In a scorching column for Time magazine, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance stated that Bill Barr should resign immediately after Donald Trump boasted on Twitter that he can make the attorney general do as he pleases — with the promise that he might ask him to interfere in a federal case.
Using Trump’s Friday tweet, where he wrote, “‘The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.’ A.G. Barr This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!” Vance said that should have been the last straw for Barr after complaining about the president’s tweets.
“Barr’s commitment at his most recent confirmation hearing, reaffirming that an Attorney General must prevent political influence from corrupting the course of justice in criminal cases, was important to legitimate his candidacy to lead the department, given the concerns that arose after his nomination. But he has proven himself unable or unwilling to live up to that commitment,” she wrote before listing off a litany of actions taken by Barr to protect the president and his associates.
Referencing Trump’s tweet that followed the AG’s rebuke, Vance wrote, “We’ll know whether Barr means it from how, if at all, he reacts to the President’s Friday-morning tweet.”
“This tweet will be a permanent stain on the Justice Department if Barr permits it to stand unrefuted. The President has plainly stated that he does not believe DOJ’s criminal work should be free from improper political interference. He believes his powers are so broad that he can direct, control or otherwise influence criminal cases if he chooses to do so,” she explained. “This President believes executive power puts him above the law, that he can use the Justice Department to help his friends and to punish people he has decided are his enemies. But that is not how our constitutional system works. Our system of government requires impartial justice, untainted by politics or the desires of powerful people.”
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