More than 1100 former employees of the Department of Justice who served in Republican and Democratic administrations have signed a letter calling for the resignation of Attorney General Bill Barr.
“Mr. Barr’s actions in doing the President’s personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words. Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign. But because we have little expectation he will do so, it falls to the Department’s career officials to take appropriate action to uphold their oaths of office and defend nonpartisan, apolitical justice,” says a statement signed mostly by former career prosecutors.
They strongly condemned President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice.
They noted that Trump and Barr have openly and repeatedly flouted this fundamental principle, most recently in connection with the sentencing of President Trump’s close associate, Roger Stone, who was convicted of serious crimes.
“Governments that use the enormous power of law enforcement to punish their enemies and reward their allies are not constitutional republics; they are autocracies,” according to the former DOJ staff.
They also pledged support to, and commended the four career prosecutors who upheld their oaths and stood up for the Department’s independence by withdrawing from the Stone case and/or resigning from the Department.
The prosecutors withdrew from the case after Barr overruled their sentencing recommendation.
“Although there are times when political leadership appropriately weighs in on individual prosecutions, it is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case,” the letter pointed out.
The letter comes in the wake of allegations that the Justice Department is yielding to political pressure from the President.
Protect Democracy, a bipartisan group that criticizes the Trump administration, took the initiative to gather the signatures of the DOJ alumni.
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