Former DC Bar Presidents and Bar Members Renew Call Disciplinary Action against Former AG William Barr in Light of Court Ruling

Below is a press release by Lawyers Defending Democracy

Source: Former DC Bar Presidents and Bar Members Renew Call Disciplinary Action against Former AG William Barr in Light of Court Ruling

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Four former presidents of the DC Bar and twenty-three other distinguished DC Bar members today renewed their 2020 call to the DC Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate and take disciplinary action against former Attorney General William P. Barr.

Their submission today is prompted by the May 3, 2021 opinion of Judge Amy Berman Jackson in CREW v. DOJ

, confirming that Attorney Barr and the Department of Justice under his leadership misled Congress and the public about the findings of the Mueller report.

 

The arguments filed today serve as a supplement to the comprehensive and detailed 37-page ethics complaint the group submitted against the former U.S. Attorney General in July 2020.

In Count I of the original complaint, the signers analyzed the ethical rules violated by Mr. Barr’s communications to Congress and the public concerning the Mueller report. Judge Jackson’s decision, the authors state, confirm the core allegation that, in absolving former President Trump of criminal liability for obstructing justice upon receiving the Mueller Report last year, Mr. Barr repeatedly engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct. This latest rebuke of Mr. Barr follows similar conclusions reached by Judge Reggie Walton in another case last year.

The original complaint is believed to be the first time that former DC Bar Presidents and other bar leaders have ever united to file an ethics complaint against an Attorney General.

Andrea Ferster, a former DC Bar President and a signer, stated:

“When it is the country’s chief law enforcement official whose conduct two federal judges independently describe as ‘misleading,’ ‘distorted,’ ‘disingenuous’ and ‘lacking in candor,’ the integrity of the legal profession requires holding him accountable.”

Gershon (Gary) Ratner, the lead signer, co-founder of Lawyers Defending American Democracy and a former HUD Associate General Counsel for Litigation, continues:

“When lawyers’ gross ethical misconduct goes undisciplined, we give permission for others to do the same. As a self-regulating profession, we lawyers must show the public that this is not how lawyers of any kind, much less those in positions of power, may behave.” 

In urging the Bar to take action, the submission today concludes:

“The evidence here establishes that the highest law enforcement officer of the country misled the Congress and the public by blatant and cynical misuse of his office. . . . [T]he abuse of office by Mr. Barr and his subordinates is a critical test of the legal profession’s ability to regulate itself. If Mr. Barr’s misconduct is ignored or otherwise swept under the rug, the public may justly conclude that the powerful and connected are above the law.”

Today’s supplemental letter is being filed with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  The letter is published by Lawyers Defending American Democracy and can be viewed online here.

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