Sunday, February 16, 2020

If William Barr Truly Believed in Rule of Law, He Would Resign

 Barr’s commitment at his most recent confirmation hearing, reaffirming that an Attorney General must prevent political influence from corrupting the course of justice in criminal cases, was important to legitimate his candidacy to lead the department, given the concerns that arose after his nomination. But he has proven himself unable or unwilling to live up to that commitment.
Since he joined the Administration just over a year ago, Barr has operated in a manner that has raised serious questions about whether he is working to benefit the President or the people. He misrepresented the conclusions of the Mueller report. On his watch, DOJ tried to protect the President from legitimate constitutional oversight by withholding the Ukraine whistleblower complaint from Congress. DOJ then summarily declined to open an investigation into the Ukraine complaint and defended Trump’s position that executive branch emails related to Ukraine did not have to be turned over to a media organization that sought unredacted versions, using the same privilege arguments Trump asserted to withhold them from Congress. Although the Department has responded to past questions about Barr’s personal involvement by saying he was aware but did not participate in decision-making, we know from his takeover of Roger Stone’s sentencing that he is fully capable of usurping a case when he does not like how it is being handled. He has also assigned a handpicked U.S. Attorney appointed by Trump to review matters the President has shown interest in.


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