Attorney General William Barr is dragging members of his own agency, equating Department of Justice prosecutors to preschoolers.
His rant on Wednesday comes after several government lawyers moved to abandon the prosecution of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and seek a lighter sentence for former Trump campaign manager Roger Stone. Career Justice Department lawyers stepped away from the prosecution teams in both cases.
“The notion that line prosecutors should make the final decisions within the Department of Justice is completely wrong, and it is antithetical to the basic values underlying our system,” Barr said. As he continued, he said that prosecutors often become “headhunters, consumed with taking down their targets,” though he did not reveal which attorney’s he was speaking about.
“In case after case, we have advanced and defended hyperaggressive extensions of the criminal law. This is wrong, and we must stop doing it,” the Attorney General demanded.
Lawyers within the DOJ have also been side-eyeing Barr after he appointed the Justice Department to take over Trump’s defense in his defamation case with rape accuser E. Jean Carroll.
“Name one successful organization where the lowest-level employees’ decisions are deemed sacrosanct. There aren’t any. Letting the most junior members set the agenda might be a good philosophy for a Montessori preschool, but it’s no way to run a federal agency.”