Watchdog group files complaint against Attorney General William Barr for abuse of office

“Attorney General Barr has directly contradicted, misrepresented or undermined the independent, non-partisan and credible work of both the Department’s Inspector General and its Special Counsel, in order to blunt conclusions by these officials which were contrary to the views and interests of President Trump.”

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Democracy 21, a non-profit organization that aims to combat the influence of private money in politics, has filed a complaint against Attorney General William Barr for failure to comply with the Department of Justice norms, rules and standards of conduct. 

This complaint claims numerous incidents by Barr to protect President Donald Trump at the expense of DOJ’s mission to “Ensure Fair and Impartial Administration of Justice.”

The watchdog group is requesting an investigation into Barr’s affairs as well as retribution against Barr if what they have found is true. 

According to Democracy 21’s complaint, The improper actions by Attorney General Barr cover a wide range of his statements and activities but all result from a single overriding impropriety: the Attorney General has eschewed the core mission of the Department of Justice “to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.” Attorney General Barr has instead repeatedly demonstrated bias in acting to protect the personal and political interests of President Trump, as opposed to protecting the interests of the American people. He has done this to the detriment of the country and in derogation of the mission and integrity of the Department he heads.

The New York City Bar Association has also taken action against Barr, sending a letter to House and Senate majority and minority leaders to look further into Barr’s handlings with matters related to Trump. In the letter, they cited several public actions and statements suggesting he is abusing his power. 

According to Common Dreams, since taking over the Department of Justice last year, Barr has been repeatedly criticized for running the DOJ in a partisan manner—blurring the lines of separation that have long existed between the Justice Department and the White House.

Democracy 21’s complaint gives a detailed list of actions Barr has taken since last year: 

  • Barr testified before Congress, without any substantiation, that FBI and Justice Department officials engaged in “spying” on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
  • Barr sent a letter to Congress mischaracterizing the Mueller report ahead of its release, leaving it as the only information available to the public about the report for almost a month. Barr then refused Special Counsel Mueller’s request to release the summaries included in the report and held a press conference hours before the release of the full report where he continued to mischaracterize it.
  • Barr failed to recuse himself from overseeing matters being consideration by DOJ and related to the whistleblower complaint about President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian President, in which Trump mentioned Barr by name five times.

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