Ahead of Judiciary Committee Vote, RPT Refreshes Questions About Barr’s Close Ties to Corporate America and President Trump
WASHINGTON — #ThrowbackThursday: The Senate Judiciary Committee is once again scheduled to vote on the nomination of William Barr for Attorney General today. Here is a refresher on why Barr should not be approved to do the job.
Barr’s ties to corporate America and loyalty to President Trump cast a shadow over his nomination and show he cannot be a fair arbiter of justice. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Restore Public Trust, the public interest group focused on exposing corruption in government, says Barr has not adequately addressed these inherent conflicts of interest. Restore Public Trust issued a report in January outlining the concerning details of Barr’s past — details that are disqualifying for an Attorney General nominee.
“To be Attorney General of the United States, Mr. Barr must prove his loyalty will be to the law, instead of his many corporate conflicts and President Trump – and he has not done so,” said Caroline Ciccone, Executive Director of Restore Public Trust. “William Barr should commit to recusing himself from the Mueller investigation before the Senate vote. He has criticized the investigation in the past, so his bias is clear. His past statements and actions both on Mueller and in his corporate career disqualify him from the honor of serving in the highest law enforcement position in the nation.”
“With so much on the line, we urge every member of the Senate to take their responsibility seriously and ensure he will carry out the rule of law on behalf of the American people, not his friends and allies.”
Restore Public Trust’s report shows Barr’s background of aggressive advocacy on behalf of large corporations, his substantial conflicts of interest, and the threat his past statements supporting Trump might pose if confirmed.
Among the biggest concerns:
- Mr. Barr has criticized the Mueller investigation and has been vocal in his criticism of independent counsel law. How can the American people trust that the Mueller investigation won’t be tampered with if Mr. Barr is confirmed as Attorney General?
- Mr. Barr’s particularly extensive corporate background ties him to major issues still pending with federal agencies, including the Justice Department. Will Mr. Barr recuse himself from all cases involving Dominion Energy, Time Warner, Caterpillar, and Verizon/GTE?
- Mr. Barr was criticized for excessive compensation at Verizon, where he earned a total of $16 million in one year alone. Mr. Barr also approved large bonuses for executives on corporate boards despite, for example, missing safety goals. How can Mr. Barr defend the interests of Americans when he has rewarded executives who have disregarded worker safety?
- Companies tied to Mr. Barr have faced major environmental regulatory violations resulting in millions in fines. Will Mr. Barr favor large corporations who pollute over the clean air and clean water of Americans?
- A hedge fund tied to Mr. Barr faced serious charges involving bribery and fraud, one resulting in a $412 million fine. With colleagues like these, what else could Mr. Barr be hiding in his past?
- Mr. Barr is known for aggressive lobbying tactics on behalf of corporations. Will his decades-long career of favoring corporations lead him to an unfair and unjust preference towards big corporations over government regulations intended to protect smaller companies and individuals?
- Mr. Barr has supported President Trump, despite his controversial actions. How can Mr. Barr be a true arbiter of justice when Trump has repeatedly ignored and held contempt for the law?