In the wake of Donald Trump’s alleged firing of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner appeared on Face the Nation and took aim at one of the president’s close allies, Attorney General William Barr. As reported by The Hill, Warner accused Barr of putting his relationship with Trump over the interests of the U.S.
“This is one more example of why Bill Barr has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s far more interested in being Donald trump’s personal lawyer than he is in being the attorney for the United States of America,” Warner said.
Warner, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he had “no idea” why Berman was fired. The 65-year-old politician also highlighted that Berman was investigating Trump’ personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, before he was removed from his position.
“There seems to be a pattern in this administration that the president and his henchmen, Mr. Barr, are willing to get rid of anyone that’s investigating people who get close to Donald Trump.”
Warner noted that a similar pattern has been observed with at least six other Trump-appointed intelligence officials, who he claimed were either fired or forced from their positions for “speaking truth to power.”
As reported by The Atlantic, a letter penned by Barr revealed that he asked Trump to fire Berman. However, the publication claimed that this letter might not be truthful, pointing to Trump’s subsequent claim that he had nothing to do with Berman’s firing, which he said was the decision of Barr alone.
Regardless, The Atlantic claims the move was part of Barr’s broader plan to “subvert justice.” The publication pointed to the firing the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu, who oversaw the Washington, D.C., U.S. attorney’s office.
With Liu out of the way, the publication claims Barr’s team was free to intervene in indictments against Trump associates, including the president’s former campaign adviser, Roger Stone, and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
“That may be the game plan for New York as well,” the report reads.
Barr’s purported authoritarian impulses have been the focus of criticism in the past. Notably, Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash previously blasted Barr’s role in Trump’s Department of Justice. In particular, Amash claimed that Barr supports the surveillance state and executive supremacy, and works to undermine the rule of law.
According to Amash, Barr views himself less as an objective, non-partisan actor and more of a political operative.