U.S. Attorney General William Barr has faced staunch opposition on multiple fronts since taking office last year. Much of that backlash has stemmed from accusations by critics in the Democratic Party and mainstream media that he is somehow working to protect the Trump administration.
In a statement this week, however, a new attack came from within the Justice Department. According to The Hill, Assistant U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts James Herbert spoke out against his boss’s allegedly “unprecedented politicization” of the agency.
“A dangerous abuse of power”
Herbert’s remarks came in the form of a letter to the editor of a local media outlet and were later confirmed by his office.
The Boston Globe published “Barr dishonors Justice Department” on Thursday, giving Herbert a forum for commentary, though it was made clear that the views were his alone and not indicative of his office or the department as a whole.
Herbert began by explaining that his motivation to become the latest to speak out publicly against Barr stemmed from the attorney general’s remarks during an address at the conservative Hillsdale College.
“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,” he wrote.
Herbert went on to claim that Barr “acts as though his job is to serve only the political interests of Donald J. Trump,” describing his behavior as “a dangerous abuse of power.”
“The president’s bidding”
The letter proceeded to cite several examples ostensibly bolstering his position, including Barr’s supposedly “misleading summary of the Mueller report” and his “selective intervention” in prosecuting cases involving allies of President Donald Trump.
He also took issue with the manner in which the attorney general has addressed ongoing civil unrest in cities across the U.S. in the months since George Floyd’s death while in police custody. Furthermore, Herbert claimed Barr inappropriately weighed in on the upcoming election by supporting the president’s concerns about potential fraud linked to an increased use of mail-in ballots.
“Barr has done the president’s bidding at every turn,” he wrote.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, according to The Hill.
Of course, Herbert’s letter did not raise any substantially new concerns, but rather repackaged the same allegations Barr’s rivals have been putting forward for some time. If anything, it only served to identify one more opponent within the attorney general’s own ranks.