Federal Prosecutor: William Barr Has “Brought Shame” on the Justice Department

The attorney general “has done the president’s bidding at every turn.”

President Donald Trump listens to Attorney General William Barr speak to reporters in the Oval Office in July.Anna Moneymaker/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

In a rare move, a federal prosecutor is denouncing Attorney General William Barr for abusing the Justice Department’s authority to support President Donald Trump.

“The attorney general acts as though his job is to serve only the political interests of Donald J. Trump,” Assistant US Attorney James D. Herbert wrote in a letter to the Boston Globe. “This is a dangerous abuse of power.” He added that Barr “has done the president’s bidding at every turn.”

Herbert said he was compelled to speak out after Barr criticized his own department’s prosecutors during a speech this month at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Barr referred to some prosecutors as “headhunters” in the speech and criticized them for pursuing “ill-conceived charges against prominent political figures.”

While many former prosecutors have spoken out against Trump, it’s highly unusual for current federal prosecutors to express their political views. A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed to ABC News that Herbert is still a US attorney in Massachusetts.

Herbert explained at the end of his letter that, “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.”

Read the full letter here

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate