A former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona and at least four other former Justice Department officials from Arizona have signed onto a letter requesting an investigation of Attorney General William Barr’s actions in clearing Lafayette Park of demonstrators last Monday so that President Trump could walk across it.
More than 1,250 former DOJ officials have signed on to the letter so far. A. Bates Butler, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona during part of the 1970’s, is one of a couple of dozen signors who reached that level (under both Republican and Democratic Administrations) to join the call.
Other Arizona former DOJ officials include
2) Michael LoGalbo – Arizona’s Section Chief for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, including under the present Administration
3) Paul Corradini – Special Attorney, Organized Crime & Racketeering Section
4) Peter Jarosz – Criminal Chief, retired during this Administration; and
5) Jan Kearney – Criminal Chief
The letter is directed to Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General for the Justice Department, and concludes thusly: “If the Attorney General or any other DOJ employee has directly participated in actions that have deprived Americans of their constitutional rights or that physically injured Americans lawfully exercising their rights, that would be misconduct of the utmost seriousness, the details of which must be shared with the American people.”
Barr indicated that he personally had ordered that the mix of law enforcement officers clear the park of the mostly peaceful demonstrators so that the President could cross. According to the Washington Post, the officers then used “smoke canisters, pepper balls, riot shields, batons and officers on horseback to shove and chase people gathered to protest the death of Floyd. At one point, a line of police rushed a group of protesters standing on H Street NW, many of whom were standing still with their hands up, forcing them to race away, coughing from smoke. Some were struck by rubber bullets.”
(This article initially appeared on Arizona’s Law and was reported by Paul Weich.)