House Judiciary Democrats sent a letter demanding Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz investigate Barr’s dropping of the Mike Flynn case.
Like many Americans, we are deeply concerned by the Department’s decision to move to dismiss the criminal case against Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Trump’s National Security Advisor. Under a generous plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Mr. Flynn was allowed to plead guilty to a single charge of making false statements to federal investigators and avoid prosecution for other serious alleged crimes.
In measuring the impact of the decision to dismiss these charges, it is important to observe the divide between Attorney General William Barr and the career staff at the Department of Justice. Hours before the government moved to dismiss the case, Brandon Van Grack—an experienced prosecutor who had worked the Flynn case from its inception—abruptly withdrew from the matter. On the merits, the government’s argument for dismissing the case appears to be inaccurate, politically biased, and inconsistent with the Department’s own guidelines. The government’s brief is signed only by Timothy Shea—the acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, promoted from the Attorney General’s personal staff to his current post earlier this year—and not by a single career prosecutor.
Of course, the Hatch Act prohibits Department of Justice employees from engaging in partisan political activities in the course of official business. The Department applies the most rigorous such restrictions to its senior leadership “to ensure that there is not an appearance that politics plays any part in the Department’s day-to-day operations.” Federal law also disqualifies any DOJ employee “from participation in a particular investigation or prosecution if such participation may result in a personal, financial, or political conflict of interest, or the appearance thereof.” Simply put, the Attorney General is prohibited from putting his thumb on the scale in favor of the President, time and time again.
We write to request an investigation by your office into a pattern of conduct that includes improper political interference, ignoring standards for recusal, and abrogating Attorney General guidelines, among other improper considerations. We ask that your office review the events highlighted above, as well as any other related actions you find during the course of your investigation. The American people deserve to know the full extent of the politicization of the Department of Justice. They deserve a Department that is guided by the facts and the law, and not by the President’s political interests.
Trump is never going to fire William Barr, but an IG investigation would both expose the corruption and damage that Barr and Trump are doing to the Department of Justice while also laying the groundwork for a potential impeachment of the Attorney General.
It would not be necessary to impeach Barr if Democrats win the presidential election. Trump is never going to voluntarily get rid of William Barr, so in case, the President wins reelection, House Democrats are getting ready to act.
House Democrats aren’t going to let Barr’s actions go unchallenged, and are gearing up to investigate the Attorney General.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a 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