Senator urges DOJ Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate Attorney General William Barr
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today joined with 11 other senators in urging an investigation into Attorney General William Barr’s conduct while handling Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and report.
“Attorney General Barr’s actions raise significant questions about his decision not to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel’s investigation, whether his actions with respect to the release of the report complied with Department of Justice policies and practices, and whether he has demonstrated sufficient impartiality to continue overseeing the fourteen criminal matters related to the Special Counsel’s investigation that were referred principally to other components of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the Senators wrote Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility Corey Amundson.
“In light of these concerns, we respectfully request that the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility immediately begin investigations of these issues,” they wrote.
In addition to Wyden, others signing the letter were Sens. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
In their letter, the senators outlined their concerns about Attorney General’s conduct and called for investigation into the following matters:
* Whether Attorney General Barr’s decision not to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel’s investigation was proper and consistent with ethical rules and practices within the Department of Justice;
* Whether Attorney General Barr’s four-page letter dated March 24, 2019, regarding Special Counsel Mueller’s report was misleading and whether it was consistent with Department of Justice policies and practices;
* Whether Attorney General Barr’s actions in permitting President Trump’s private attorneys to review the entire Special Counsel’s report at length before sharing the report with Congress, other individuals named in the report, and the public, was appropriate and consistent with Department of Justice policies and practices;
* Whether Attorney General Barr’s press conference on April 18, 2019, regarding Special Counsel Mueller’s report, which took place well before he released a redacted version of the report, was misleading and consistent with Department of Justice policies and practices
* Whether Attorney General Barr has demonstrated sufficient impartiality to continue overseeing the ongoing matters related to the Special Counsel’s investigation referenced in Appendix D of the Special Counsel’s report;
*Whether Attorney General Barr took any steps related to the transfers and referrals listed in Appendix D of the report that were contrary to the advice of career prosecutors at the Justice Department or the Department’s policies; and
* Whether any of Attorney General Barr’s other actions or statements call into question his impartiality such that they warrant his recusal from particular matters or are relevant to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s oversight into the Department of Justice.