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Now That He is Attorney General, Barr Must Not Impede Mueller Investigation; Groups Doubt His Commitment to Justice For All

Feb. 14, 2019

Now That He is Attorney General, Barr Must Not Impede Mueller Investigation; Groups Doubt His Commitment to Justice For All

Statements of Public Citizen Experts

Note: The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to approve President Donald Trump’s nominee, William Barr, for attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice. Now, Barr will handle the forthcoming conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and final report. Public Citizen has supported bipartisan momentum for legislation requiring all special counsel reports be made public.

“William Barr’s politically contentious confirmation is yet another reason why Congress must act immediately to protect the Mueller investigation from the president’s wrath. Barr has expressed hostility to the investigation, making it especially urgent to pass the new bipartisan, commonsense Special Counsel Transparency Act from Senators Grassley and Blumenthal.

Americans deserve to learn the exact extent of Russian meddling in our 2016 elections and how it is connected to the actions of our president. Barr should view protecting the special counsel as a core of his job description and must ensure that the findings of the probe are shared with Congress and the public. The president has tried to pressure, sway and cajole the Justice Department into weakening Mueller’s probe. However, the nation’s attorney general serves the rule of law and the American people. He is not the president’s attorney he is ours.”

-Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs, Public Citizen

“The U. S. attorney general must demonstrate a commitment to justice for all. William Barr fails that test, and the U.S. Senate has made a grave error in confirming him. Based on his record, we have every reason to suspect Barr will go soft on corporate criminals while perpetuating the mass incarceration of nonviolent offenders, a policy he has long championed and which has decimated communities of color. We also suspect he will greenlight intrusive government surveillance activities. In his testimony, Barr expressed a shockingly antidemocratic concern about voter turnout being ‘artificially driven up.’ As attorney general, it will be Barr’s duty to disprove these and other evidence-based concerns about how he will perform; and it will be up to the Congress – and the American people – to hold him accountable to his duties under the Constitution and to basic norms of justice.”

-Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen