“I want to make sure that we restore confidence in the system. There’s only one standard of justice,” Barr told CBS News’ Catherine Herridge last week. “And, I believe that… justice, in this case, requires dismissing the charges against General Flynn.”
The DOJ announced it had dismissed its case against Flynn, accused of lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia, in a stunning development that came after internal memos were released raising serious questions about the nature of the investigation that led to Flynn’s late 2017 guilty plea of lying to the FBI.
“Attorney General Barr’s repeated actions to use the Department as a tool to further President Trump’s personal and political interests have undermined any claim to the deference that courts usually apply to the Department’s decisions about whether or not to prosecute a case,” read a statement on Medium signed by 1,956 DOJ alumni.
“We continue to believe that it would be best for the integrity of the Justice Department and for our democracy for Attorney General Barr to step aside,” the statement continued. “In the meantime, we call on Congress to hold the Attorney General accountable.”
The DOJ alumni pointed to their opposition to Barr’s interference in the Roger Stone case. Federal prosecutors initially suggested a lengthy sentence of between 87 and 108 months in prison, but DOJ leadership overruled the prosecutors in the case, submitting a new filing that stated the DOJ “respectfully submits that a sentence of incarceration far less than 87 to 108 months’ imprisonment would be reasonable” for Stone, a former Trump confidant convicted of seven felony charges, including lying under Congressional oath.
The DOJ alumni noted that they “unequivocally” supported the decision of Brandon Van Grack, a top Justice Department prosecutor and former member of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, to withdraw from the Flynn case, just as they supported the decision of prosecutors to withdraw from the Roger Stone case.
Van Grack’s removal from the cases came just days after Fox News reported that explosive, newly unsealed evidence documenting the FBI’s efforts to target Flynn — including a top official’s handwritten memo debating whether the FBI’s “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired” — called into question whether Van Grack complied with a court order to produce favorable evidence to Flynn.
The DOJ alumni urged the House Judiciary Committee to reschedule a hearing with Barr, originally set for March 31, to “demand that he answer for his abuses of power.”
The alumni also called on Congress to formally censure Barr for “repeated assaults on the rule of law in doing the President’s personal bidding rather than acting in the public interest.”
Author: Morgan Phillips