U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) on Friday demanded the resignation of Attorney General William Barr. Here is his statement in full:
“It is time for Attorney General William Barr to resign. For the last year and a half, he has taken every opportunity to prove that he is serving as the personal attorney and strongman for the president of the United States rather than the people’s lawyer, which is the real role of the United States Attorney General. Rather than defend the rule of law, William Barr has bent it in every direction possible to match President Trump’s Twitter rants, autocratic whims and partisan agenda.
“Mr. Barr has used the Justice Department to pursue conspiracy theories designed to undermine Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation and report, as well as the unanimous view of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. He stepped in – at the sentencing stage – to dismiss charges against Michael Flynn, who admitted twice to lying to the FBI about his relationship with Russian officials, the extent of which continues to unravel – and not for the better.
“This week, Mr. Barr reached a new low, when he ordered the forcible clearing of peaceful protesters at Lafayette Park in advance of the president’s photo op at a church. The country watched live on television as peaceful protesters, exercising their constitutional First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and to petition their government for redress of grievances, were suddenly rushed by police. This is unacceptable and a horrendous breach of faith in the Constitution and breaks the trust between our law enforcement and our citizens.
“Defending democracy and the rule of law, the very freedoms we as a nation hold dear, is hard work. It is made harder when the very individuals sworn to uphold the law work so hard to undermine it. The Justice Department is the only Cabinet agency named after an ideal, and Mr. Barr has forfeited his ability to effectively lead it.”