In a column for USA Today, a former prosecutor in the Department Of Justice's Public Integrity division urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to re-open former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Donald Trump.
According to Noah Bookbinder, who currently serves as the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), recent revelations about ex-AG Bill Barr's handling of the Mueller report are cause to take another look at it and possibly expand upon it.
Linking to a report that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson "... blasted the Trump Justice Department for misleading the court about the nature of its internal deliberations before concluding that then-President Donald Trump had not obstructed former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election," Bookbinder said that should open the door for the DOJ to investigate obstruction not only by Trump but also Barr.
"Many of us have long suspected that Barr deliberately set out to spin the contents of the Mueller report and manufacture bogus legal analysis in order to protect Trump from facing consequences for the crimes laid out in the report. We now have proof that Barr did exactly that," the ex-prosecutor charged before noting that, now that Trump is out of office and not protected by a Justice Department policy that limited going after a sitting president, he is fair game.
Quoting a letter signed by 1,000 former federal prosecutors who wrote, "the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting president, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice," Bookbinder pointed out that a roadmap to investigating Trump further already exists.
"The principle that no one is above the law is not self-enforcing. Justice can only be served if law enforcement agencies are willing to pursue justice against anyone who violates the law--regardless of the office they hold. There is no greater threat to the rule of law than failing to hold accountable the most powerful among us," he wrote before adding, "Neither Mueller nor Barr made a final decision as to whether Trump should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice because DOJ policy precluded that outcome as long as he was president. Now that Trump is no longer president, the department needs to decide whether he will be prosecuted, and Attorney General Merrick Garland should let the American people know how that decision will be made."
Hammering home his point, he concluded, "There is vast evidence that Donald Trump committed crimes. Time, and litigation, have removed both the legal protection he had as president and the illusory claims of exoneration spun by Barr. Now is the moment for America to see equal justice in action. It's time to finish what Mueller started."
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