Legal Law

Profession Prosecutor Torches Invoice Barr In Epic Resignation Editorial

(Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

"After 36 years, I'm fleeing the US Department of Justice, where I proudly served 19 different attorneys-general and six different presidents," wrote former US assistant attorney Phillip Halpern yesterday in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

In a searing editorial, Halpern says he can no longer work in a DOJ run by Attorney General Bill Barr. After decades as a prosecutor in the southern district of California, he's on his way to the exit. Loud!

Halpern calls on Barr for his overt partisan intervention to help Donald Trump's friends and punish his enemies, from the deliberate misrepresentation of the Mueller report to a feverish crescendo of inappropriateness in 2020.

Unfortunately, over the past year, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore Barr's resentment against constitutional prosecutors, as well as his slavish obedience to Donald Trump's will in his selective interference in the criminal justice system in Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone cases. In each of these cases, Barr overruled the prosecution to help the President's staff and / or friends who might contain incriminating information. This career bureaucrat seems determined to turn our democracy into an autocracy.

There is no other honest explanation for Barr's Parrot about the president's wild and unsupported conspiracy theories regarding postal ballots (which the president's handpicked FBI director has disagreed with) and his support for the president's dismissal for the southern district of New York, whose office used the thinnest of veils to postpone charges against the president in a criminal investigation with Michael Cohen (who pleaded guilty and directly implicated the president).

Halpern says he would have left a long time ago if he hadn't feared that in his absence Barr would derail the prosecution of former Congressman Duncan Hunter, who pleaded guilty to campaign funding violations but spent a year of bloody murder shouted that he was being persecuted for supporting Donald Trump. (Because he and his wife accidentally used the campaign credit card to pay for tuition, vacation, dental work, and trips to Burger King.)

Barr reiterates his disdain for honest apolitical prosecutors, calling some "headhunters" who pursue "ill-conceived charges against prominent political figures". It doesn't seem to be a coincidence that all of these prominent political figures happen to be friends of the President. However, if I am a headhunter for indicting and convicting disgraced local house members Duncan D. Hunter and Randy "Duke" Cunningham, so be it. It is a badge that I will wear with honor.

I stayed in government service for the past year, at least in part because I feared the department would disrupt the prosecution of the hunters in my absence.

For those who do not remember, Congressman Cunningham pleaded guilty in 2005 to accepting $ 2.4 million in bribes, including living rent-free on a yacht owned by a defense company called "The Duke-Stir". And while Cunninham was a Republican, President George W. Bush never publicly accused the Justice Department of bringing charges against members of his own party.

Two longstanding investigations into two very popular Obama-era Republican Congressmen were made public by the Justice Department by Jeff Sessions just before half-time. Two easy wins when in doubt because there wasn't enough time. Good job Jeff ……

– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2018

Not over a little runny nose, Halpern pokes fun at Barr for overseeing thousands of prosecutors when he "never investigated, charged or brought a case to justice," and points out that the gassing of peaceful protesters never goes before could be defended by an actual jury.

More recently, Barr directed federal officials to use tear gas in Lafayette Park to suppress the then peaceful protesters. Barr's claim that the place was not vacated because the president requested a Biblical photo op is ludicrous. It's certainly a case that Barr would lose in front of a jury (again, he may not realize this as he is unfamiliar with legal proceedings).

While Halpern praises his colleagues for their commitment to impartiality and impartial justice, he laments the fact that many of his seasoned colleagues have left and recruiting quality spares has been difficult as the department's reputation has been further damaged.

The play is a crushing indictment, and the country is much worse without Halpern and the dedicated prosecutors evicted by Barr's incompetent mismanagement of the Justice Department.

Comment: I will no longer work in Attorney General William Barr's Department of Justice (San Diego Union Tribune).

Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore, where she writes on law and politics.

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