Former federal prosecutor John Flannery is one of the over 1,100 former Justice Department lawyers and prosecutors who signed a letter demanding Attorney General Bill Barr resign after intervening to reduce the sentence of a close friend of President Donald Trump.
Flannery said that the backlash of Barr’s intrusion is there are many who feel isolated or intimidated from speaking out against illegal or unethical things they witness.
“What they’re doing is trying to erase the parallel case that was just the subject of the impeachment, because what [Roger] Stone is charged with was interfering in our election in 2016,” explained Flannery. “And then obstructing the investigation by the Intelligence Committee into that interference, and causing them to lie and threaten and so forth. So, they’d like to erase that.”
He noted that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is in a similar situation where he too was working on backchannels to Russia outside of the normal national security apparatus.
“It seems to me,” Flannery continued, “they’ll go to any political lengths to suppress that. But what I think the letter does — it does two things: it says this is an attorney general who has no business in that job. No. 2, it says that we have to encourage every person who is in the department to believe that they should stand by what they believe their oath of office is and to do the job right because there’s nobody that we can appeal to until we get rid of Barr as the attorney general and our chief executive, who is our chief criminal, who’s running a crime syndicate out of the West Wing.”
“That’s some pretty strong language there, John,” said host Katy Tur.
Flannery agreed, saying that it’s clear America has reached a constitutional crisis.
“I think there’s a stillness in the reaction of people, which happens when a terroristic thing happens like the fact that there’s no law followed, no constitutional followed, no demeanor followed, no rules, and what we see is slander, exaggeration, lies, and force, power, instead of the rule of law,” he continued. “And that’s an incredible historic event for America.”
Tur asked if calling it a criminal syndicate convinces people or that using that langue forces people to dig in further on their beliefs.
Flannery explained that the prosecutors that walked off the case were doing so based on the facts, not based on politics.
“You can’t win the arguments you don’t make,” he said about those who dig in on their opinions. “When an administration obstructs justice, threatens people, violates a variety of laws including bribery and so forth, even though the senators don’t have the spine to do what they should have done because they’re afraid of the chief executive compromising their position in office, don’t lose your phony-bologna job, and they would rather get what they can despite the character flaws and worse of the chief executive that they have and support.”
He cited a friend of his who has been a lifelong Republican who said he would never vote for another Republican again as long as it’s the Trump party.
“It’s a lawless party run but a lawless leader should not be running this government,” he closed.
Watch the interview below:
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