On Tuesday, former Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich added his name to the long list of individuals urging the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings into Attorney General William Barr, accusing him of an “egregious violation of his oath.”
Historical Note: During his first stint as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush, Barr was involved in a series of corruption scandals for which members of Congress drafted articles of impeachment which were never filed. Donald Ayer, Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General under George H. W. Bush, whom Barr succeeded before becoming Bush’s Attorney General, earlier this year called for “a public uprising demanding that Bill Barr resign immediately, or failing that, be impeached.” Bill Barr Must Resign. This thoroughly corrupt man should have been prosecuted and disbarred years ago.
Back in February, more than 1,100 former U.S. Department of Justice officials signed an open letter calling for Attorney General Bill Barr to resign after senior department officials intervened to reduce a sentencing recommendation for Donald Trump’s friend Roger Stone. Their numbers have now grown to 2,689, and are likely to continue to grow after the events of the past week.
Michael Bromwich’s remark came in response to reports that Barr personally ordered authorities to forcibly clear peaceful protesters out of the area around the White House, using gas and rubber bullets, before President Donald Trump walked to the nearby church. ‘Egregious violation of his oath’: Former inspector general calls on Congress to impeach Bill Barr for attacking peaceful protesters.
The Washington Post and The New York Times later confirmed the dispersal of peaceful protestors was directly ordered by Barr. The remit of the Department of Justice is to prosecute federal crimes, it does not have any authority to police the District of Columbia. So who is William Barr to be giving orders to clear out protestors?
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote a letter to the current inspector general of the Department of Justice calling for an investigation following the violent dispersal of protesters near the White House on Monday. Warren Calls For DOJ Probe Amid Reports Attorney General Ordered Protesters Removed:
Warren’s letter said she was appalled after largely peaceful protesters gathered in Lafayette Park were confronted by federal police wielding tear gas and flash-bang grenades the day before. Shortly after the crowds were removed, President Donald Trump walked to nearby St. John’s Church for a photo-op, held up a Bible and declared America the “greatest country in the world.”
“This ‘ambush’ of American citizens who were protesting the killing of Mr. Floyd at the hands of a police officer was created to allow the President to partake in a blatantly political photo opportunity,” Warren wrote to Michael Horowitz, the DOJ’s inspector general. “These attacks on peaceful American protestors steps from the White House were sickening and appalling.”
Warren also wrote to the Pentagon’s acting inspector general calling for a probe into the role the agency played in the protests.
House Democrats also began demanding answers Tuesday from the Trump administration on federal authorities’ use of force to clear largely peaceful protesters from around Lafayette Square to allow President Trump’s photo op outside a church near the White House. House Democrats seek answers from Trump administration officials on handling of protests:
Several Democratic chairmen pressed the administration for witness testimony and documents from several government entities, from the Defense Department to the Secret Service to the Justice Department.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) described himself as “stunned, disturbed, and furious” after law enforcement forcibly cleared the streets Monday night moments before Trump took a walk across Lafayette Square to pose with a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Thompson demanded in a letter to Secret Service Director James M. Murray that he provide a briefing on his organization’s role in “planning, coordinating, and executing these actions.”
“It is shameful that the President used the power of the federal government to attack Americans exercising their constitutional right to protest just so he could stage a photo opportunity,” Thompson wrote.
Similarly, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee with jurisdiction over the nation’s capital, sent Murray a letter demanding documents related to Trump’s church visit and communications from employees who objected to “the targeting of peaceful protesters.”
“While the Secret Service is tasked with protecting the President of the United States, it is not a tool of fascism, and the conduct and operations of the Secret Service cannot be allowed to infringe upon the constitutional rights of the American people for the purposes of serving the President’s personal vanity,” Connolly wrote.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced Tuesday he would be taking action against Attorney General William P. Barr for his refusal to testify over many months of requests. Barr sent Nadler a letter on Monday citing the coronavirus pandemic as the reason he couldn’t commit to testifying this month.
Are you effin’ kidding me?!
Nadler noted that the attorney general found time Monday to visit the protests outside the White House “just minutes before riot police fired tear gas into the crowd.”
