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OPINION

Barr should resign, Coons says

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Senator, do you think that the Attorney General is serious about this threat to resign?

Coons: Wolf, I hope he is. I think he should resign. Frankly, the fact that 2,000 former Department of Justice employees have signed a public petition calling on him to resign and the fact that four career prosecutors withdrew from the Roger Stone case after the unusual even unprecedented interference by President Trump and the Attorney General in sentencing recommendations for one of Trump’s cronies, Roger Stone, suggests to me that he has lost the confidence of a lot of folks in the department, and the President’s ongoing public attempts to interfere in the independence of the Department of Justice should give the Attorney General real pause and given that President Trump is unbounded­­ – is now handing out pardons like party favors to the corrupt and well-connected – he should resign.

Do you think the Attorney General is genuinely concerned about the President’s interference in these ongoing criminal cases or is he simply upset that the President is doing so publicly?

Sen. Coons: I think that it is the latter, frankly one of the reasons I voted against Attorney General Barr in his confirmation hearing is both his positions that are very expansive in terms of his view of presidential power and of the fact I just wasn’t convinced in his confirmation hearing that he understood the role of the attorney general is loyalty to the constitution, not to any individual president. And I think some of the more recent developments in the Department of Justice have been alarming. So I am concerned that this is all for show. And frankly, he is just trying to throw us off of the scent.

What, if anything, can Congress do at this point?

Coons: Well, that’s part of what I think is the tragedy of the outcome of the impeachment trial is that President Trump having not been removed following the two-week trial in the Senate of the United States, but now emboldened, we are going to see him behave more and more egregiously, I think, in terms of coloring outside of the lines, operating beyond the guardrails of the constitutional system.

So, I frankly think that as long as a Republican majority in the United States Senate will not in any way speak up against or challenge President Trump’s unconventional behavior, his threats to our rule of law will simply grow in the weeks and months ahead.