Hundreds of Attorneys and Judges Offer Support to Anyone Against “Political Misuse” of Justice Department

Hundreds of attorneys and judges have signed an open letter offering support to any Trump administration officials opposed to “political misuse” of the Department of Justice.

“We, the undersigned, are attorneys from across the political spectrum and across the country. We write to express support for Department of Justice (“DOJ”) professionals who may face difficult choices about participating in political misuse of the DOJ in the election period ahead,” reads the letter from Lawyers Defending American Democracy. “The public and these professionals should know that if they stand up to such misuse — whether via resignation, public statements, or other forms of expressive dissent — they will have broad support in the legal profession, whose best traditions they will be upholding.”

The signatories said Attorney General William Barr “has demonstrated a willingness to politicize the DOJ by backing and helping to implement the President’s most partisan and extreme views” and criticized President Donald Trump for refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power, saying it “heightens our concern about what actions the Attorney General might take that would undermine the vote and the rule of law.”

The group also pointed to Barr’s “intervention in DOJ cases against presidential allies Roger Stone and Michael Flynn,” actions that “prompted more than 2,000 DOJ alumni to speak out in protest.”

“We support DOJ attorneys and personnel who stand by the oaths and the Department of Justices’ duty to do justice for the public and by not participating in partisan misuse of the DOJ,” the group wrote. “They honor the rule of law, our profession, and the country as we face this crucial test for our democracy.”

The letter’s signatories include such individuals as:

  • Mark Aaronson, Professor of Law Emeritus, Univ. of Calif. Hastings College of the Law (Oakland, CA)
  • Steven R. Andrews, Special Assistant to the Director of the FBI (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • Charles Baron, Emeritus Professor of Law, Boston College Law School (Westport Point, MA)
  • Elizabeth Bartholet, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School (Cambridge, MA)
  • Katherine L. Becker, Retired Attorney, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (Gaithersburg, MD)
  • Ed Cogen, now retired from practice and the former Regional Counsel and Deputy Director, Mid-Atlantic Region, Office of Economic Opportunity