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1,100+ former DOJ employees sign petition for AG Barr to resign

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr on Feb. 14, 2019. (Department of Justice/Released)
February 17, 2020

Hundreds of former Department of Justice (DOJ) officials signed onto a letter Sunday calling for U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr to resign.

Calls for Barr’s resignation have met momentum in recent days following accusations Barr intervened in the sentencing of Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump. The letter, signed by DOJ officials who served under both Democratic and Republican administrations, accuse Trump and Barr of “interference in the fair administration of justice.”

The letter includes the full list of former DOJ employees who signed on. Click here to view it.

The former DOJ officials noted they all took an oath to the constitution and among their key duties they swore to “to apply the law equally to all Americans.” They then allege that Barr deliberately intervened to provide preferential treatment to give preferential treatment to an ally of the president.

Stone was recently convicted on charges of lying to Congress and obstruction. Federal prosecutors presenting the case called for Stone to face between seven and nine years in prison. Barr called for the sentencing memo to be revised, arguing that the recommended prison term was excessive. The four federal attorney’s prosecuting the case resigned in protest.

“Mr. Barr’s actions in doing the President’s personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words,” the letter reads. “Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign.”

The letter continues in support of the prosecutors who resigned over the disagreement.

The controversy surrounding Stone’s sentencing was exacerbated by a Trump tweet criticizing the sentencing as a “horrible and very unfair situation.”

The tweet added to the appearance that Trump had directed Barr to intervene in the sentencing, though Barr claimed he had discussed the sentencing and ordered the change prior to Trump’s tweet and did not talk with the president about the case.

The DOJ alumni letter decried the enforcement of law to punish political enemies and reward political allies and called on current DOJ officials to report abuses to the Inspector General, the Office of Professional Responsibility, and Congress.

The same week the Stone sentencing controversy played out, the DOJ declined to prosecute a case against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe over allegations he lied about leaks to the media. McCabe was a critic of Trump and reportedly discussed invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office after he fired then-FBI director James Comey in 2017.