It started almost immediately, with the roll-out of the Russia investigation.
Before the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election were made public a year ago, Attorney General William Barr declared that there was insufficient evidence to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice.
A month later, Barr announced the appointment of a federal prosecutor to review the origins of Mueller’s investigation, adding to a startling assertion that the FBI had spied on the Trump campaign.
When prosecutors in February recommended a stiff prison sentence for former Trump adviser Roger Stone – the last person charged in Mueller’s inquiry – Barr intervened again, prompting the dramatic withdraw of four department lawyers from case in protest.
Justice’s latest decision to abandon the prosecution of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, analysts said, adds yet a new chapter to the steady dismantling of Mueller’s work that had long threatened Trump’s presidency, while exposing Barr, yet again, to fresh recriminations of fueling a continuing politicization of Justice as a powerful annex of the White House.