Federal prosecutor in Massachusetts accuses Barr of a ‘dangerous abuse of power’


An assistant US attorney in Massachusetts is the latest federal prosecutor to criticize Attorney General William Barr, accusing the top law enforcement official of a “dangerous abuse of power” by politicizing his position and doing the bidding of President Donald Trump.

“The attorney general acts as though his job is to serve only the political interests of Donald J. Trump. This is a dangerous abuse of power,” James Herbert, an assistant US attorney for the District of Massachusetts, wrote in a letter published Thursday in The Boston Globe.

In June, two Justice Department prosecutors accused senior department officials of politicizing investigations and the sentencing of Trump’s longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone.

Nearly 2,000 former Justice Department employees in May called on Barr to resign, saying in an open letter he had “assaulted the rule of law” by moving to drop the charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In his letter, Herbert wrote that Barr’s remarks at a Hillsdale College event earlier this month, in which he slammed career prosecutors, “compel me to speak out as well.”

“While I am a federal prosecutor, I am writing to express my own views, clearly not those of the department, on a matter that should concern all citizens: the unprecedented politicization of the office of the attorney general,” Herbert wrote.

Herbert accused Barr of doing “the president’s bidding at every turn.”

“From his misleading summary of the Mueller Report, to his selective intervention in cases against political allies of the president, to his accusation that victims such as George Floyd are being used as mere ‘props’ by those calling for racial justice, to his baseless claims about mail-in ballots, William Barr has done the president’s bidding at every turn,” he wrote.

“For 30 years I have been proud to say I work for the Department of Justice, but the current attorney general has brought shame on the department he purports to lead,” Herbert added.

Christina Sterling, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts US Attorney’s office, told CNN the office was aware Herbert was sending the letter to the Globe.

“He was expressing his personal views, which he has a right to do. He notified us ahead of time and he ran it by the ethics advisors to make sure it was okay to be sent,” Sterling said.


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