Eric Posner on Attorney General Barr's Intervention in Prosecutions of the President’s Allies

There Used to Be Justice. Now We Have Bill Barr.

This week, more than 2,000 former officials of the Justice Department and the F.B.I. called on Attorney General William Barr to resign for dropping the prosecution of Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. when he was President Trump’s national security adviser.

“Subsequent events strongly suggest political interference in Flynn’s prosecution,” the former officials said in an open letter published online. They condemned Mr. Barr for having “once again assaulted the rule of law,” in light of his earlier decision to overrule career prosecutors and seek a lighter sentence than what they had recommended for another Trump associate, Roger Stone.

It’s easy to grow numb to the abuses of the Trump era. But Mr. Barr’s intervention in the Flynn and Stone cases is a deviation even from the standards at the outset of Mr. Trump’s presidency. The corrosion at the Justice Department from the beginning to the homestretch of Mr. Trump’s first term illustrates a long-term problem of maintaining the independence of a department with unrivaled powers of investigation and prosecution.

More troubling, as recent history has shown, there are no easy ways to rein in an attorney general whose loyalty to a president stands ahead of his fidelity to the rule of law.

Read more at The New York Times

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