In what appears to by a display of rank partisan political hypocrisy, the New York City Bar Association has written a letter to the leaders of Congress, condemning the actions of Attorney General William Barr and requesting an investigation into his conduct.


We write on behalf of the New York City Bar Association (the “City Bar”) to urge Congress to commence formal inquiries into a pattern of conduct by Attorney General William P. Barr that threatens public confidence in the fair and impartial administration of justice. We make this request based upon our belief, as similarly recognized by Mr. Barr during his Senate confirmation hearings, that the Attorney General occupies a unique position with special obligations as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. We also make this request in keeping with the City Bar’s mission to embrace advancement of the rule of law and the fair administration of justice, especially by those who are entrusted with important public responsibilities.

[OCS: Given the public record of the criminal actions involving some of the Obama Administration’s highest officials who happen to be attorneys this letter is yet another rank partisan attack on the Trump Administration.

The Obama Administration ignored the rule of law and the fair administration of justice on numerous occasions – including lying to the Court multiple times on numerous cases. With nary a peep from the City Bar Association about the corruption and partisanship of the heads of the Obama Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and many more.

If the City Bar were to take exception to all of the public misstatements by lawyers, they would actually have something to do other than manufacturing anti-Trump, anti-Barr controversy prior to the release of reports that are likely to condemn a fair number of lawyers – including one who altered documents submitted to the court.]


     On December 10, 2019, in a television interview soon after DOJ’s Inspector General released a report finding no improper political motivation in the FBI’s commencement of a counterintelligence investigation into alleged ties between the Trump-Pence campaign and Russian officials in 2016, Mr. Barr publicly rejected the Inspector General’s findings, asserting instead that a separate ongoing investigation into the FBI’s actions that he personally had directed would likely reach a different conclusion. Although that second investigation (which is being supervised by a different DOJ official) is not yet complete, Mr. Barr nevertheless openly discussed his opinions about the likely outcome of that investigation. In a separate statement the previous day, Mr. Barr asserted that the FBI’s factual predicate was “insufficient to justify” its investigation and that the FBI may have acted in “bad faith” in commencing that investigation.

[OCS: Based on documents available to the public, the IG’s efforts were artificially constrained by a date that did not allow the examination of relevant documents occurring before that date. Additionally, the IG’s efforts were limited to “current employees" of the department. And since the IG lacked subpoena power and could not interview those who had been fired or left government service voluntarily, the report is incomplete and the conclusions drawn may not be accurate when multi-departmental actions are considered. In this, the report is deeply flawed.]

     These comments follow and are reminiscent of Mr. Barr’s earlier mischaracterizations of the Mueller Report, prior to his release of a redacted version of it, in which Mr. Barr claimed the special counsel had found insufficient evidence of any obstruction of justice by President Trump—a material mischaracterization of the Mueller Report and a proposition rejected by more than 1,000 former federal prosecutors based on the facts set forth in the Mueller Report.

[OCS: First, the “Mueller Report” is a privileged report to the Attorney General explaining why certain actions were taken or not taken. It is not meant to be public report as Muller had a singular duty: make a finding of fact and then indict or do not indict the subject.

Second, Mueller’s Report was written as an ambiguous impeachment document by deeply partisan individuals who themselves may be accused of criminal wrongdoing with respect to the last FISA renewal declaration.

And third, since Mueller did not taken any position on the obstruction of justice allegation, it was left to the Attorney General to make the final decision. He found the evidence unconvincing and appropriately dismissed the matter.

As for the partisan opinions of former federal prosecutors, of which there are tens of thousands, the opinions of individuals without access to the underlying evidence and who must rely on a partisan-written report is worthless in a court of law and in general.]

     These public statements by Mr. Barr also contravene the norms applicable to his office and warrant further investigation by Congress as part of an inquiry into Mr. Barr’s conduct as Attorney General more generally.

[OCS: I would say that, given the public information, the norms and protocols applicable to each and every department involved in Crossfire Hurricane were violated and warrant investigation, and most likely criminal prosecution.]

     They may even implicate ethical considerations, insofar as prosecutors must generally avoid public comments on ongoing investigations and must not manifest any bias or prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation or partisan political considerations in exercising their prosecutorial discretion.

[OCS: For the City Bar Association to even mention the word “ethics” is the height of hypocrisy given the conduct of their membership over the years. There are no checks and balances that provide the public access to the activities of the City Bar’s disciplinary process as most matters are handled in a confidential manner.] 

     Although we do not in this letter take any position on whether or not Mr. Barr has violated any Rules of Professional Conduct, at least one leading legal ethics authority has suggested that government lawyers have special obligations to be factually accurate in their public statements, and should be bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct, even if they do not represent clients in the traditional sense.

[OCS: Of course they have taken a position – they don’t like Attorney General Barr and will do anything to muddy or destroy his reputation prior to the release of further reports of criminality or malfeasance in this presidential campaign season.

As for government lawyers having a special obligation to be factual in their public statements, perhaps they haven’t read their own leftist rag, the New York Times?]

     For the reasons stated above, we have significant concerns about the propriety of Mr. Barr’s recent actions and statements. We urge Congress to exercise its constitutional obligations by expeditiously commencing formal inquiries into Mr. Barr’s conduct.

[OCS: Funny, the City Bar Association wasn’t too concerned about Attorney General Eric Holder’s statements, Contempt of Congress, or actions during the Obama Administration. Likewise, not a peep out of the City Bar Association about Lorretta Lynch’s “secret meeting” with Bill Clinton or her behavior during her tenure. Can you say that the City Bar Association is disingenuous, intellectually dishonest, and run by rank partisans beholden to the Democrat Party? – you bet!]

For those wishing to read the complete letter, in context and with full lawyerly footnotes, it can be downloaded from the New York Bar Association.

Bottom line…

Where is the New York City Bar Association’s outrage over FBI James Comey usurping the powers of the Department of Justice and using a nonexistent element of law to excuse Hillary Clinton's clearly criminal behavior? The New York City Bar Association is a joke and should be disbanded as a public service.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

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