Former President Donald Trump is currently facing four criminal indictments -- two at the federal level involving his retention of classified documents and his efforts to challenge the 2020 election results plus two more at the state level, in New York and Georgia, that involve his actions in the 2016 election and 2020 election, respectively.
In a recent interview, former Attorney General Bill Barr expressed his belief that the federal cases against Trump were "legitimate" and predicted that his prior boss "will be convicted on some counts," according to Mediaite.
He suggested, however, that it was unlikely that Trump would actually serve any time behind bars and instead seemed to insinuate that the former president could be punished following conviction with some form of probationary house arrest.
Former AG Barr on Thursday sat for an interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto to discuss at length the various criminal allegations and indictments against the former president.
Barr expressed his belief that Trump ultimately would not be the Republican nominee in 2024, despite currently being the undisputed frontrunning candidate, and said at one point, "I think when push comes to shove, it’ll be clear that there are other candidates who can win decisively."
"But, you know, I think the chances are that he will be -- he will be convicted on some counts," he continued. "But I don’t think that that translates into jail time."
Asked to explain, Barr said, "Because I think, you know, if I was attorney general and we were prosecuting, for example, on the documents case, which is a righteous case, I wouldn’t want to see a former president in jail. I think a very substantial penalty would serve the public interest. But putting him in jail has too many collateral bad impacts on the country."
"There's ways of having custody without putting him in a facility, a federal facility," he added. "You know, you can have home detention and other things."
Earlier in the interview, according to the New York Post, former AG Barr dismissed the two state-level indictments against former President Trump, and described the New York case as a "joke" and "obviously a political hit job" while lambasting the Georgia case as being "excessive" and "too sweeping, much too broad."
He further suggested that neither of those two cases would go to trial prior to the 2024 election, much less result in convictions, and acknowledged that they helped feed the narrative that Trump was being "victimized" by partisan prosecutors who were "piling on" charges against him.
However, Barr argued, "I think the federal cases are legitimate. At the end of the day, at the core of this thing, he engaged, in the case of the documents, in outrageous behavior where anyone would be prosecuted."
"I don’t know of any attorney general who could walk away from it. He’s not being prosecuted for having the documents, he’s being prosecuted for obstruction -- two egregious instances are alleged," he added. "So I think that’s a very simple case and that should be tried. If the judge is anywhere competent, that can be concluded before the summer."
As to whether Barr, a self-proclaimed "conservative Republican," would still cast a vote for Trump over President Joe Biden, if Trump were to end up being the nominee despite the multiple indictments and potentially even convictions, the former attorney general dodged a direct answer but nonetheless seemed to indicate that it was at least a possibility that he would have to consider at the appropriate time.
Noting that he would have to wait and "see all the evidence that comes out about his conduct" in making such a decision, Barr reiterated what he has said before and stated, "I will jump off that bridge when I get to it."