Democrats renew calls for Barr to resign after DOJ drops Flynn case
Prominent Democrats have renewed calls for U.S. Attorney General William Barr to resign after the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn for charges of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia shortly before President Trump took office.
“William Barr is not the President’s lawyer – he is the country’s lawyer,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted. “His political interference is blatantly corrupt and he should resign.”
William Barr is not the President’s lawyer – he is the country’s lawyer. His political interference is blatantly corrupt and he should resign.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 7, 2020
Warren and other prominent Democrats have called on Barr to resign for more than a year citing several instances of what they describe as corrupt acts that favor the president and his political allies.
Democrats have pointed to the Department’s February decision to ask for a shorter prison sentence for Roger Stone, a longtime ally and friend of Trump, as an example to back up their claims.
“I called for it last year and I’ll say it again: he must resign,” tweeted Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, calling Barr’s actions “the president’s personal biddings.”
Bill Barr has consistently done Donald Trump’s bidding and corrupted our justice system. I called for it last year and I’ll say it again: he must resign. pic.twitter.com/atbmMMQRLw
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 7, 2020
Flynn previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia during the presidential transition in 2016, but later moved to withdraw his guilty plea and has been fighting the charges.
In a court filing on Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said it was moving to drop its case against Flynn, saying it was no longer sure it could make its case.
“If Barr’s Justice Department will drop charges against someone who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and who the White House publicly fired for lying to the vice president, there’s nothing it won’t do, no investigation it won’t taint,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tweeted, though he did not explicitly call on Barr to resign like Harris and Warren did.
“There’s no doubt left: William Barr won’t stop undermining the rule of law to punish Trump’s rivals and shield his friends from justice,” he added.
If Barr’s Justice Department will drop charges against someone who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and who the White House publicly fired for lying to the vice president, there’s nothing it won’t do, no investigation it won’t taint.
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) May 7, 2020
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted that Barr is “the poster child of Trump’s complete contempt for legal norms.”
“He gives face & voice to a cover-up—enough is enough,” he added.
Never mind that Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, AG Barr’s DOJ will drop the case. Democracies become autocratic when officials in power use crises to cover up their flagrant disrespect for the rule of law. https://t.co/LcGN1MVucT
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) May 7, 2020
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe noted in a statement that the DOJ’s new position contradicts the findings by both former special counsel Robert Mueller and the Office of the Inspector General.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) called the move “outrageous” and demanded an “immediate explanation,” pledging to subpoena Barr to the Capitol.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who also sits on his chamber’s judiciary committee, called on the DOJ’s inspector general to investigate the department’s move.
“This reeks of corruption,” Booker tweeted. “The DOJ’s IG must investigate.”
Under the cover of a global pandemic, Trump’s DOJ is trying to drop the charges against a top Trump associate who pled guilty multiple times in open court. This reeks of corruption. The DOJ’s IG must investigate. https://t.co/2nHkMEYmXR
— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) May 7, 2020