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Bill Barr's Lawless Justice Department

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Luke Darby

3-4 minutes

As attorney general, Bill Barr has repeatedly bent the rules for Republicans, encouraging pardons of figures in the Iran-Contra scandal and writing a misleading memo ahead of the release of the Mueller report. Trump was famously furious at Jeff Sessions, his former attorney general, when Sessions chose to recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of the Trump campaign. While that may have been the ethical thing to do, it didn't win him any favor with the president. Unlike Sessions, Barr has always taken the view that presidential power is limitless, particularly when it applies to Republicans.

And he delivered for Trump again on Thursday. The Justice Department has announced that it's dropping its case against Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's first national security adviser. Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017, during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election—an investigation that produced more than 30 indictments, including Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, his one-time lawyer Michael Cohen, and his friend Roger Stone. After pleading guilty though, Flynn withdrew that plea, pled guilty again in 2018, and withdrew it again over the course of a years-long fight in the courts. That culminated recently with his lawyers claiming that the Justice Department has uncovered documents that prove Flynn's lies weren't relevant to the investigation since he was responding to questions that weren't relevant. And Trump himself admitted Flynn's guilt.

But the Justice Department is agreeing with Flynn's lawyers, writing in a motion to dismiss the charges that Flynn's questioning was "untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn." It continues: "The government is not persuaded that the Jan. 24, 2017, interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue."

That's a surprising justification—lying to law enforcement is fine—coming from the agency headed up by Barr. Since becoming attorney general, Barr has said that if "communities" don't show enough respect for police, then "they might find themselves without the police protection they need." Under his leadership the Justice Department has also turned a blind eye to police brutality, like when he overruled the Civil Rights Division’s recommendation to prosecute the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death in 2014, and announced the federal government would resume executions of federal death row inmates.

Meanwhile, Trump apparently learned about Flynn getting off while in the Oval Office for a press event with Texas governor Greg Abbott. The president praised Flynn, calling him a "warrior" and adding that he was "very happy" to hear the news. When asked if he'll reach out to Flynn, Trump said he would and "I think he's a hero."

If the president isn't happy with the results of an investigation, his attorney general isn't happy, either.

Originally Appeared on GQ

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............."While the president continued to criticize the FBI’s conduct, multiple federal law enforcement officials interviewed Friday expressed varying degrees of anger, resignation and alarm over the decision by Attorney General William P. Barr to abandon the prosecution of Flynn for lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.

“The attorney general is supposed to be above reproach and apolitical in terms of how the department operates and how he or she as an individual operates, and he’s just completely lost that,” said one veteran Justice Department lawyer who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. “He’s Trump’s attorney. He’s not the country’s attorney.".................


.........."It is highly unusual for the Justice Department to seek to undo a guilty plea, and the decision comes just months after Barr pressed prosecutors in another of Mueller’s cases to soften their sentencing recommendation for the president’s friend and former political adviser Roger Stone.

Shortly before the Justice Department moved to abandon the Flynn prosecution, the line prosecutor on the case, Brandon Van Grack, formally withdrew — just as the Stone prosecutors had. Only Shea, a political appointee, signed the filing"........




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Curious about the dislike on this one, 91.

Popehat there is a former AUSA-turned-defense-attorney that absolutely knows how this bull**** game works and has made the same argument in court against this contemptible government thuggery on more than one occasion.

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