s, and Collins’s campaigns, because they did unexpectedly well after there has been a lot of obvious antipathy for them.
They may get their wish.
Ironically, Trump’s frenetic, monomaniacal effort to keep the presidency may lose it for him after the investigation he orders investigates his own campaign If there is a case to be made for election-rigging, it is in all the obvious efforts Team Trump has made over the last several months.
Trump may once again have shot himself in the foot, this time while in a blind rage. He may not care who he injures or destroys, even if it’s members of his own party, so long as he holds onto the presidency. In my view, this is completely within his character.