On March 17th, 1,000 former Justice Department officials called for the resignation of Attorney General William Barr. The Independent reports that because Barr overruled prosecutors suggestion that Roger Stone receive a nine year sentence for obstruction of justice and lying under oath to Congress.
“Although there are times when political leadership appropriately weighs in on individual prosecutions, it is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case,” the former Justice Department officials wrote in a statement released Sunday.
The New York Times reported back in December that two Senators, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, asked the Justice Department’s internal ethics watchdog to investigate Barr for blessing a secret program at the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1992 that went on to collect billions of records of Americans’ phone calls.
In 1992, Barr authored a report, The Case for More Incarceration, which argued for an increase in the United States incarceration rate, the creation of a national program to construct more prisons, and the abolition of parole release. Barr said in the report, “The benefits of increased incarceration would be enjoyed disproportionately by black Americans.” There is no credible data to show increasing prison populations decreases crime rates, particularly in the case of violent crimes.
Also in 1992, Barr advised then president George Bush Sr to pardon Caspar Wienberger and 5 other officials who had been found guilty of charges relating to the Iran-Contra Affair. Because of this and Barr’s unwillingness to appoint an independent counsel to look into a second scandal known as Iraqgate, New York Times writer William Safire began to refer to Barr as “Coverup-General Barr.”
That WIlliam Barr, he sure is one beautiful mf!
On March 21st Mr. Barr’s Justice Department quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies such as the current COVID-19 virus emergency. This Politico article discusses this request.
As I noted in a previous blog post. maybe it is time for WIlliam Barr to step down.