Trump’s Pick for Attorney General Could Help Him Undermine the Rule of Law

Trump has nominated William Barr to replace Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. This means that Barr will inherit Trump and Sessions’ agenda of hate and discrimination, and will take over the supervision of the Mueller investigation.

Here’s what you need to know about William Barr and why your senators should oppose him.

What This Means For the Mueller Investigation

Activists rightly mobilized when Trump forced Sessions to resign and replaced him with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Jeff Sessions was a bigot who gladly supported Trump’s racist agenda, and we were glad to see him go. But he should have been replaced by an attorney general committed to uphold the rule of law - not a political hack determined to shield Trump from accountability.

That’s what Whitaker was: an unqualified and possibly unconstitutional choice whose only claim to fame was describing in great detail how he would shut the Mueller investigation down if he got the chance. It’s obvious why Trump chose him, and why it was a red line that resulted in a mass mobilization.

Now, William Barr is in line to take the Attorney General spot, and the trend continues. Barr has a long record of pushing for unchecked executive powers and wrote an infamous memo arguing against congressional oversight of presidential activities. He also has a proven record of willingness to undermine executive investigations. As Attorney General for George H. W. Bush, he advocated for pardons for key figures in the Iran-Contra scandal as a way of undercutting that investigation. This is a tactic that Trump has openly toyed with himself, by floating the idea of pardoning Paul Manafort.

Barr has made many troubling comments about the Mueller investigation. He’s indicated there’s more basis for the Justice Department to investigate Hillary Clinton and the false “Uranium One” conspiracy theory than there is to investigate Trump and Russia. He seems to share Trump’s idea that the Justice Department should represent the president and not the people, and has criticized Mueller’s team as overly partisan (echoing Trump’s “Angry Democrats” messaging). Barr also vigorously defended Trump’s firing of James Comey - a clear obstruction of justice.

Perhaps most alarmingly, Trump already considered William Barr for another job: his personal defense counsel, the role now held by Rudy Giuliani. Reports indicate that Trump tried to recruit Barr to defend him amidst the ongoing investigations. Trump now seems to think that Barr can better protect him as Attorney General by helping to shield him from accountability.

Tell Your Senators: Oppose William Barr as Attorney General

William Barr is an unacceptable choice as Attorney General, and senators must oppose him.

Call Your Senator Now

Barr’s Troubling Record on Civil Rights

Barr isn’t just unacceptable because of his threat to accountability for Trump - he’s also sure to carry forward Jeff Sessions’ attacks on civil rights.

He’s openly supported a rollback of protections for transgender individuals, and supports private businesses discriminating against gay and lesbian customers in the name of religion. He believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned, and supports the Muslim ban. Both in his prior role as Attorney General and in the private sector as general counsel for Verizon, he helped facilitate widespread illegal government surveillance. He has advocated against net neutrality, and has argued that our already racist and inequitable criminal justice system doesn’t incarcerate enough people.

Barr, like Sessions, is a threat to civil rights and a willing pawn in the bigoted Trump agenda.

Tell Your Senators: Oppose William Barr as Attorney General

It’s clear that William Barr will continue to attack the rights that Trump and Sessions have already targeted, putting vulnerable communities especially at risk. Additionally, Barr will likely help Trump interfere in the Mueller investigation and attempt to escape accountability. He’s an unacceptable choice as Attorney General, and senators must oppose him.

Call Script

Hello, I’m a constituent from [part of state] and I’m calling to ask [senator] to publicly state their opposition to William Barr as Attorney General.

Barr has a conflict of interest, as Trump wanted to hire him as his defense attorney, and has made statements that indicate he would help Trump undercut the Mueller investigation and obstruct justice.

Further, he has a long record of arguing for expansive presidential power, ramping up mass incarceration, and attacking civil rights. Trump’s agenda puts vulnerable communities at risk, and William Barr would carry out that agenda if confirmed.

I will be watching for [Senator]’s statement of opposition to William Barr as Attorney General.