Twelve Democratic Senators on Tuesday urged an investigation into Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the Mueller report.
In their letter, a copy of which was sent to PoliticusUSA, they cited – among many ethical and legal issues – Barr’s decision not to recuse himself, whether his non-summary summary was misleading, whether his conduct with respect to the report complied with DOJ practices, and whether he has demonstrated sufficient impartiality to continue overseeing the 14 criminal matters referred to other components of the DOJ and FBI.
Senators Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility Corey Amundson to investigate.
Their letter highlighted the following concerns:
· Whether Attorney General Barr’s decision not to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel’s investigation was proper and consistent with ethical rules and practices within the Department of Justice;
· Whether Attorney General Barr’s four-page letter dated March 24, 2019, regarding Special Counsel Mueller’s report was misleading and whether it was consistent with Department of Justice policies and practices;
· Whether Attorney General Barr’s actions in permitting President Trump’s private attorneys to review the entire Special Counsel’s report at length before sharing the report with Congress, other individuals named in the report, and the public, was appropriate and consistent with Department of Justice policies and practices;
· Whether Attorney General Barr’s press conference on April 18, 2019, regarding Special Counsel Mueller’s report, which took place well before he released a redacted version of the report, was misleading and consistent with Department of Justice policies and practices;
· Whether Attorney General Barr has demonstrated sufficient impartiality to continue overseeing the ongoing matters related to the Special Counsel’s investigation referenced in Appendix D of the Special Counsel’s report;
· Whether Attorney General Barr took any steps related to the transfers and referrals listed in Appendix D of the report that were contrary to the advice of career prosecutors at the Justice Department or the Department’s policies; and
· Whether any of Attorney General Barr’s other actions or statements call into question his impartiality such that they warrant his recusal from particular matters or are relevant to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s oversight into the Department of Justice.
William Barr was handpicked by President Donald Trump precisely due to his audition letter in which he laid bare his contempt for Mueller’s report.
Trump roundly fired then Attorney General Jeff Sessions for no real reason, and replaced him with Barr, whose ethics and conduct have long signaled a willingness to cover for a president.
Barr then proceeded to issue a “summary” of the Mueller report that was misleading at best, and later when busted on this fact, Barr claimed that his summary wasn’t actually meant as a summary at all.
What point was there to his “summary” then? Barr’s non-summary summary was meant to give the president the headlines he needed to convince his base and those Americans who don’t play close attention to the news that he had been exonerated of collusion and that Mueller had left it to Barr to determine if there were enough evidence of obstruction, and Barr concluded there was not.
In fact, even the redacted Mueller report does not exonerate Trump of collusion and it outlines a possible case for obstruction of justice against the President of the United States.
The redacted Mueller report actually presents a strong evidence that Trump campaign collusion with the Russians occurred.
That evidence may or may not rise to the level of being able to be prosecuted, which is common in conspiracy cases, because the President used intermediaries, his campaign deleted evidence, and he and others refused to cooperate and lied to prosecutors.
That is the opposite of being exonerated.
William Barr is supposed to serve the people of the United States. That is his job. Instead, he has served as a cover-up artist for Donald Trump.
William Barr should be impeached, and an investigation into his shameful conduct is beyond necessary.
Where are the Republican Senators, you might ask. They are in full cover-up mode for Donald Trump, spitting on their country and their oath to their country and her citizens.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.