Attorney General William Barr, who has reportedly shut down several investigations into Donald Trump, has faced criticism for purportedly approaching his position from a partisan perspective. On Tuesday, Independent and former Republican Justin Amash took aim at Barr for his performance in the president’s Department of Justice (DOJ).
“We’ve had many terrible attorneys general in recent decades, but Bill Barr represents a unique awfulness,” Amash tweeted. “He wholly endorses the surveillance state, promotes executive supremacy, repeatedly undermines the Rule of Law, and clearly views his role as that of a political operative.”
Amash’s comment comes as The Guardian reports that Barr intervened in the case of Roger Stone, who could serve seven to nine years in prison for felonies that include obstruction of justice, lying to Congress, and witness tampering. According to the attorney general, who directed the DOJ to recommend a new sentence, Stone should serve “far less” than the time sought by prosecutors.
As noted by The Guardian, Barr’s comment comes just hours after the president criticized the sentencing recommendation of Stone as “disgraceful” and an “insult” to the United States.
Writing for the publication, Andrew Gawthorpe, a university lecturer at Leiden University, said that Barr is posed to potentially damage American democracy by corruption the criminal justice system.
As for Amash, he has been vocal about his criticism of Barr for some time. Following the release of Robert Mueller’s report — which pushed the Michigan congressman to call for Trump’s impeachment — Amash accused the attorney general of “deliberately misrepresenting” its findings.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Amash outlined his thoughts on the report’s findings, as well as Barr’s comments on it before the full version was released.
“Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented key aspects of Mueller’s report and decisions in the investigation, which has helped further the president’s false narrative about the investigation,” he wrote in the thread.
Amash pointed to Barr’s March 23 letter, in which he claims the attorney general “selectively quotes and summarizes” the report in ways that mislead Mueller’s points.
“As a result of Barr’s March 24 letter, the public and Congress were misled,” Amash said later in the thread, noting that the former special counsel also expressed this sentiment in a March 27 letter he sent to Barr.
In the letter, Mueller claims that Barr’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the investigation and its conclusion.
Amash also claims that Barr’s subsequent testimony and statements continued to misrepresent the report and build Trump’s false narrative of the investigation.