A redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is expected to be released on Thursday. However, some pundits believe that Attorney General Bill Barr’s handling of the report created a public distrust.
Former assistant US attorney Patrick Cotter suggested that Barr’s actions have created a “red flag” regarding his motives.
During a Congressional hearing, Barr suggested that there might have been “spying” on President Donald Trump’s campaign. This word choice created a “massive red flag,” according to a report from Vanity Fair.
“What I find so disturbing is this statement by the attorney general, who, in the same breath, admits that he hasn’t carried out the investigation yet, but who characterizes it as criminal and inappropriate,” Cotter told Vanity Fair. “Spying is a prerogative. Spying is a judgment. Spying is a condemnation. It is an insult, and he shouldn’t have said it.”
“This is not some guy on talk radio. This is the attorney general of the United States testifying before Congress. Everybody’s words matter, but his words matter a lot,” Cotter added.
Elliot Williams, a former DOJ official said it was surprising that Barr used the term “spying.”
“[It’s] such a radioactive term, and such a sensitive concept, that that was surprising, to say the least, to come from someone with his background,” Williams said.
“That just violates every concept of justice and due process and, frankly, fairness,” Cotter said. “And if you’ve got a Department of Justice that isn’t fair, you don’t have a Department of Justice. You have a department of something else.”
Read the full report here.