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Barr slammed as 'blatantly corrupt' for tossing Flynn case despite guilty plea

Some Democratic lawmakers are calling for Barr’s resignation.

By Emily Singer - May 08, 2020
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William Barr

Attorney General William Barr’s decision to drop charges against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn has led to an outcry from Democratic lawmakers, who say this is the latest move by Barr to politicize the Department of Justice and do Donald Trump’s bidding.

“Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his illicit Russian contacts. His lies do not now become truths. This dismissal does not exonerate him. But it does incriminate Bill Barr. In the worst politicization of the Justice Department in its history,” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) tweeted Thursday.

Barr announced on Thursday that the DOJ was dropping Flynn’s charges of lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation, even though Flynn pled guilty to doing just that.

Donald Trump and his right-wing defenders have been pushing for the case against Flynn to be dropped — which Democrats pointed to as they criticized Barr’s move.

This is a total assault on the rule of law and justice. Under AG Barr, the Department of Justice has become a glorified arm of the Trump campaign to help the President attack political adversaries and reward political friends,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) tweeted.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) went as far as calling for Barr’s resignation.

“William Barr is not the President’s lawyer — he is the country’s lawyer. His political interference is blatantly corrupt and he should resign,” Warren tweeted Thursday night.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) tweeted, I’ve been calling for Barr’s impeachment and disbarment for a long time. But even if we get both the reek of banana republicanism Barr’s left will take a long time to wash off.” 

Barr tried to defend himself in an interview with CBS News that aired Thursday night, saying he believed the Russia investigation was illegitimate and thus the basis for Flynn’s interview with the FBI shouldn’t have happened — which is why the charges were dropped.

“We feel really that a crime cannot be established here because there was not, in our view, a legitimate investigation going on,” Barr said.

However, an internal DOJ watchdog concluded the Russia investigation was legitimate in December.

Legal experts say Barr’s move was a way for Trump to in effect pardon Flynn without having to do the work himself.

As with Barr‘s intervention in the Stone case, simply allowing Trump to pardon people would at least avoid the perversions of DOJ. Barr is sacrificing DOJ institutional credibility to spare Trump from facing political accountability,” Susan Hennessey, executive editor of the Lawfare blog and a CNN legal analyst, tweeted.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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