House Chairs Demand Emergency Inspector General Investigation Into AG Barr's Efforts to Improperly Influence November Presidential Election

Sep 18, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, House Administration Committee Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) joined House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) in calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General to open an emergency investigation into whether Attorney General William Barr, U.S. Attorney John Durham, and other political appointees are in violation of longstanding Department policy and federal law to avoid taking any action – including making public comments on ongoing investigations – that could improperly influence the upcoming presidential election.

“Under longstanding DOJ policy, the Attorney General is expected to refrain from commenting on an ongoing investigation.  Attorney General Barr and U.S. Attorney Durham have made several public comments that could violate this Department policy and related guidelines.  Attorney General Barr has signaled repeatedly that he is likely to allow DOJ to take prosecutorial actions, make public disclosures, and even issue reports before the presidential election in November.  Such actions clearly appear intended to benefit President Trump politically,” the members wrote to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.    

The members continued, “Few actions would prove more damaging to public confidence in the integrity of the DOJ and our democratic process than the perception that federal prosecutorial power can be used to prejudice a pending investigation or influence an upcoming election.  As such, we believe it is imperative that this matter be immediately investigated, that you inform our Committees of your decision to open an investigation, and that you report the results promptly to our Committees.”

Click here for full text of the letter.

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Congress Number: 
116th Congress