More Than 1,100 Former DOJ Staffers, Including Current MSNBC and CNN Analysts, Call on AG Barr to Resign

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Posted: Feb 16, 2020 4:38 PM
More Than 1,100 Former DOJ Staffers, Including Current MSNBC and CNN Analysts, Call on AG Barr to Resign

Source: AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

More than 1,100 former Department of Justice alumni signed a petition calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign. They take issue with the fact that he instructed the U.S. Attorney’s Office to reverse their recommendation for Roger Stone to serve between seven and nine years in prison. According to the petition, Barr did not uphold the department's principle of "apply[ing] the law equally to all Americans."

We, the undersigned, are alumni of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) who have collectively served both Republican and Democratic administrations. Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice.

"This obligation flows directly from the Constitution, and it is embedded in countless rules and laws governing the conduct of DOJ lawyers. The Justice Manual — the DOJ’s rulebook for its lawyers — states that 'the rule of law depends on the evenhanded administration of justice'; that the Department’s legal decisions 'must be impartial and insulated from political influence'; and that the Department’s prosecutorial powers, in particular, must be 'exercised free from partisan consideration,'" the petition stated.

"Although there are times when political leadership appropriately weighs in on individual prosecutions, it is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case," the petition said. "It is even more outrageous for the Attorney General to intervene as he did here — after the President publicly condemned the sentencing recommendation that line prosecutors had already filed in court."

Those who signed the petition feel that President Trump has interfered with department policies and "gravely damaged the Department's credibility." 

Although the group of former employees wants Barr to resign, they "have little expectation he will do so, it falls to the Department’s career officials to take appropriate action to uphold their oaths of office and defend nonpartisan, apolitical justice."

The DOJ alumni applauded the prosecutors who withdrew from the Stone case and/or resigned from the Department and said they want the agency's other employees to do the same. 

"We call on every DOJ employee to follow their heroic example and be prepared to report future abuses to the Inspector General, the Office of Professional Responsibility, and Congress; to refuse to carry out directives that are inconsistent with their oaths of office; to withdraw from cases that involve such directives or other misconduct; and, if necessary, to resign and report publicly — in a manner consistent with professional ethics — to the American people the reasons for their resignation. We likewise call on the other branches of government to protect from retaliation those employees who uphold their oaths in the face of unlawful directives. The rule of law and the survival of our Republic demand nothing less."

Notable signatories include CNN analysts and former federal prosecutors Elie Honig and Renato Mariotti and MSNBC analysts Paul Butler, Frank Figliuzzi, Matthew Miller and Jill Wine-Banks, the Daily Caller reported.

These calls for Barr’s firing raise some serious questions.

Bet it’s safe to say these former staffers would rather see corruption and FISA abuse continue than to have someone like Barr drain the swamp.