Rep. Johnson, Colleagues Call for AG Barr's Resignation

December 20, 2019
Press Release

Members Urge Officials to Resign After Inappropriately Undermining Justice Department

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham on Dec. 19, 2019, demanding they resign for acting as mouth pieces for Donald Trump rather than public servants bound to the rule of law. The letter is also signed by Reps. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), Rashida Tlaib (MI), William Lacy Clay (MO), Jared Huffman (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Frank Pallone (NJ), David Cicilline (RI), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), Pramila Jayapal (WA) and Steve Cohen (TN).

“Mr. Barr, your course of conduct makes clear your allegiance is to Donald Trump over the Department of Justice and American people that you serve. You are unfit to hold the position of Attorney General and your dedication to eroding public trust in our legal systems represents the antithesis of what a Justice Department official should be. Mr. Durham is equally as complicit in this mission and together your actions demonstrate that neither of you possess the integrity necessary to serve in the Department of Justice.

For these reasons, we demand your immediate resignation as Attorney General and that of U.S. Attorney Durham.”

Read the full letter here or below.

 

Letter to AG Barr and Attorney Durham

United States Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, D.C. 20530

 

Dear Attorney General Barr,

We write to call for your and U.S. Attorney John Durham’s immediate resignation because you inappropriately interfered in independent Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations and intentionally used your positions to mislead the American public in defense of President Donald J. Trump.

Attorney General Barr, you and your hand-selected prosecutor Durham have consistently and publicly questioned the legitimacy of the Justice Department, acting as mouth pieces for Donald Trump rather than public servants bound to the rule of law. You have established a pattern of ignoring DOJ precedent with the goal of influencing legitimate investigations on behalf of the President.

On April 10, 2019 you testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee. Over the course of your testimony, you stated that you planned to review intelligence activities surrounding the Trump campaign, including that you believed “spying did occur”.

This unfounded assertion was not only inappropriate given the ongoing nature of the investigation, but in the wake of the release of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, it was a completely inaccurate statement.

In the report released on Monday December 9, the OIG concluded that the Justice Department acted within its jurisdiction initiating an investigation and that there was sufficient factual evidence to investigate the Trump campaign.

On Monday, after the report was released, you went even farther, disparaging the conclusions the OIG reached and publicly disagreeing with an independent, legitimate inquiry, claiming the investigation was “intrusive” and the facts “insufficient to justify steps taken” by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Mr. Barr, you even went so far as to suggest during an interview on Tuesday December 10 that the FBI under the Obama administration was a greater threat to our democracy than Russia. Your uncorroborated and inappropriate statements on the OIG report legitimize fringe conspiracy theories and erode public trust in the Justice Department’s credibility.

This is not the first time you in your capacity as Attorney General have attempted to manipulate facts to benefit President Trump. Before the public release of Special Counsel Mueller’s report, you produced a four-page document misrepresenting the report as completely exonerating President Trump.

John Durham has also consistently attempted to undermine the legitimacy of the OIG report and the top law enforcement agencies in our country in the defense of Donald Trump. At your direction — in a highly unusual step — Mr. Durham opened his own sham investigation into the legitimate work of the FBI. Mr. Durham spoke openly about the investigation as it was ongoing, and more damningly claims to have access to additional evidence not available to the Office of the Inspector General, further vandalizing the credibility of the OIG report.

Mr. Barr, your course of conduct makes clear your allegiance is to Donald Trump over the Department of Justice and American people that you serve. You are unfit to hold the position of Attorney General and your dedication to eroding public trust in our legal systems represents the antithesis of what a Justice Department official should be. Mr. Durham is equally as complicit in this mission and together your actions demonstrate that neither of you possess the integrity necessary to serve in the Department of Justice.

For these reasons, we demand your immediate resignation as Attorney General and that of U.S. Attorney Durham.

Sincerely,

Henry C. “Hank” Johnson

Member of Congress

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