Dems ask bar association to punish William Barr for ‘despicable’ testimony
Two House Democrats, both former prosecutors, have asked the bar associations in Virginia and D.C. to probe Attorney General William P. Barr, saying they feel he broke ethics rules with “despicable” handling of the special counsel’s report.
Reps. Kathleen Rice and Ten Lieu accused Mr. Barr of lying to Congress in hearings last month when he described his interactions with special counsel Robert Mueller.
The lawmakers said the rules of the bar in both Virginia and the District of Columbia, where Mr. Barr as admitted to practice, require candidness from all lawyers.
“By deceiving Congress and the American people, who vested their trust in both the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice at large, Attorney General Barr must be subject to a professional review for the sake of the legal profession and the public,” the lawmakers said.
Their call for bar sanctions is innovative, but by no means the only punishment Democrats have suggested for what they see as Mr. Barr’s mishandling of Mr. Mueller’s work.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Mr. Barr committed a crime. She stopped short of suggesting prosecution, but some lawmakers say Mr. Barr should be impeached and removed from office.
Calls for him to resign are more common still.
Mr. Barr said Mr. Mueller first sent a “snitty” letter complaining about the attorney general’s original summary of conclusions, then when Mr. Barr called him Mr. Mueller said his issue was with the press and its confusion about the special counsel’s work.
Going after a high-profile politician’s bar membership is ground that’s been plowed before.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides faced myriad bar complaints after it was revealed Mrs. Clinton concealed her secret email account and risked top secret information, and she and her aides destroyed evidence that was under a preservation order.
All of those complaints that have reached a decision have been unsuccessful so far.