The former deputy attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush’s administration is calling on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign, citing the events of the last week surrounding Roger Stone’s sentencing reversal as the “worst” conduct thus far.
In a new op-ed in The Atlantic, Donald Ayer outlines the ways in which Barr has torn down reforms that were put in place in the Justice Department after the Watergate scandal, including how Barr has handled the Stone and Michael Flynn cases which Ayer — like many Trump critics — believes are attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
“Bad as they are, these examples are more symptoms than causes of Barr’s unfitness for office,” he wrote. “The fundamental problem is that he does not believe in the central tenet of our system of government—that no person is above the law. In chilling terms, Barr’s own words make clear his long-held belief in the need for a virtually autocratic executive who is not constrained by countervailing powers within our government under the constitutional system of checks and balances.”
“Bill Barr’s America is not a place that anyone, including Trump voters, should want to go,” he continued. “It is a banana republic where all are subject to the whims of a dictatorial president and his henchmen. To prevent that, we need a public uprising demanding that Bill Barr resign immediately, or failing that, be impeached.”
Barr’s maintained that he was not directed to issue the stunning reversal on Stone’s sentencing recommendation this week, a move that pushed four prosecutors to leave the Stone case, and one to leave the department entirely. The recommendation change came just hours after President Trump tweeted complaining about the initial seven to nine year prison sentence recommendation the DOJ had initially proposed. Barr has pushed back slightly since, suggesting in an interview with ABC News that Trump’s tweets make it “impossible” for him to do his job.