Third Justice Dept. Prosecutor Publicly Denounces Barr

Third Justice Dept. Prosecutor Publicly Denounces Barr

2020-10-16 23:21:19

WASHINGTON — A 36-year veteran of the Justice Department this week accused Attorney General William P. Barr of abusing his power to sway the election for President Trump and said he was quitting, making him the third sitting prosecutor to issue a rare public rebuke of the attorney general.

“Barr’s resentment toward rule-of-law prosecutors became increasingly difficult to ignore, as did his slavish obedience to Donald Trump’s will,” Phillip Halpern, a federal prosecutor in San Diego, said in a letter published Wednesday in The San Diego Union-Tribune. “This career bureaucrat seems determined to turn our democracy into an autocracy.”

Mr. Halpern said he chose to retire as well, calling Mr. Barr “a well-trained bureaucrat” without prosecutorial experience and alleging that he scorned honest apolitical prosecutors and selectively meddled in the criminal justice system to help Mr. Trump’s allies.

He said he would have quit earlier but stayed on because he worried that the department under Mr. Barr would have interfered in his prosecution of former Representative Duncan D. Hunter, Republican of California, who pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to steal campaign funds.


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