Many have called for Attorney General William Barr to resign in the wake of an alleged improper intervention in the government’s case against former national security adviser to President Trump, Michael Flynn. Nearly 2,000 former United States Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have signed a letter urging Barr to step down, according to an ABC News report.
The reason they want him to resign is that the DOJ, under his direction, reportedly made a move to drop all the charges Flynn faces. The reversal came even though Flynn has given two guilty pleas for lying to the FBI about his contact with a former Russian ambassador during President Donald Trump’s transition to the White House. Barr denied that he asked to drop the charges against Flynn at the request of the president. He pointed to Jeffrey Jensen, the U.S. attorney from the Eastern District of Missouri, as the person who made the recommendation. The reason is that Jensen purportedly said that the investigation into Flynn was not legitimate. So far, the judge in the case has not responded to the DOJ’s request.
In the letter, the former DOJ officials organized by the group Protect Democracy indicated their belief that Barr inappropriately worked with the president to push “political interference in the Department’s law enforcement decisions.”
“Attorney General Barr’s repeated actions to use the Department as a tool to further President Trump’s personal and political interests have undermined any claim to the deference that courts usually apply to the Department’s decisions about whether or not to prosecute a case,” the letter read.
In addition to the letter, another former federal prosecutor, Jonathan Kravis, who quit the DOJ after it overruled sentencing recommendations for Flynn, accused Barr of “egregious” conduct, according to CNBC.
Also, Mary McCord, who was the former acting assistant Attorney General for National Security, heavily criticized last week’s filing for using comments she made in an interview as the basis for recommending the charges against Flynn be dropped. She accused the DOJ of twisting her remarks, and she insisted that nothing about what happened in the FBI’s handling of Flynn was unlawful or unjustified.
Since reportedly asking the judge to drop the charges against Flynn despite his two guilty pleas, Barr has faced a sizable backlash from former career officials from the department. However, Barr admitted that he was prepared for the criticism he is receiving due to the move, and he suggested that those who criticize him are merely partisan and allowing that to blind them to true justice.