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A bipartisan group of about 2,000 former Justice Department officials have signed a letter calling for U.S. Attorney General William Barr to resign because of his intervention in the case of President Donald Trump's former national security advisor, Michael Flynn.
Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to drop charges against Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States. In their letter, the former DOJ employees say the action was taken "in a filing signed by a single political appointee (Barr) and no career prosecutors."
The letter calls the department's decision "extraordinarily rare, if not unprecedented." and said, "Barr's repeated actions to use the Department as a tool to further President Trump's personal and political interests" have "undermined any claim to the deference that courts usually apply to the Department's decisions about whether or not to prosecute a case."
Recognizing it is highly unlikely Barr would resign, the signers of the letter call on the judge in the Flynn case to "closely examine the Department's stated rationale for dismissing the charges...and to deny the motion and proceed with sentencing."
In an interview with U.S. broadcaster CBS last week, Barr denied he was acting in the president's interest when he moved to drop the charges against Flynn. Barr said he based the decision on a recommendation from a U.S. attorney who had reviewed the matter.