Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) and ten other Congressional members sent a signed letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Thursday asking Attorney General William Barr and federal prosecutor John Durham to immediately resign from their positions.
The letter alleges that both Durham and Barr have “inappropriately interfered” in independent DOJ investigations and used their positions “to mislead the American public in defense of President Donald Trump.”
Ever since he was appointed, William Barr has acted like Trump’s personal attorney, not the Attorney General of the United States. He has no respect for the #RuleOfLaw. He must resign. https://t.co/zI6zbjTWhU
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) December 20, 2019
“Attorney General Barr, you and your hand-selected prosecutor Durham have consistently and publicly questioned the legitimacy of the Justice Department, acting as mouthpieces for Donald Trump rather than public servants bound to the rule of law. You have established a pattern of ignoring the DOJ precedent with the goal of influencing legitimate investigations on behalf of the President,” the letter reads.
The letter focuses on comments Barr made about the Office of Inspector General (OIG)’s investigation into the FBI’s controversial Russia inquiry surveillance tactics before and after the report was released last week.
The letter says that the inspector general’s report found the DOJ had “sufficient factual evidence” to investigate the Trump campaign. Congressional members believe Barr’s “uncorroborated and inappropriate” statements on the inspector general’s report legitimize conspiracy theories and hurts the DOJ’s credibility.
After the report was released, Barr called the OIG report “intrusive” and the facts did not “justify” the steps taken by the FBI, according to the letter.
On the other hand, this letter leaves out key details where the report also found that the DOJ manipulated steps to obtain FISA warrants on the Trump campaign.
Last week, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that granted the FBI a FISA warrant to spy on former Trump campaign member Carter Page said the FBI’s wiretap applications were mistake-ridden.
“The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote.
The secretive federal court has given the FBI till January 10 to provide a sworn statement on the steps it took and will take going forward “to ensure the statement of facts in each FBI application accurately and completely reflects information possessed by the FBI that is material to any issue presented by the application.”
In terms of Durham, the letter says he “undermined” the OIG report and called his investigation into the FBI Russia probe a “sham.”
To end the letter, the Congressional members say Barr and Durham do not “possess the integrity necessary to serve” in the DOJ.
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