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
New Zealand suspends America’s Cup funding after fraud, spy claims
New Zealand froze payments to America's Cup organizers Thursday as officials investigate fraud claims in the lead-up to next year's prestigious yachting regatta in Auckland.
Government officials said they had suspended payments to America's Cup Events Limited, the private company organizing the race, following allegations of spying and misuse of public money.
"We are not intending to make further payments to ACE. This will be revisited pending the outcome of the process," the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said in a statement.
The ministry has previously said it was investigating "structural and financial matters" surrounding the organization of the race but provided no further details.
Trump supporters funded a private border wall that’s already at risk of falling down
Tommy Fisher billed his new privately funded border wall as the future of deterrence, a quick-to-build steel fortress that spans 3 miles in one of the busiest Border Patrol sectors.
Unlike a generation of wall builders before him, he said he figured out how to build a structure directly on the banks of the Rio Grande, a risky but potentially game-changing step when it came to the nation’s border wall system.
Fisher has leveraged his self-described “Lamborghini” of walls to win more than $1.7 billion worth of federal contracts in Arizona.
But his showcase piece is showing signs of runoff erosion and, if it’s not fixed, could be in danger of falling into the Rio Grande, according to engineers and hydrologists who reviewed photos of the wall for ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. It never should have been built so close to the river, they say.