Bill Barr. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The New York City Bar Association sent a letter on Thursday urging Congress to investigate Attorney General Bill Barr for a "pattern of conduct" that it alleges "threatens public confidence in the fair and impartial administration of justice.”

Why it matters: It's a rare rebuke of a sitting attorney general by a bar association or comparable group. The New York City Bar Association is a voluntary legal association not involved in the licensing of attorneys.

What they're saying: The president of the bar association criticized the attorney general's public statements, saying he has disregarded "bedrock obligations for government lawyers,” including the duty to “avoid even the appearance of partiality and impropriety, and to avoid manifesting bias, prejudice, or partisanship in the exercise of official responsibilities."

  • The letter cited a speech Barr made to the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention in November, in which he claimed that "so-called progressives" were "engaged in a war to cripple by any means necessary a duly elected government."
  • In the same speech, Barr claimed that conservatives “tend to have more scruple over their political tactics” and are more committed to the rule of law.

Go deeper: Former AG Eric Holder says Bill Barr "is unfit to lead the Justice Department"

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that it's not clear whether any comparable bar associations have submitted similar requests to Congress and to clarify the NYC Bar Association's membership.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.