(WASHINGTON)—It is past time for Attorney General Bill Barr to step down as the head of the Justice Department. He’s shown time and again that he is unfit to serve as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.
In a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Zelinsky testified that Justice Department prosecutors were pressured by the department to alter and obscure sentencing guidelines for former presidential adviser Roger Stone because he was a political ally of President Donald Trump. These allegations indicate that under Barr’s leadership, friends of the president were treated differently from other criminal defendants. The Justice Department inspector general and Congress must investigate these allegations of political interference, and Barr must resign.
The Justice Department and its prosecutors are supposed to operate without political interference or influence from the president. Yet it’s clear that Barr has created a culture at the department that prioritizes politics and allows it to impact the cases it prosecutes. Unequal justice is never acceptable. Leniency for friends of the president—in particular, a friend who obstructed a congressional investigation—is beyond the pale.
“It is simply untenable for Attorney General Bill Barr to remain at the Department of Justice if the American public is going to have any faith in the legitimacy of our nation's preeminent law enforcer,” said Sarah Turberville, the director of The Constitution Project at the Project On Government Oversight. “Barr has irrevocably and repeatedly broken the public's trust. To reestablish the rule of law, he has to go.”
This is not the first time that Barr has violated the public’s trust. Barr inappropriately inserted himself in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, misled the American public about the contents of Mueller’s report, and interfered in the prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. We opposed Barr’s nomination as attorney general in 2019, and we’ve since called for his resignation, as have thousands of former Justice Department employees. It’s become even more clear now that he is unfit to head the Justice Department.
Media Contacts: Sarah Turberville, Director of The Constitution Project at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), [email protected]; or Caitlin MacNeal, Media Relations Manager at POGO, [email protected]
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.
We champion reforms to achieve a more effective, ethical, and accountable federal government that safeguards constitutional principles.