Politics - News Analysis
Former DOJ Public Integrity Prosecutor: ‘Finish What Mueller Started’ on the ‘Vast Array of Crimes’ that Barr Covered Up
Noah Bookbinder is a former head of the DOJ Public Integrity Division and is now Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW). Bookbinder wrote a scathing op-ed in USA Today regarding recent revelations about ex-AG Bill Barr’s handling of the Mueller report and demanding that Merrick Garland reopen the case. The language in the op-ed implies that the DOJ could also charge Barr with obstruction of justice.
In simple, Bookbinder says that Barr did everything he could to cover up one established fact, there was a “vast array” of evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice. But more than anything, the op-ed is a call for DOJ to do something, instead of pretending that none of this exists. We have an investigation that could serve as an indictment. Mueller testified “Trump could be charged when he is not president.” Is DOJ going to pretend as if nothing happened? So far, it looks like it. That has Bookbinder calling for action:
“The principle that no one is above the law is not self-enforcing. Justice can only be served if law enforcement agencies are willing to pursue justice against anyone who violates the law–regardless of the office they hold. There is no greater threat to the rule of law than failing to hold accountable the most powerful among us.”
We have said over and over, there is no “rule” that keeps the United States free, a nation of laws, and a democratic example to the world. It takes people committed to keeping it that way. Bookbinder reaffirms this principle, it is not “self-enforcing.”
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“Neither Mueller nor Barr made a final decision as to whether Trump should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice because DOJ policy precluded that outcome as long as he was president. Now that Trump is no longer president, the department needs to decide whether he will be prosecuted, and Attorney General Merrick Garland should let the American people know how that decision will be made.
Exactly. If Garland plans on using the investigation as the basis for filing charges, or further investigate, say it. If he is not going to prosecute Trump on those issues, then put out a statement and just tell the American people. See how it goes over.
“There is vast evidence that Donald Trump committed crimes. Time, and litigation, have removed both the legal protection he had as president and the illusory claims of exoneration spun by Barr. Now is the moment for America to see equal justice in action. It’s time to finish what Mueller started.
Just a week and a half ago, Trump’s own former White House Counsel, Don McGahn, testified to Congress that Trump lied in one of his answers to Mueller, “that was not correct,” McGahn testified. McGahn’s testimony in and of itself would serve as a basis to charge Trump for perjury. We all know there is a “vast array” of crimes. We know it. The only thing left unknown is whether anyone cares enough to do anything about it.
Given what we’ve heard from DOJ? Nothing? So far it looks awfully bleak out there.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak