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Tag: William Barr

Judge Accuses Barr of Misleading Public about Special Counsel Investigation of Trump

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

A federal judge accused former Attorney General William Barr of deceiving the court and Congress public about a Justice Department memo clearing former President Trump of potential charges following the special counsel investigation.

In a blistering decision, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the release of the memo to a government transparency group that had requested it under the Freedom of Information Act, The New York Times reports

The Justice Department had argued that the memo was exempt from FOIA because it consisted of private legal advice that helped Barr decide whether Trump should be prosecuted.

But Jackson, who reviewed the unreacted memo, said that Barr and his aides had already decided Trump would not be prosecuted before Barr even reviewed the written advice. 

“The fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given,” Jackson wrote of Trump.

Jackson also accused Barr of misleading the public about the 448-page special counsel report. 

“The attorney general’s characterization of what he’d hardly had time to skim, much less study closely, prompted an immediate reaction, as politicians and pundits took to their microphones and Twitter feeds to decry what they feared was an attempt to hide the ball,” Jackson wrote.

DOJ to Announce New Charges in Connection with 1988 Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103

Crashed Pan Am Flight 103/Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is expected to announce new criminal charges Monday against a former Libyan intelligence officer in connection with the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

U.S. authorities are speaking with Libyan official to take Abu Agila Masud, an alleged bombmaker, into custody, CNN reports.

Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the attack, which killed 270 people, most of whom were Americans, who were aboard a Pan Am Boeing 747 that was traveling from London to New York.  

The case is significant to Attorney General William Barr, who was attorney general in the 1990s when the U.S. first charged two Libyan men in the bombing. 

Barr spoke of the case at a memorial for the victims in 2019. 

“I must say that, to this day, I am not satisfied with our country’s overall response to the attack. I never thought that putting two Libyan intelligence officers on trial should be the sum and substance of our response,” Barr said at the Arlington Cemetery ceremony last year.

Jeffrey Rosen to Replace William Barr As Attorney General

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will succeed outgoing Attorney General William Barr after President Trump announced Barr’s resignation in a tweet  Monday afternoon.

In his letter to Trump, Barr said he was “greatly honored” to serve in the administration and would step down on Dec. 23.

The resignation came amid escalating tensions between Barr and Trump, who accused his attorney general of disloyalty for failing to publicly disclose the Justice Department’s investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joe Biden. Trump also criticized Barr for refusing to parrot baseless claims of widespread election fraud. 

In a tweet, Trump called Rosen “an outstanding person.”

Rosen, who has no prior experience as a prosecutor, was confirmed along party lines to the No. 2 spot in May 2019. Before joining the Justice Department, Rosen, 62, spent much of his career in the private sector but also worked for government agencies, including the Transportation Department and Office of Management and Budget. 

During his time as deputy attorney general, Rosen took leading roles in cases against Google and Purdue Pharma LP. 

In 1979, Rosen graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor of arts degree in economics. In 1982, he graduated from Harvard Law School. 

Trump Slams Barr for Refusing to Make Baseless Claims about Election Fraud

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

The chummy relationship between President Trump and Attorney General William Barr has soured since the nation’s top law enforcement official contradicted the president’s baseless claims about widespread election fraud. 

At a White House event on Thursday, Trump complained about Barr, saying “He hasn’t done anything” about voter fraud, NBC News reports.

Trump declined to say whether he still has confidence in his attorney general. 

“Ask me that in a number of weeks from now,” Trump said. “They should be looking at all of this fraud. This is not civil. He thought it was civil. This is not civil. This is criminal stuff. This is very bad, criminal stuff.” 

Trump has not ruled out firing Barr, sources told NBC News

Barr told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the DOJ has found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

A few hours later, Trump met with Barr, and the lengthy meeting was “contentious,” CNN reports.

Trump and his lawyers have not shown any evidence of widespread voter fraud or irregularities, but that hasn’t stopped them from claiming the election was stolen from the president. 

Barr Contradicts Trump on Election, Saying No Evidence of Widespread Fraud

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would alter the 2020 presidential election results. 

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told The Associated Press

Barr’s statement counters President Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud, which have led to lawsuits and hearings. 

In a statement, Trump’s lawyers Rudy Giuliani Jenna Ellis, discounted Barr’s comments.

“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been a semblance of a Department of Justice investigation,” they said. “We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”

Sen. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer responded, “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”

Last month, Barr directed U.S. attorneys nationwide to investigate any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities or fraud. Since then, Barr said, no evidence has surfaced.  

Update: Trump Pardons Michael Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

Update: 5:12 p.m. Wednesday: As expected, President Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

On late Wednesday afternoon he tweeted:

It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!


From Wednesday Morning

President Trump plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn before leaving office, according to Axios and The New York Times

Flynn, 61-year-old retired lieutenant general, is among a number of people that Trump plans to pardon before his team ends, sources told the news outlets. 

Flynn is Trump’s first national security advisor and also was the target of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. But he later fired his attorneys and asked to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was entrapped by the FBI and Justice Department. 

Attorney General William Barr, who has intervened in cases involving the president’s allies, has asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case in May. Sullivan has not made a decision

In April, weeks before the Justice Department intervened, Trump tweeted, “What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!”

When asked about a potential pardon of Flynn in July, Trump said “I don’t have a decision to make” about a potential pardon for Flynn “until I find out what’s going to happen” with Flynn’s attempt to get his conviction tossed.

“I think he’s doing very well with respect to his case,” Trump told reporters at the time. “I hope that he’s going to be able to win it.”

Mexico Threatens to Remove DEA from Country After Arrest of Ex-Mexican Defense Minister

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, former Mexican defense minister.

By Steve Neavling

Mexican officials are so incensed with the arrest of a former Mexican defense minister on drug trafficking charges that they’ve threatened to remove the DEA from the country, The New York Times and Bloomberg report. 

The unprecedented threat follows the arrest of Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda. 

U.S. officials appeared to be listening, and on Wednesday a federal judge agreed to dismiss the charges against the former army general. The move came at the request of Attorney General William Barr. 

The reversal was criticized by officials in the State Department and Congress. 

“There is no explanation for Attorney General Barr’s decision to abruptly drop drug trafficking charges against General Cienfuegos,” Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said in a statement. “Cooperation with the Mexican government is essential for upholding our national security, and those bilateral ties must be built on common respect for our own rule of law and due process.”

Judge Carol B. Amon, of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, appeared to have no qualms about the turnabout.  

“Although these are very serious charges against a very significant figure, and the old adage ‘a bird in the hand’ comes to mind,” Amon said, “still I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the government’s decision.”

Trump Calls on Barr to Investigate Bidens As Election Nears

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Trailing in the polls, President Trump on Tuesday urged Attorney General William Barr to immediately investigate unfounded claims about his Democratic opponent Joe Biden and his son Hunter. 

By pressuring Barr to take action to discredit a political opponent, Trump is asking the attorney general to abandon the Justice Department’s long tradition of not getting involved in elections.

When asked on Fox News if he supports the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the Bidens’ actions in Ukraine and China, Trump said, “We’ve got to get the attorney general to act. He’s got to act, and he’s got to act fast. He’s got to appoint somebody. This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election.”

Trump has not said what crimes he believes the Bidens have committed. 

In a letter to Barr, 11 Republicans are urging Barr to appoint an “independent, unbiased special counsel” to probe allegations made in a controversial New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s emails. 

https://biggs.house.gov/media/press-releases/congressman-biggs-calls-special-counsel-investigate-former-vice-president-joe