U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr does not plan to recuse himself from the current investigation into multi-millionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to sources who spoke to CNN and Fox News.
A Department of Justice official told CNN on Tuesday that “Bill Barr has consulted with career ethics officials at DOJ and he will not recuse from current Epstein case.”
Barr, however, has recused himself “from any review of the earlier case in Florida,” in which Epstein received a controversial plea deal.
A DOJ official says Bill Barr has consulted with career ethics officials at DOJ and he will not recuse from current Epstein case in NY, per @evanperez
But he will remain recused from any review of the earlier case in Florida bc of his ties with firm Kirkland and Ellis
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 9, 2019
NEW: DOJ official says that AG Barr will remain recused from any review of the 2008 #Epstein case due to past legal work, but after consulting with ethics officials, he will NOT recuse from the current #Epstein case led at #SDNY
— Brooke Singman (@brookefoxnews) July 9, 2019
On Monday, Barr was quoted as saying: “I’m recused from that matter because one of the law firms that represented Epstein long ago was a firm I subsequently joined for a period of time.”
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig said Barr’s decision not to recuse himself from the current case was “trouble.”
“I have zero confidence Barr will let this case play out in its natural course if it should start to implicate or do collateral damage to powerful, politically-connected people,” he tweeted.
This is trouble. I have zero confidence Barr will let this case play out in its natural course if it should start to implicate or do collateral damage to powerful, politically-connected people. https://t.co/6ZuFfwKNTo
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) July 9, 2019
Other legal experts were surprised by Barr’s decision as well.
Huh? The two cases are inextricably bound together. The second is by its very nature a repudiation of the first. https://t.co/bN3o6xe3Sq
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) July 9, 2019
Barr cannot be trusted. Looks like he just unrecused. That was Trump’s demand with Sessions, and now Barr seems to have done it for him. Sad, sad, man.
— Jennifer Taub (@jentaub) July 9, 2019
The line being drawn here makes no sense. This is very concerning. https://t.co/sjgLkpvMlM
— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) July 9, 2019
But Walter Shaub Jr., the former the head of the federal Office of Government Ethics, said that it was not necessary for Barr to recuse himself from the current case.
Barr’s former firm, Kirkland & Ellis, is a representative of a party in the earlier case under review. That necessitates recusal. But Epstein’s represented by Marc Fernich & Martin Weinberg in the current case, and they’re not with K&E. So recusal is not required in the new one.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 9, 2019
I’m only sharing what the rationale of the DOJ ethics officials would have been. I don’t trust Barr further than I can throw his house and would like to see him recused from anything even remotely in Trump’s personal orbit. But such a recuse would be prudential and not mandatory.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 9, 2019
Donald Trump whines ‘it’s not fair I’m being impeached’
President Donald Trump said Friday that he was fine with a "longer" impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate because he wanted to call his own witnesses to appear, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's resistance.
Yet, when he returned to Twitter Friday night, Trump lamented that it wasn't fair he was being impeached.
"It’s not fair that I’m being Impeached when I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong! The Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats have become the Party of Hate. They are so bad for our Country!" he tweeted.
It’s hard to argue Trump was innocent when Rudy Giuliani is in Ukraine to keep it going: Former US Attorney
Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara explained Friday that it's difficult for President Donald Trump to claim he is innocent of attempting to bribe Ukraine when his own lawyer just returned from trying to dig up more dirt on the son of his opponent.
"Isn't this what got the president in trouble in the first place?" CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Bharara.
"Yes, it actually is," Bharara said simply. "I don't know exactly what's going on here. I think Rudy Giuliani wants to be close to the president and help the president and argue on behalf of the president. There are a lot of implications that Rudy Giuliani is doing going on forays back to Ukraine, which some people would call the scene of the crime. It causes more scrutiny to be brought upon him. We've seen reported he's under investigation himself, and I think it raises eyebrows in the political sphere. But I think something important about it relates to impeachment."
‘Moscow Mitch’ blunder means Donald Trump can never be vindicated: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe
Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for violating a legal principle that has existed for over 1,000 -- and his move means that President Donald Trump can never be vindicated during impeachment.
Tribe, who has taught at Harvard Law School for 50 years and argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court, has been advising Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats during the impeachment inquiry. He was interviewed on Friday by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber.
Tribe said, "what it looks like is that the majority leader is going to conduct this trial as though he's a member of the defense team," Tribe said. "You know, it's an ancient principle, centuries-old -- actually over a millennium old -- that you can't be a judge on your own case and effectively, to allow Donald Trump to call the shots, violates that principle."