WASHINGTON, DC, June 24, 2020 – Not a day seems to go by without a new revelation about how Attorney General Bill Barr is compromising the Department of Justice’s independence and dismantling the rule of law. A new report from Alliance for Justice, “William Barr: Eroding Justice,” provides a comprehensive catalog of Barr’s abuses of power, including the many ways he has used the office of attorney general to perform personal favors for President Trump and undermine rights and protections critical to millions of Americans.
“It is clear from Barr’s statements and actions that he does not see himself as an attorney general for all Americans,” AFJ’s report explains. “Rather, he views himself in a ‘holy war’ against the ‘forces of secularization’ and those who oppose Donald Trump.”
AFJ opposed Barr’s nomination, noting at the time that “there is nothing in the record suggesting Barr will be an independent check on any illegality or untoward conduct by the president.” In just 18 months’ time, Barr has gone above and beyond to prove that he will, in fact, do everything he can to protect Trump.
The report details Barr’s recent abuses of power, including his unprecedented efforts to block publication of John Bolton’s book, his attempts to remove Geoffrey Berman as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his commandeering of military forces to attack peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square using rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades to make way for the president’s photo op.
But this recent misconduct is only the tip of the iceberg for Barr. The report also details his cover-up of the Mueller investigation’s findings (which are still coming to light), the many ways he’s arranged leniency for Trump’s friends like Roger Stone and Michael Flynn while simultaneously calling for harsh sentencing for smaller crimes, and his refusal to defend the constitutionality of laws like the Affordable Care Act.
AFJ’s report concludes, “Attorney General Barr has abandoned the notion of an independent Department of Justice and failed to ensure the impartial administration of justice.” While it can be daunting to fully capture the full extent of Barr’s corruption, it is essential to understanding the damage Barr has helped Trump do to the rule of law in this country.