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Far-right William Barr must not become attorney general

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Tell the Senate:

"Reject William Barr's nomination as attorney general. His long record of right-wing extremist views combined with his anti-Mueller memo disqualify him."

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    Far-right William Barr must not become attorney general

    The Senate will vote this week on whether to confirm William Barr, Trump's pick to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Barr wants to give Trump cover when it comes to the Mueller investigation. He's also a bigot who supports the Muslim ban, family separation and mass incarceration and opposes LGBTQ equality and women's rights.

    Barr's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed that he will be a lackey for Trump who won't recuse himself when it comes to Mueller or commit to releasing Mueller's report to the public. His bigotry, recent news that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may resign once Barr is confirmed and Trump's undocumented meetings with Putin provide more than enough reasons to block Barr's confirmation.

    Tell the Senate: Reject William Barr.

    This past summer, Barr argued to senior Justice Department officials that Robert Mueller cannot investigate Trump for obstruction of justice.1 Since no one asked Barr to write his memo to the Justice Department, it appears that he was actively trying to court favor with Trump by attacking Mueller.3 He essentially signalled that he would shut down a huge portion of the Mueller investigation – the part focused on whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice – with arguments that law professors say don't hold up.

    When it comes to Mueller, Barr is worse than Jeff Sessions, but he has an equally ugly record on everything else:

    • Mass Incarceration: Barr and Sessions both want to expand mass incarceration and impose even stricter punishments. Barr even oversaw the writing of a report called "The Case for More Incarceration."5
    • Immigration: In the 1990s, as George H. W. Bush's attorney general, Barr led an effort that diverted Haitian asylum seekers to Guantanamo Bay. Some who were HIV positive were segregated and forced to undergo additional screening, creating what one LGBTQ activist called "the world's first and only detention camp for refugees with HIV." Barr defended it as late as 2001.6 He later went on to claim Trump's Muslim Ban was completely legal (courts disagreed) and lovingly applauded Sessions for his hard-line immigration policies like family separation.7
    • Right-wing agenda: Like Sessions, Barr wants to make the federal government a tool for his right-wing social agenda. He opposes Roe v. Wade, blamed secular culture for everything from HIV to crime, hailed Sessions's attempt to erase transgender Americans and once insisted that the feds should restrain what he termed “sexual immorality” like homosexuality and sex outside of marriage.8,9

    Barr is clearly unfit to be the attorney general. We need a loud outcry right now to make sure no Democrat votes for his confirmation and every Republican knows there will be a political cost to ramming it through.

    Tell the Senate: Reject William Barr.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner, "Bill Barr Just Argued Himself Out of a Job," The New York Times, Dec. 21, 2018.
    2. Jon Wiener, "William Barr: Worse Than Jeff Sessions?" The Nation, Dec. 13, 2018.
    3. Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner, "Bill Barr Just Argued Himself Out of a Job," The New York Times.
    4. Charlie Savage and Katie Benner, "A Memo and a Recusal Decision Underscore Potential Threats to the Mueller Inquiry," The New York Times, Dec. 20, 2018.
    5. Wiener, "William Barr: Worse Than Jeff Sessions?"
    6. Kate Smith, "'A stain on U.S. history': Trump's attorney general pick used Guantanamo Bay to hold thousands of Haitian refugees," CBS News, Dec. 10, 2016.
    7. Wiener, "William Barr: Worse Than Jeff Sessions?"
    8. Ibid.
    9. Jay Michaelson, "William Barr, Trump’s Attorney General Pick, Wanted Government to ‘Restrain Sexual Immorality,," Daily Beast, Dec. 9, 2018.
    10. Alex Rogers and Manu Raju, "Key Senate Democrat says Trump 'should withdraw' attorney general nomination," CNN, Dec. 20, 2018.

    Photo: Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images