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Archive for June 26th, 2020

Weekend Series on Crime History: Spiro Agnew Resigns

AG Barr Must Resign for Politicizing DOJ, Ex-Assistant U.S. Attorney for Southern District of NY Argues

AG William Barr in Detroit, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The criticism of Attorney General William Barr continues as an increasing number of legal experts say he has turned his back on his responsibilities to represent the best interests of the U.S.

Elliot B. Jacobson, who served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1985 to 2017, is the latest to call on Barr to resign.

“For his part, Barr has openly abandoned any pretense of acting in the nation’s best interest and has instead acted as Trump’s ‘Roy Cohn’ or his new Michael Cohen — take your pick,” Jacobson wrote in a column in The New York Law Journal. “The litany of his abuses of power on behalf of the president is worth rehearsing here.”

From the time Barr took office in February 2019, Barr defied his oath to support and defend the Constitution by refusing to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s probe of Russian interference in Trump’s 2016 election, Jacobson argued. In a whitewashed letter summarizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings during the investigation, Barr “had deliberately mischaracterized the Mueller report and its conclusions.”

“Not content with mischaracterizing the report’s findings and conclusions, ‘Barr has engaged in a real witch-hunt by, in May of 2019, appointing District of Connecticut United States Attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation,” Jacobson wrote.

Barr continued to discredit Mueller’s report, Jacobson said.

Then last week, in what Jacobson calls a “Friday night massacre,” Barr fired Geoffrey Berman, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“The only plausible reason for Berman’s sacking would appear to be his record as U.S. Attorney including: his prosecution of Michael Cohen, Trump’s prior attorney/fixer; his prosecution of two associates of the president’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who were said by prosecutors to have been involved in the effort to recall the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch; his investigation of Giuliani himself, in connection with allegations stemming from his lobbying practice; and his indictment, against Trump’s personal wishes, of Halkbank, a Turkish state-owned bank, on charges that it conspired to undermine the United States Iran sanctions regime,” Jacobson wrote.

It has become clear that Barr’s role is “supporting and defending the man who appointed him to the office he holds, Donald Trump,” Jacobson wrote.

“In doing so, he has engaged in gross abuses of power, and the damage he has done to the integrity of the Justice Department and to the rule of law is incalculable,” Jacobson wrote. “It’s time for him to go. If he will not resign or be fired by the president — either of which seems highly unlikely — then he should be impeached and removed by Congress, pursuant to its power under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, before he can do any more damage.”

Border Patrol Chase Led to Crash That Killed 7 People in Downtown El Paso

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A car fleeing the Border Patrol crashed in downtown El Paso on Thursday morning, killing seven people and injuring three others.

The chase began after Border Patrol agents tried to stop a gray Chevrolet Cruze packed with 10 people shortly after 2 a.m. on West Paisano Drive near Union Depot, The El Paso Times reports.

The driver lost control of the car on a curve in the road, crossing a small gravel median, and crashing through a chain-link fence before striking a parked trailer. The car was torn in two.

The El Paso County medical examiner is trying to identify the dead.

“U.S. Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Santa Teresa and El Paso Stations attempted to stop a vehicle,” Border Patrol said in a news release. “The vehicle fled and was subsequently involved in a motor vehicle accident with multiple fatalities.”

The statement added, “At this time, the U.S. Border Patrol is cooperating with the active investigation, which is being led by the El Paso Police Department. The incident is also under review by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility.”