A CNN panel discussion on Attorney Bill Barr’s claim that there is nothing indictable in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report turned to the ongoing investigation — or investigations — by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York and whether Barr can influence it.
In a word, according to two federal prosecutors: “No.”
Speaking with host Anderson Cooper, former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi and ex-Deputy Assistant Attorney General Elliott Williams said there is a firewall between the Justice Department and the SDNY — and that investigators working in that office won’t stand for Barr’s meddling.
“I worked there for many years,” Williams explained. “The department works on with a great degree of independence and if this is the Southern District of New York or D.C. and Virginia and so on, we hope there won’t be political interference that we’ve seen from the attorney general over the last couple of days.”
“Even if it is not interference, there is a willingness to show a bunch of leg for lack of a better term about how things are spun and so on,” he continued. “But having been in the Eastern District of Virginia, there is a certain degree of independence with the investigations.”
Asked if he agreed, Rossi concurred.
“Absolutely. We both worked in the Justice Department and I could tell you this: if an attorney general tried to put his thumb on a scale on an important investigation, there would be holy Hell raised by the line attorneys, the career prosecutors and the career supervisors,” Rossi insisted. “And we’re talking about the Southern District of New York that prides itself on being called the sovereign district. and there is no way the attorney general will dare put his thumb on a scale on what they do in the SDNY — you would hear a leak.”
Watch the video below:
‘There is great distrust of the entire system’: CNN reporter says protesters want the Hennepin attorney to resign
On CNN Wednesday, correspondent Miguel Marquez reported that while Minnesota civil rights activists will approve of the upgraded charges against the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd, they also want accountability for Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County Attorney who initially declined to charge every officer.
"Those protesters will be pleased, absolutely happy to hear these charges have now been brought, but they will want more," said Marquez. "Specifically, they do want the County Attorney, Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County Attorney, who initially had this case and then turned it over to the attorney general, they want him to resign. They're also upset with the governor and his handling of it."
Black students brutalized by Atlanta cops call for ‘total reset in policing’ on CNN
The two black students who were brutalized by police in Atlanta went on CNN Wednesday to demand fundamental change from American police departments.
In an interview on CNN, students Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young, who were pulled out of their car by Atlanta police and tased earlier this week, said that police behavior toward peaceful demonstrators shows exactly why protesters are taking to the streets in the first place.
Even evangelical groups were disgusted by Trump’s Bible stunt: former White House faith adviser
On CNN Tuesday, former Obama White House faith and race adviser Joshua Dubois said President Donald Trump's Bible photo-op in front of the church near the White House could backfire on him with his most critical voting bloc.
"I thought it was farcical. And it is kind of blowing up in his face even in the faith community and communities that support, him like some conservative evangelical communities," said Dubois. "The reason is Jesus stood up for everyday people, including the vulnerable, and didn't believe in false displays of piety, and yesterday President Trump ordered — or was okay with — everyday people being gassed and shot with rubber bullets in order to make his way to a false display of piety."