In Bill Barr’s confirmation hearing, he affirmed on three different occasions (each time with lessening force) that it would be a crime to offer a pardon for false testimony.
Leahy: Do you believe a president could lawfully issue a pardon in exchange for the recipient’s promise to not incriminate him?
Barr: No, that would be a crime.
In Bill Barr’s resignation letter, he explained he would “spend the next week wrapping up a few remaining matters important to the Administration and depart on December 23rd.” Barr stopped off at the White House yesterday for a short visit. He and his spox wrote his good-byes during the day and then left DOJ in charge of Jeffrey Rosen.
And then after all that, Trump pardoned Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. The Manafort and Stone pardons — for which the paperwork must have been done ahead of time but held until Barr was no longer Attorney General — only cover the crimes for which they’ve been found guilty. That means both men would ostensibly remain under investigation for their coordination with Russian Agents during the election (and both men assuredly did coordinate with Russian Agents during the election.
If Bill Barr didn’t find a way to permanently end that investigation.
The question now is whether Bill Barr, cover-up artist, managed to cover his tracks this time as well as he did in Iran-Contra.