“Mr. Barr has thoroughly corrupted the integrity of the criminal justice system, he has shown contempt for Congress, and the Committee has an obligation to hold him to account,” Nadler said.
In response, Nadler said he would introduce legislation to cut the budget of the attorney general’s personal office by $50 million and said the committee would hear testimony in the coming weeks for Justice Department whistleblowers and former officials.
“These individuals are prepared to describe specific incidents of misconduct, as well as the unprecedented politicization of the Department of Justice under President Trump and Attorney General Barr,” Nadler said.
Last week, Trump and Barr invented a boogeyman for ‘law and order’ abuse to avoid addressing systemic racism in America: “antifa,” which is not even an organization or group. The Nation reports, The FBI Finds ‘No Intel Indicating Antifa Involvement’ in Sunday’s Violence:
The FBI’s Washington Field Office “has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence” in the violence that occurred on May 31 during the D.C.-area protests over the murder of George Floyd, according to an internal FBI situation report obtained exclusively by The Nation.
[T]he FBI report states that “based on CHS [Confidential Human Source] canvassing, open source/social media partner engagement, and liaison, FBI WFO has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence.” The statement followed a list of violent acts like throwing bricks at police and the discovery of a backpack containing explosive materials, which were flagged by the FBI under a “Key Updates” section of the report. The FBI has been issuing such reports daily since the weekend, according to a Bureau source, who added that none of these documents contained any evidence of antifa violence.
The report did warn that individuals from a far-right social media group had “called for far-right provocateurs to attack federal agents, use automatic weapons against protesters.” (The Nation is withholding the name of the group in order to not disrupt any potential law enforcement investigations.)
The report, marked “For official use only” (FOUO), was provided to The Nation by an FBI official on condition of anonymity. The report is titled, “Civil Unrest in Washington AOR [Area of Responsibility] Following Death of George Floyd.” The report’s reference to “CHS” suggests that the Bureau possesses secret informants participating in the protests.
Barr has also been busy inventing conspiracy theories to support Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud with absentee ballots. His ridiculous conspiracy theory has already been shot down by election officials. Election officials contradict Barr’s assertion that counterfeit mail ballots produced by a foreign country are a ‘real’ worry:
Current and former election administrators said it would be virtually impossible for a foreign country to produce and mail in phony absentee ballots without detection, an issue Attorney General William P. Barr raised as a serious possibility in an interview published Monday.
Barr told the New York Times Magazine that a foreign operation to mail in fake ballots was “one of the issues that I’m real worried about.”
“We’ve been talking about how, in terms of foreign influence, there are a number of foreign countries that could easily make counterfeit ballots, put names on them, send them in,” Barr said. “And it’d be very hard to sort out what’s happening.”
Barr did not offer any evidence of how such a scenario would take place.
Elections officials in multiple states said it would be virtually impossible for a foreign government to achieve what Barr described.
Judd Choate, the elections chief in Colorado, where nearly all voters cast ballots by mail, said “there is zero chance” it could happen in his state because of security precautions in place there.
“There isn’t an election office in this country that doesn’t know how many ballots they’ve mailed out, how many they’ve gotten back in, and who they were sent to,” said Tammy Patrick, a former election official with Maricopa County, Ariz., and now a senior adviser to the bipartisan foundation Democracy Fund. “It is absolutely not the case that someone could create a multitude of ballots and in some way infuse them or inject them into the system without detection.”
All of this is just in the past two weeks. This does not include a whole series of corruption scandals including Barr’s limiting the scope of Robert Mueller’s investigation, his fictional rewrite of Mueller’s Russia Report, obstructing Congress from obtaining Mueller’s grand jury materials and other evidence relevant to the Ukraine scandal in Trump’s impeachment trial, using the Department of Justice to protect Trump’s cronies (Roger Stone and Michael Flynn), and persecuting his political “enemies list” (the “deep state” I.G. investigations and Stalinist show trials beginning in the Senate today with former deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein), etc. He has already been held in contempt of Congress for his refusal to testify before a congressional committee. And that’s just the things we know about.
The most corrupt Attorney General in American history must be impeached for the sake of restoring integrity and public trust in the Department of Justice. It is a necessary first step in what will be a years long effort to rehabilitate the Department of Justice and to remove the stain of the criminal Trump regime.