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
Gov. Jay Inslee withdraws from presidential election
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he was officially leaving the presidential race Thursday.
He said that he got into the race with the intention of trying to raise the important issue of climate change and demand the issue be part of the conversation in the debates.
The Democratic Party has refused to have a debate that focuses exclusively on climate change, despite the numerous plans, ideas and approaches from the 20-plus candidates running for president.
He said that he isn't currently endorsing other candidates for 2020, but he hopes that his "atlas" for a climate plan will be adopted by other candidates.
Scorching WaPo editorial tells Trump to own his bad economy and stop blaming the fed
In a scathing piece from the Washington Post editorial board, the team at one of the nation's top papers told President Donald Trump to stop trying to pretend it's the Federal Reserve's fault for a slumping economy.
Trump has tried to claim that the economy isn't just fine, but outstanding and excelling expectations. Yet, in the same breath, Trump claims that that the Federal Reserve is responsible for all of the problems he says don't exist. It's enough for The Post editorial board to note the economic message is "remarkably dissonant."
Trump decided to that the Fed must lower interest rates and engage in “quantitative easing” to lower bonds. It's part of a tactic the Fed uses during tough times, which Trump says don't exist. Even during the worst financial crisis in a generation, in 2008, "quantitative easing" was controversial. Then there is the matter of a payroll tax cut, something Trump said he was looking at before saying he wasn't looking at it. But if there's no crisis, then why is it necessary.
Trump’s economic policy is like ‘burning all your furniture to heat the house’: New York Times columnist
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," New York Times columnist Tom Friedman scorned President Donald Trump's economic policy of endless tax cuts and cheap credit as a cynical ploy to get elected, rather than something in the long-term interest of economic stability.
"You know, under Obama, Republicans were screaming about the deficit, about deficits, the whole Tea Party was about deficits," said Cooper. "No one seems to care about that at all, and the deficits have exploded, and certainly this president doesn't care about that."
"You know, look, the party is clearly a cult of personality, it's not a 'party' in any sense that it was before," said Friedman. "What is more conservative than to say that, running up a debt this high and then beating on the Fed to lower interest rates is kind of like burning all your furniture to heat the house, and one day you'll run out of furniture?"