House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees Chairmen Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler have requested an Inspector General investigation into William Barr.
Schiff and Nadler sent a letter to Department of Justice’s Acting Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility Jeffrey Ragsdale and Inspector General Michael Horowitz stating:
We write to request that you investigate whether recent public statements by Attorney General William Barr regarding former Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (ICIG) Michael Atkinson violated applicable Department of Justice (DOJ) policies and rules of professional conduct.
In a televised interview on April 9, 2020, Mr. Barr blatantly mischaracterized Mr. Atkinson’s conduct and DOJ’s own actions relating to the complaint filed last summer by an Intelligence Community whistleblower. The complaint detailed President Trump’s efforts to coerce Ukraine to announce a politically-motivated investigation of his rival in the 2020 presidential election. Mr. Barr’s remarks followed the President’s admission on April 4 that he fired Mr. Atkinson in retaliation for Mr. Atkinson’s handling—in accordance with the law—of the whistleblower complaint. The House of Representatives’ investigation independently confirmed the whistleblower’s account of the President’s abuse of power, for which the President was subsequently impeached. Mr. Barr’s misleading remarks appear to have been aimed at justifying the President’s retaliatory decision to fire Mr. Atkinson.
Moreover, Mr. Barr’s recent remarks are part of a disturbing pattern of misrepresenting facts and falsely alleging misconduct by other government officials in order to defend the President’s own misconduct. In the year since Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Barr has persistently sought to mislead the American public in an effort to undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation and findings, as well as those of the Department’s own Office of Inspector General. Indeed, a federal judge recently examined Mr. Barr’s “lack of candor” and concluded that Mr. Barr “distorted the findings in the Mueller Report,” which “cause[d] the Court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump.”
Public confidence in our system of justice depends on the integrity, fairness, and impartiality of DOJ’s leadership. It is, therefore, imperative that the Attorney General be held to the same high standard expected of all Department personnel, particularly in matters involving the President’s own interests. We appreciate your prompt attention to this request.
Barr has deserved investigation and many would say impeachment since he took over as Attorney General. Barr has turned his position into acting as Trump’s personal attorney, as he has been involved with squashing the Mueller investigation, trying to get dirt on Joe Biden, and has personally taken overseeing and shutting down investigations that involve Trump or his family.
An IG investigation into Barr is long overdue. Even during the time of a pandemic, the duties of congressional oversight should not cease.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association