New York City Bar: AG Bill Barr must ‘recuse himself’ from Ukraine matters or resign

October 24, 2019

The left has worked itself into a frenzy over the contrived “Ukraine scandal,” and now, a prominent legal organization has jumped into the fray.

Fox News reports that the New York City Bar Association has demanded that Attorney General William “Bill” Barr recuse himself from any Justice Department review of what they called “the Ukraine matter,” or else, be forced to resign.

Barr takes the heat

At issue are allegations put forth in a now-infamous whistleblower complaint alleging that in a July 25 phone call, President Trump requested assistance from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with investigations of alleged wrongdoing by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

During that call, Trump told Zelensky that Barr, as well as the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, would be in touch to discuss the matter further.

According to the Washington Examiner, Barr was “surprised and angry” that Trump mentioned him on the call — but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from continuing calls for the attorney general to step aside.

Falling right in line, the New York City Bar said in a statement that Barr’s involvement in the matter, whether knowingly or unknowingly, constitutes a conflict of interest and appearance of impropriety that shouldn’t cloud the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“Regardless of whether Mr. Barr was, in fact, aware of or part of the [p]resident’s plans, either before, at the time of, or after the July 25, 2019 telephone call, it is clear that Mr. Barr was obligated to recuse himself from any involvement in DOJ’s review of either the whistleblower complaint or the substance of the [p]resident’s actions once the [p]resident offered Mr. Barr’s services to President Zelensky,” the bar wrote.

The bar’s hasty demands

The bar also said that Barr had “demonstrated to us that, contrary to the responsibilities of his office, he appears to view his primary obligation as loyalty to the [p]resident individually rather than to the nation.”

“He has been willing to take or countenance actions that are contrary to the professional standards of the DOJ, his oath of office and his own obligations as an attorney,” the bar asserted.

With that, the bar said Barr has no choice but to recuse himself.

“If, however, he chooses not to do so, we believe he must resign his position as [a]ttorney [g]eneral,” the bar wrote in its statement. “If he fails either to recuse himself or to resign, Mr. Barr should be subject to appropriate [c]ongressional sanctions, including possible removal from office.”

It remains to be seen whether or not Barr will submit to those demands — but we aren’t holding our breath.

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Ben Marquis

Ben Marquis is a staff writer for Conservative Institute.