Law Faculty of George Washington University Calls For Investigation, Censure, and Resignation Of GWU Law Alumnus William P. Barr:
In a statement released today [Statement Regarding Attorney General William H. Barr From Members of the George Washington University Law School Faculty], on the eve of an oversight hearing on the Attorney General and the Department of Justice in the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, 65 current and emeriti faculty members of George Washington University Law School condemned the actions of Attorney General William P. Barr and called for him to resign his office. The statement is a highly unusual rebuke of a leading alumnus. Barr received his J.D. from the law school in 1977, served on its Board of Advisors, and has been honored by the law school and the university. The letter is signed by over 80% of the active full-time faculty with voting privileges, joined by 18 emeritus professors, deans, and legal professionals. The signers of the non-partisan statement include members of both major political parties, and of none.
“We feel a special obligation to speak out because of the long relationship Attorney General Barr has with our law school and our university,” the signers write. “William Barr’s actions as Attorney General since 2019 have undermined the rule of law, breached constitutional norms, and damaged the integrity and traditional independence of his office and of the Department of Justice.” The statement, issued in response to longstanding concerns about Mr. Barr’s action as Attorney General which the signers conclude “have undermined the rule of law, breached constitutional norms, and damaged the integrity and traditional independence” of the Department of Justice, came together after the Attorney General participated in the forcible removal of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square (just blocks from the law school) on June 1.
The GWU Law statement endorses recommendations made by approximately 2,500 alumni of the Department of Justice, who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations. In addition to calling for Attorney General Barr’s immediate resignation, the DOJ alumni and the GWU Law faculty request that Congress exercise its authority to review Mr. Barr’s conduct in office and censure him and that the Inspector General of the Department of Justice initiate a formal inquiry into his conduct.
The GWU Law faculty members cite multiple instances of Mr. Barr’s conduct as evidence that he has “failed to fulfill his oath of office to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States.’” These instances include:
- deliberately misleading the American public about the conclusions of the Mueller investigation
- intervening in the sentencing of the convicted felon Roger Stone
- seeking to drop the prosecution of the confessed felon General Michael Flynn
- acting in violation of the First Amendment rights of people engaged in peaceful assembly in Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020
The lead authors of the statement note that Attorney General Barr’s pattern of breaches now extends to an attempted late night dismissal of Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, and his subsequent firing in what created an appearance of intended interference with politically sensitive investigations involving the President and cronies.