Barr

Two ethics groups call on House to begin impeachment inquiry against Barr

Two ethics groups are calling on the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Attorney General William BarrBill BarrEx-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. ‘will ignore’ Trump’s threats against political rivals Pompeo says he expects more Clinton emails to be released before election Trump calls into Rush Limbaugh’s show for two hours MORE, alleging he has used the role for political reasons to support President TrumpDonald John TrumpDes Moines mayor says he’s worried about coronavirus spread at Trump rally Judiciary Committee Democrats pen second letter to DOJ over Barrett disclosures: ‘raises more questions that it answers’ Trump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report MORE

According to Reuters, the two groups are the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law and the Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The groups wrote in a 267-page research paper that Barr has an “authoritarian worldview” that “makes him see himself as entitled to ignore laws, ethics, and historical practices” as the attorney general. The report also called on House lawmakers to begin an impeachment inquiry into Barr.

The report from the group points to Barr’s involvement in the release of the final findings of former Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill’s 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE‘s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election among other actions. 

It’s not the first time Barr has faced calls to be impeached. Earlier this year, Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenJewish lawmakers targeted by anti-Semitic tweets ahead of election: ADL Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen wins Democratic primary Democrats exit briefing saying they fear

Bill Barr Faces Criticism Over Refusal to Quarantine After Rose Garden Event

Attorney General William Barr is facing mounting criticism over his refusal to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 at the Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Saturday.



Chris Christie, Lavinia Wilson, C. Boyden Gray standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Attorney General William Barr greets former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the Rose Garden at the White House on September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.


© Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Attorney General William Barr greets former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the Rose Garden at the White House on September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Some fear the September 26 event was a possible catalyst of the White House coronavirus outbreak. At least eight attendees have tested positive since the ceremony. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were diagnosed with the virus one day after Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest aides, became infected.

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GOP Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis also tested positive, as well as former White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway—whom Barr was seen in close contact with during the event.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 14 days of quarantine for anyone who has been exposed to the virus, a rule Barr has apparently chosen not to follow.

“Barr’s refusal to quarantine after exposure is not ‘toughness,'” tweeted University of Michigan Law Professor Barbara McQuade, who’s also a former U.S. attorney. “It is arrogant, irresponsible, and reckless behavior from our nation’s attorney general.”

Andrew Weissmann, a longtime Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyer turned legal analyst, said Barr’s decision was “fitting” for an “enabler of presidential fictions and denier of facts.”

Barr accused of ‘working hand in glove’ with Team Trump, White House

Donald Trump appeared certain that, at long last, he had evidence of a nefarious election scheme. As the president told the public, a handful of ballots in a Republican-friendly county in Pennsylvania had been thrown in the trash, when they should’ve been counted for the GOP ticket. The claims were soon elevated by the White House, the Trump campaign, the Justice Department, and conservative media.

It wasn’t long, however, before the story faded — because it wasn’t quite true. There was an administrative error in Luzerne County, Pa., but there was no evidence of a local conspiracy to rig the election for Joe Biden. Those looking for proof to substantiate the president’s conspiracy theories would have to look elsewhere.

But the story did raise an entirely different set of questions, not about election officials in a midsize county in northeastern Pennsylvania, but about Attorney General Bill Barr.

Why did the Republican lawyer brief Trump directly on the unimportant case? Why did Barr’s Justice Department ignore its own guidelines and issue a statement about an incomplete investigation? Why did the DOJ statement include factual errors?

There’s no reason to be coy. The attorney general has made little effort to hide his efforts to politicize his office and federal law enforcement, and the Luzerne County incident appeared to be part of Barr’s election-season tactics.

Making matters worse, of course, is the scope of these tactics. Politico connected the dots this way:

The prosecution of Michael Flynn. A Senate investigation into the provenance of the Steele Dossier. The nascent federal probe of discarded absentee ballots in Pennsylvania. In recent days, the Justice Department has declassified or disclosed sensitive materials related to each of these proceedings that, on the surface, have little to do with each other. Yet within hours, President Donald Trump had