Will There Be an Investigation of U.S. Attorney General Barr?

February 18, 2020 by Tom Ramstack
Will There Be an Investigation of U.S. Attorney General Barr?
Justice Barr

WASHINGTON – A Washington-based advocacy group for government ethics is asking the Justice Department to investigate the U.S. attorney general for his statements about the criminal conviction of an associate of President Donald Trump.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says Attorney General William Barr violated Justice Department rules intended to prevent bias.

He oversaw a Justice Department recommendation for a reduced sentence of Roger Stone, the former Trump campaign political consultant who was convicted in November on seven counts, including witness tampering and lying to investigators. Stone awaits sentencing.

The charges resulted from the Mueller Report and Special Counsel investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Justice Department prosecutors originally recommended to the federal judge that Stone be sentenced to seven to nine years in prison. A subsequent sentencing memorandum said the Justice Department “defers to the Court” on a sentence.

The memorandum also cautioned that the original seven-to-nine year recommendation “could be considered excessive and unwarranted.”

Barr’s new recommendation prompted the entire prosecutorial team to resign in protest.

In addition, more than 1,100 former prosecutors and Justice Department officials signed an open letter to Barr criticizing him for ignoring the rule that White House officials not intervene in criminal cases.

“Such behavior is a grave threat to the fair administration of justice,” the letter says. “In this nation, we are all equal before the law. A person should not be given special treatment in a criminal prosecution because they are a close political ally of the President.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is increasing pressure on Barr with a complaint filed with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

“Attorney General Barr’s prejudicial statements further appear to be part of a pattern of conduct,” the complaint says.

Previously, Barr implied that he agreed with Trump’s claims the FBI spied on his presidential campaign. He also appeared to seek leniency in the prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“Since the beginning of his tenure at the Department of Justice, Attorney General Barr has operated more as the president’s personal attorney than as the country’s chief law enforcement officer,” Noah Bookbinder, director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement.

Additional calls for an investigation of Barr are coming from Democrats in Congress. Some want him to resign.

Meanwhile, other Justice Department attorneys in its Washington, D.C. office are reportedly considering resigning in protest. 

Justice Department officials deny political meddling in their decision last week to revise their sentence recommendation for Stone. He is scheduled for sentencing Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Barr responded to the firestorm of criticism last week in an interview with ABC News. He denied that Trump has ever asked him to influence a criminal case.

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr said. “I’m going to do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

He spoke out against Trump’s sometimes flamboyant tweets in defense of his former associates who faced prosecution. Barr said the tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

He added, “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”

A+
a-
  • investigation
  • Justice Department
  • William Barr
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    In The News

    May 25, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    US House Voids DC Law Allowing Non-Citizens to Vote

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate is now set to decide whether the District of Columbia’s controversial law that allows non-citizens... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate is now set to decide whether the District of Columbia’s controversial law that allows non-citizens to vote in local elections survives. The House this week approved a measure to cancel the law. “Allowing noncitizens — including illegal aliens and foreign agents... Read More

    May 24, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Drowning Deaths On the Rise in the United States

    WASHINGTON — After decades of decline, drowning deaths are once again on the rise in the United States, according to... Read More

    WASHINGTON — After decades of decline, drowning deaths are once again on the rise in the United States, according to a new Vital Signs study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 4,500 people died due to drowning each year from 2020 to 2022,... Read More

    May 24, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Environmentalists, Others Assail Proposed Farm Bill Language on Biomass

    WASHINGTON — More than 130 groups, ranging from the Alaska Wilderness League to the Western Watersheds Project, signed on to... Read More

    WASHINGTON — More than 130 groups, ranging from the Alaska Wilderness League to the Western Watersheds Project, signed on to a letter this week opposing proposed language in the House version of the Farm Bill that would deem biomass worthy of federal clean energy tax credits.... Read More

    May 24, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Tornado Outbreak Takes Down Massive Wind Turbines in Iowa

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A tornado outbreak across much of the Midwest earlier this week brought utter devastation to the... Read More

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A tornado outbreak across much of the Midwest earlier this week brought utter devastation to the city of Greenfield, Iowa, and wreaked havoc on nearby wind farms located in Adair County. Until Tuesday’s tornado, Greenfield’s claim to fame had been that it... Read More

    May 24, 2024
    by Beth McCue
    Winners of DOE’s 2024 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Announced

    WASHINGTON — The winner of this year’s Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, the University of New Hampshire, took the top honors... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The winner of this year’s Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, the University of New Hampshire, took the top honors for creating a surface research drifter, a buoy that uses ocean energy to collect accurate oceanic weather observations and forecasting. Marine energy technologies harness the power... Read More

    Native American Tribes Give Unanimous Approval to Proposal Securing Colorado River Water

    The Navajo Nation Council has signed off on a proposed settlement that would ensure water rights for its tribe and two others... Read More

    The Navajo Nation Council has signed off on a proposed settlement that would ensure water rights for its tribe and two others in the drought-stricken Southwest — a deal that could become the most expensive enacted by Congress. The Navajo Nation has one of the largest single outstanding... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top