Americans Need to Know the Truth About William Barr's Friday Night Massacre. We Can't Afford to Wait
Although the Office of the Attorney General and U.S. Attorney was established in the early days of the Republic, the Department of Justice was created 150 years ago by an act of Congress.
Justice, as the past few weeks of nationwide protests have reminded us, is imperfect and ambitious. However, the Department of Justice's tradition has been to extend protection to life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness over time. Instead of honoring the Department of Justice's best traditions on the occasion of his birthday, the current Attorney General's incumbent decided to dishonor the department for which he had sworn that weekend when he clumsily tried to fire U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman for the southern district of New York by lying and saying that Berman is resigning.
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6:14 a.m. - June 20, 2020
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In December 1940, Robert Jackson, a well-respected attorney general who later became a Supreme Court judge, called all US attorneys across the country to an August meeting in the District of Columbia, which he described as "one of the most powerful peace". Temporary staff known to our country. Jackson told his top prosecutors that there should be some national policy uniformity, "but it's an unusual and rare case where the local district attorney should be relieved of litigation unless he asks Washington for help. ”
This tradition of independence from Washington's criminal prosecution control was imprinted on the culture of the DOJ in the following years. While the department may establish nationwide policies in both material and procedural matters, the conduct of certain criminal proceedings has been largely restricted to the responsible US attorney in their district. The independence of US attorneys helped the public to maintain their integrity, and this freedom from political interference was central to the mission of justice.
From the first steps taken by Bill Barr as Attorney General, who set up a false narrative about the Mueller report on the American people to protect his new boss, Barr was willing to abandon the DOJ's traditions that undermine the integrity of its law enforcement service protect from Trump's interests. If he was ever really an institutionalist who believed in the rule of law, which his proponents claimed during the nomination, he would get lost a long time ago. And perhaps this was nowhere more true, or at least more obvious, than Barr's initial failed attempt and the subsequent successful release of the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, an office that protects his notorious independence in such a way that it is widely mentioned as the sovereign district from New York.
As we all know now, Barr initially claimed that Berman had resigned, which he knew was not true. After Berman dismissed the allegation on Twitter and lawyers pointed out that only the President could fire a court-appointed US lawyer like Berman, Barr Berman had to report that the President had fired him. Although the president denied that he was involved, Berman resigned when it was confirmed that his deputy, a professional prosecutor with serious problems, would fill his shoes at least for the time being.
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1:17 - June 21, 2020
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US lawyers are available to the President. Although Berman's situation was unusual because he wasn't endorsed by the Senate, despite this idiosyncrasy, there were legitimate ways that Trump and Barr could have replaced him. So the real question is why Barr invented the transparent lie about Berman's resignation. It was almost certain it would come to light, despite Barr's move late Friday night. Why did Barr ridicule himself and Trump and discuss it controversially to get Berman out of the way? The answer to this question is important. The independence of the Department of Justice and its U.S. attorneys could well affect this.
There is much speculation about the reason. It could have been an animus about Berman's prosecution of Trump cronies or concerns about ongoing cases. The southern district has wide jurisdiction, and the business and the President's foundation that no longer exists are within its limits. Berman is known to have summoned information about the President's inauguration. He is also investigating Deutsche Bank, which has given over $ 1 billion in loans at a time when other banks have been reluctant to lend to President Trump, and John Bolton has claimed the president wants to prosecute one meddle Turkish bank. But Barr doesn't say why he wanted Berman so badly from the US law firm in southern New York. We only know that it was not a skill or accomplishment since Barr said he offered him the job of a deputy attorney general for the civilian department, which is considered a plum role at the DOJ. And one thing that is certain is that Barr would not have lied about the decision to remove Berman if it was a legitimate one that was made in good faith.
We need answers to the questions arising from Barr's misunderstood Friday night massacre. Only Congress or maybe the press can get it. We cannot afford to wait five months until the election. Congress must summon both Barr and Berman.
Berman can now freely say what pressure he put on him during his tenure, even if he may not be talking about non-public details of the investigation he is pursuing. Barr is a different matter. He canceled the planned testimony before the House Justice Committee in May 2019 after the committee decided to allow the survey to be conducted by lawyers for the staff who performed so impressively during the impeachment. After a year-long dance with the committee about his unwillingness to submit to congressional oversight over the Müller report, Barr should testify on March 31. Before the hearing, House Democrats announced their intention to question Barr about the removal of another state lawyer, Jessie Liu, in Washington, DC, who oversaw the law enforcement of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. Stone's prosecution has been the subject of controversy due to the personal intervention of the Attorney General. Liu was promised another high-level job that failed after she left the DC office and the House Democrats wanted to know why. Barr ducked in March after the corona virus threat appeared.
It is time for the house to force Bill Barr to testify and answer the questions the American people put to him. Even if Barr's marginal views of extending a President's powers were accepted, nothing in the Constitution creates an almighty Attorney General. He and his department are accountable to Congress and the American people and it is time to remind him. A subpoena to Barr would be a fitting birthday present for the Justice Department.
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