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Fmr Federal Prosecutor: Barr Did ‘Lasting Damage’ and His Credibility Is in the ‘Trash’


Has U.S. Attorney General William Barr‘s legacy been destroyed? Former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Elie Honig seems to think so, given that he said Barr’s “credibility and independence are in the trash.”

“I think he’s done lasting damage to himself and the Department of Justice,” he said Friday on CNN.

The reason he thinks that is that Barr made it sound like Mueller was simply leaving it up to him to decide on the issue of whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, when Mueller actually acknowledged that he did not want to “preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct.” In other words, impeachment is a remedy here.

Many have seen Mueller’s description of key events in the obstruction investigation as an impeachment referral.

“The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law,” Mueller said in another passage.

Honig also pointed out that Mueller cited an Office of Legal Counsel opinion that explains the Department of Justice policy against indicting a sitting president.

Whether House Democrats wish to resort to impeachment is anyone’s guess, but so far party leaders like Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) have pushed back against calls to draw up articles of impeachment.

Some political independents have argued that impeachment would only “strengthen” Trump. An alternative political process that isn’t as much of an ordeal is happening in 2020. Others have argued that the stakes will still be high for Trump heading forward. He needs to win the 2020 election, they say, or else Southern District of New York prosecutors will be “waiting with cuffs” as soon as Trump is out of office.

[Image via CNN screengrab]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.