May 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House Dems call for DOJ watchdog to investigate Bill Barr

In this image, Barr holds a folder while looking at a TV screen

Attorney General William Barr at a White house coronavirus briefing on March 23. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Friday accused Attorney General Bill Barr of doing President Trump's "political bidding" by interfering in ongoing criminal cases, and called on the Justice Department's inspector general to investigate.

Driving the news: The DOJ moved Thursday to drop its prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation in 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with the former Russian ambassador.

What they're saying: "By itself, the decision to dismiss charges against Mr. Flynn would smack of corruption and unacceptable political influence in an ongoing criminal matter:  President Trump tweeted in defense of his former advisor, and one week later Mr. Flynn is poised to walk free," the Friday letter from House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats reads.

  • "But this is hardly the first time that Attorney General Barr has appeared to reach into an ongoing criminal case to do the President’s political bidding," they write.
  • House Democrats cited Barr's summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which did not include a single full sentence from the report, and the DOJ's argument in favor of a lighter sentence for Roger Stone in February as examples of what they describe as Barr doing Trump's "political bidding."

Go deeper: Nadler seeks hearing with Barr after DOJ drops prosecution of Michael Flynn

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