Trey Gowdy defends Bill Barr amid skepticism of DOJ’s independence

Several developments this week have Democrats and even some Republicans questioning William Barr’s job performance as attorney general, particularly with regard to his political independence and impartiality. But according to one former congressman, Barr is doing just fine, Fox News reports.

Trey Gowdy, former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is pushing back against the recent criticism Barr has received, saying he thinks Barr “is doing everything he can to put the blindfold back on that lady [justice].”

Gowdy defends Barr

Gowdy’s comments came during a recent appearance on Sean Hannity’s primetime Fox News program.

“It’s been a terrible four years for the Department of Justice and the FBI — two institutions this country absolutely needs for its citizenry to have respect for,” he said. “Bill Barr, in my judgment — I’m a huge fan of his — I think he is doing everything he can to put the blindfold back on that lady. Lady Justice needs that blindfold back on.”

Hannity had Gowdy as a guest on his show specifically to discuss recent movement in the case of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. This week it was revealed that Barr’s Department of Justice (DOJ), after a two-year investigation, has decided not to pursue legal action against McCabe for lying about his alleged media leaks concerning the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, according to CNBC.

“We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client, Andrew G. McCabe,” read the letter sent by the DOJ to McCabe’s attorney.

More to come

This development has led to significant scrutiny of Barr’s leadership, with Hannity opining that if the shoe were on the other foot — if conservatives or known supporters of the president had engaged in conduct similar to McCabe’s — things would likely be handled quite differently. But, Gowdy isn’t sold on such criticism.

“This is the department that said, ‘We didn’t have the evidence on Andy McCabe.’ So we have got to give [Barr] the resources and the time and the support to get those institutions back where we need them as a country to be,” he said.

Gowdy went on to warn fellow Republicans against being too hasty in their criticism of Barr, reminding them that he and U.S. Attorney John Durham are currently involved in ongoing investigations into a range of issues, including the origins of the Russian collusion hoax, and Gowdy believes these will shed much light on the McCabe case and more.

“Let John Durham figure it out,” Gowdy said.

Restoring confidence

For Gowdy though, the most important task at hand is the restoration of faith among Americans that the rule of law will be upheld in a consistent, impartial manner. “If people don’t have confidence in the Department of Justice, we’re not going to agree with whatever they come up with anyway,” he said.

And on this front, Gowdy believes that Barr is definitely on the right track.

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