Dec 12, 2019

Eric Holder: Bill Barr "is unfit to lead the Justice Department"

Former Attorney General Eric Holder and current Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Paul Marotta/Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said in an op-ed for the Washington Post that his successor Bill Barr is "unfit to lead the Justice Department" due to his "nakedly partisan" actions.

Why it matters: Holder argues Barr has diminished his professional reputation in the legal world by working for President Trump because Barr puts the president's interests above the nation's.

"Virtually since the moment he took office, though, Barr’s words and actions have been fundamentally inconsistent with his duty to the Constitution. Which is why I now fear that his conduct — running political interference for an increasingly lawless president — will wreak lasting damage."

What he's saying:

  • Holder also called out Barr for saying that communities that protest law enforcement could lose police protection, calling Barr's statement "antithetical to the most basic tenets of equality and justice."
  • Holder also said that Barr's attacks against the FBI regarding the opening of the Russia investigation were "extraordinary" — and that his dismissal of the DOJ inspector general's report on the matter used "partisan talking points bearing no resemblance to the facts his own department has uncovered."

Go deeper: Bill Barr defends Trump's executive power amid impeachment inquiry

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NYC Bar Association urges Congress to investigate AG Bill Barr for partisanship

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.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

FBI director under Carter and Reagan slams Trump and Barr

Judge William Webster, former FBI and CIA director. Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

William Webster, a former federal judge and the former director of both the FBI and the CIA, said in a New York Times op-ed that President Trump and Attorney General William Barr's attacks on the FBI are "troubling in the extreme."

"Calling FBI professionals 'scum,' as the president did, is a slur against people who risk their lives to keep us safe. Mr. Barr’s charges of bias within the FBI, made without providing any evidence and in direct dispute of the findings of the nonpartisan inspector general, risk inflicting enduring damage on this critically important institution."
Go deeperArrowDec 16, 2019

Trump casts doubt on Horowitz's credibility, despite celebrating his findings

Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Trump questioned Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's credibility in a tweet on Sunday, labeling Horowitz an Obama appointee in response to a report that found that the FBI's Russia investigation was not politically motivated:

"As bad as the I.G. Report is for the FBI and others, and it is really bad, remember that I.G. Horowitz was appointed by Obama. There was tremendous bias and guilt exposed, so obvious, but Horowitz couldn’t get himself to say it. Big credibility loss. Obama knew everything!"

Why it matters: Trump is attacking Horowitz for his conclusions that the probe was not fueled by bias, while simultaneously celebrating the inspector general's findings of serious wrongdoing in the FBI's surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Go deeperArrowDec 15, 2019