Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats on Friday called for Attorney General William Barr to recuse himself from “Trump Ukraine matters” as an impeachment inquiry into the president continues.
In a letter to Barr, the panel’s ten Democrats accused the attorney general of having an “appearance of a conflict of interest” and urged him to recuse himself from all Ukraine-related affairs, which includes the department’s investigation into matters related to President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and his associates, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, who were recently indicted on campaign finance charges.
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) October 25, 2019
“Impartial enforcement of the law is essential to give the American public confidence in the Justice Department’s work. Your personal connection to these matters creates the appearance of a conflict of interest and gives rise to questions about whether the Department is being used to advance the president’s personal interests,” the letter states.
“We request that you recuse yourself and identify the appropriate official who will be responsible for these matters. We also request that you confirm whether you consulted Department ethics officials regarding recusal and provide copies of any ethics guidance that Justice Department officials have provided in connection with these matters,” it adds.
The letter comes after a New York Times report stating that the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe. Shifting the inquiry into criminal probe allows U.S. Attorney John Durham, the prosecutor tasked by Barr to lead the review, to subpoena witnesses for both testimony and documents. Durham will now have the authority to impanel a grand jury and to file charges. “If true, this shows Bill Barr is doing EXACTLY his job: following the facts Those who damaged America and broke the law to spread this hoax are about to face accountability,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) tweeted in response to the developing.