Serving as the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 was in many respects the most rewarding and enjoyable job of my life. Enforcing federal laws under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush according to the solemn oath I took to protect lives, property and businesses in the Northern District of Georgia, allowed me to work with many fine local prosecutors and then-state Attorney General Mike Bowers, who all shared my commitment to the rule of law.
That experience is why it deeply disturbs me now to see a number of current district attorneys and even some state attorneys general who have twisted their oaths of office in ways that actually pit them against law enforcement, and in support of criminals rather than victims of crime. The longer such officials remain in office and are allowed to abuse their power, the more deeply will the essential and fundamental underpinnings of our justice system be damaged.
For several election cycles, this design has been the center of billionaire leftist George Soros’ evil plan to remake America’s justice system in his warped image of a socialist-based system pitting rich against poor and condoning mob rule. In this worldview, prosecutors simply refuse to prosecute laws on the books if doing so offends their personal philosophy of “social justice.” Accordingly, people who steal and loot are immune from prosecution if they engaged in such criminal acts in order to get things they need or want but were not able (or willing) to obtain them lawfully.
Examples can be seen in so-called “Blue State” cities everywhere, including of course, in California.
In the Golden State, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton issued official “guidelines” to prosecutors in her jurisdiction to the effect that the “personal need” of a person arrested for a criminal offense must be considered before charging that person with looting or other theft charges. While Becton claims (presumably with a straight face) that this directive is designed to help prosecutors by providing a standard for more consistent charging decisions, the obvious intent is to make it easy for prosecutors under her command to avoid charging looters and rioters with the severe penalties their violent actions truly merit.
This perversion of justice has become all too familiar as Antifa-sympathizing district attorneys, many shoe-horned into office by Soros’ money, are implementing similar agendas. One has only to consider how rarely anyone in recent months actually has been charged with tearing down public monuments, defacing and burning public and commercial businesses, and looting stores, to understand how pervasive and destructive this prosecutorial philosophy truly is.
Even when rioters are actually arrested by the police, the failure to formally charge them, or to require bail as a condition for their release, means they are back on the street the next night to continue their mayhem.
This is nothing but an orchestrated coup against the very foundations of our system of justice; and if we are to survive it, steps must be taken now to confront and remove these radical prosecutors. There are lawful tools with which to accomplish this. The real question, however, is whether enough citizens who believe in the rule of law have the will to use those tools.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 30 states, including California, have a mechanism for recalling local officials, including elected prosecutors. Typically, this means collecting sufficient valid signatures to prompt the recall process and force a new election for the targeted official.
The process is risky, and the goal not guaranteed; even if the petition is successful the end result may not be the removal of the anti-law enforcement prosecutor. But at least citizens will have stood up, spoken loudly, and done something to let America and their community know that there are in fact patriots who stand for the rule of law, who support both law and order, and are willing to fight to ensure these values remain alive in our system of justice.
Failure to act against these faux prosecutors will only encourage further lawlessness and accelerate the downward path to socialism favored by George Soros and his ilk; a society in which mob justice and kangaroo courts become the order of the day.
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7 District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003 and was the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986 to 1990. He now serves as President of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation based in Atlanta, Georgia.