I have been calling for Attorney General William “Coverup” Barr to be disbarred for over a year, and now the right people in a position to actually do something about it are finally acting on it.

Politico reports, Past D.C. Bar Association chiefs call for probe of William Barr:


Four former presidents of the D.C. Bar Association have signed a letter calling on the group to investigate whether Attorney General William Barr has violated its rules. The District of Columbia Bar authorizes lawyers to practice in the city and has the power to punish them for breaking its rules and to revoke their law licenses.

The complaint argues that Barr has broken Washington’s ethics rules by being dishonest and violating his oath to uphold the Constitution, along with other charges. And it highlights four episodes in Barr’s time as attorney general to make the case: his characterization of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s 2016 election interference, his criticism of an inspector general report on the Russia probe, his criticism of FBI officials in a TV interview, and his role in the disbursement of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square, outside the White House. A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment.

The Department of Justice almost certainly has a hand in what the Department of Homeland Security is currently doing in Portland as a test before expanding to other cities as well. They may want to supplement this bar complaint.

“Mr. Barr’s client is the United States, and not the president,” the letter says. “Yet, Mr. Barr has consistently made decisions and taken action to serve the personal and political self-interests of President Donald Trump, rather than the interest of the United States.”

Barr’s early description of the Mueller report and his handling of protesters in Lafayette Square have long drawn pointed criticism. But his comments on the inspector general report on the FBI’s Russia probe hasn’t drawn as much attention. In an NBC News interview after the report’s release, Barr called the FBI’s basis for opening the Russia probe “very flimsy.” The letter argues that the criticism was dishonest.

“Indeed, the notion that the legitimacy of an FBI investigation’s initiation should be judged by its end, if applied broadly, could easily chill the initiation of wholly legitimate inquiries for fear of being second-guessed,” the letter adds.

The letter also argues that Barr broke the D.C. Bar’s rules when he criticized former FBI officials’ decisions regarding the Russia probe and suggested they could be prosecuted. The letter focused on a comment Barr made in a CBS News interview: “Just because something may even stink to high heaven and … appear [to] everyone to be bad, we still have to apply the right standard and be convinced that there’s a violation of a criminal statute.”

The letter argued the statement could unfairly influence potential criminal proceedings against those officials and that Barr should have followed the standard DOJ practice of declining to comment on ongoing investigations. John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, is investigating the Russia probe’s origins. Some Trump allies, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, have intimated that he will bring criminal charges against officials who worked on the probe.

Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec recently told Fox News that Durham is expected to issue a report by summer’s end. “There are no guarantees in life, but we certainly hope to see one by the end of the summer. I think it’s important,” she said.

The complaint’s signatories include a host of legal ethics experts and former government lawyers. Andrea Ferster, Philip Allen Lacovara, Marna S. Tucker, and Melvin White — all former presidents of the D.C. Bar — also signed on.

Bar associations can take years to review disciplinary complaints, and their processes are kept confidential. The letter comes as Barr faces sharp criticism from leaders in the legal profession. Late last month, the president of the New York City Bar Association and chair of its task force on the rule of law sent a letter to top members of Congress calling him “unfit” for his job and raising some of the same concerns raised in this letter.

The New York City Bar Association has been AG Barr’s most persistent critic (excerpt):

Over the last nine months, the Attorney General’s most persistent institutional critic has been the New York City Bar Association. Other groups, such as the American Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association have occasionally issued statements emphasizing the importance of an independent judiciary. The NYC group has repeatedly called out the Attorney General, by name, for “a pattern of conduct … that threatens public confidence in the fair and impartial administration of justice.”

That specific quote is from a letter the bar association sent to Congressional leaders in January, calling for a formal inquiry into AG Barr’s skeptical public comments about political progressives and about the investigation of contacts between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian officials.

But that wasn’t the first time the NYC Bar Association raised concerns about the Attorney General’s conduct. In October 2019, the group issued a call for Barr to recuse himself from any Justice Department review of President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine, arguing that the AG’s actions seemed to be “contrary to the professional standards of the DOJ, his oath of office and his own obligations as an attorney.”

Since the January letter to Congress, the NYC bar group has protested the Attorney General’s actions in the DOJ sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s ally Roger Stone and submitted an amicus brief backing the right of the trial judge in the case of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to review DOJ’s dismissal of charges.

Earlier this month, the city bar association called for Congress to investigate the Trump administration’s treatment of protesters in Lafayette Square, asserting that the actions of the president and the AG had cast doubt on “the integrity of DOJ and the ability of both our federal and military courts to carry out their functions without improper political influence.”

And on Tuesday, the group said in another letter to Congress that Barr’s actions in connection with the removal of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman were “the exact opposite of the Attorney General’s proper role.”

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[Stephen Kass is] chair of the group’s task force on the rule of law. Kass, who is senior environmental counsel at Carter Ledyard & Milburn, emphasized that his signature reflects the consensus of the two dozen members of the task force, which began last summer to focus on threats to the domestic rule of law. (A previous iteration of the task force was more concerned about the how the U.S. response to international terrorism impacted the rule of law.)

“The threat to the rule of law now are broader and more serious even than in Watergate,” said Kass, who has been practicing law since 1965. “That is a disconcerting thought for any lawyer and any American.”

Kass said the city bar’s leadership has fully backed the task force’s letters and reports, some of which have been co-signed by the group’s top officials. The New York City bar was founded 150 years ago to respond to endemic corruption in the city’s government, Kass said, and considers the fair administration of justice to be one of its core missions. So “when that system is undermined by the actions of our own government,” he said, “our obligation is to speak up.”

I asked Kass whether he believed the bar group’s letters and reports had made an impact. He said that at the very least, the “brave people” within DOJ who have spoken out about the AG’s actions know they have institutional support from a large bar association.

And the public, he said, knows as well. “They see our profession is not just standing by,” Kass said.

William “Coverup” Barr is unquestionably the most corrupt attorney general in the history of the United States (John Mitchell thanks you for relieving him of the title). Barr’s interference to set aside the criminal convictions of Donald Trump’s co-conspirators, i.e., Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone, and to jail Michael Cohen to silence him — prior restraint of speech for his forthcoming tell-all book — is corrupt,  the subversion of justice, and an abuse of power for which he should be impeached, and eventually prosecuted for acting as Trump’s “fixer.” He has subverted the Department of Justice into Trump’s personal law firm to prevent criminal charges from ever being filed against the Trump crime family and its associates.