Four former presidents of the D.C. Bar Association have accused Attorney General William Barr of violating the association’s rules in order to protect President Donald Trump and signed a letter calling on the group to launch an investigation, Politico reports.
The District of Columbia Bar authorizes lawyers to practice in the city and has the power to punish them for breaking its rules and to revoke their law licenses.
The complaint argues that Barr has broken Washington’s ethics rules by being dishonest and violating his oath to uphold the Constitution, along with other charges. And it highlights four episodes in Barr’s time as attorney general to make the case: his characterization of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s 2016 election interference, his criticism of an inspector general report on the Russia probe, his criticism of FBI officials in a TV interview, and his role in the disbursement of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square, outside the White House.
“Mr. Barr’s client is the United States, and not the president,” the letter says. “Yet, Mr. Barr has consistently made decisions and taken action to serve the personal and political self-interests of President Donald Trump, rather than the interest of the United States.”
The letter also argues that Barr broke the D.C. Bar’s rules when he criticized former FBI officials’ decisions regarding the Russia probe and suggested they could be prosecuted. The letter focused on a comment Barr made in a CBS News interview: “Just because something may even stink to high heaven and … appear [to] everyone to be bad, we still have to apply the right standard and be convinced that there’s a violation of a criminal statute.”
A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment.