Attorney General William Barr on Monday said the Department of Justice (DOJ) has an “open door” policy for the receipt of information pertaining to corruption in Ukraine so it can be “carefully scrutinized.” That includes information provided by Rudy Giuliani about Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s alleged but unsubstantiated foreign corruption. Attorneys, legal commentators and more were astonished by how openly the nation’s top legal enforcement officer was catering to Giuliani’s agenda–the one that led to impeachment.
Barr confirmed that the DOJ had a specific “process” in place for Giuliani to hand over dirt uncovered during his trips to Eastern Europe–dirt Giuliani baselessly claims exposes Biden corruption. Barr himself said that no information one receives from Ukraine should be taken at “face value.”
“The DOJ has an obligation to have an open door to provide us information that they think is relevant, but as I said to Sen. [Lindsey] Graham, you have to be very careful with any information coming from the Ukraine,” Barr said in his only response to a question on Monday.
NEW: AG Barr asked about “process” he set up for @RudyGiuliani to share info from Ukraine with DOJ. Barr says he has an open door to “anybody.” But former DOJ officials say this is *not* the way it works. Barr abruptly left the stage after one question, so no follow-up. @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/seeFwCpfh2
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) February 10, 2020
“There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine, there are a lot of crosscurrents, and you can’t take anything you receive from the Ukraine at face value,” he said. “And for that reason we had established an intake process in the field so that any information coming in about Ukraine can be carefully scrutinized by the Department and its intelligence community partners, so that we could assess its provenance and its credibility.”
“That is true for all information that comes to the Department relating to the Ukraine, including anything that Mr. Giuliani might provide,” Barr continued.
Former federal prosecutor and MSNBC contributor Joyce White Vance pointed out that the Attorney General had just confirmed his intention to work directly with a possible subject of a federal criminal investigation and said an investigation into Barr was necessary.
“Barr’s failure to refute Sen Graham’s claim that he is going to work directly with a person who is or should be under criminal investigation (Rudy is implicated by the allegations in the Parnas indictment & his own public conduct) is as good as a confirmation,” she commented. “Need hearings now.”
Barr's failure to refute Sen Graham's claim that he is going to work directly with a person who is or should be under criminal investigation (Rudy is implicated by the allegations in the Parnas indictment & his own public conduct) is as good as a confirmation. Need hearings now. https://t.co/FfD6FVbAeq
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) February 10, 2020
As Law&Crime previously noted, Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, is reportedly under the watchful eye of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. That office, which Giuliani once led, indicted Giuliani’s Ukrainian-Floridian business associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman in Oct. 2019.
Parnas’s attorney Joseph A. Bondy responded to Barr’s “open door” comments by proposing that his client, who was unable to testify in the president’s impeachment trial, be permitted to speak with the DOJ.
“Since AG Bill Barr has opened the door to Rudy Giuliani, and says [the DOJ] has ‘an obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,’ it’s time to hear Lev Parnas, & let Lev Speak about Ukraine, [President Trump], & his minions,” Bondy wrote.
Since AG Bill Barr has opened the door to Rudy Giuliani, and says @TheJusticeDept has “an obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” it’s time to hear Lev Parnas, & #LetLevSpeak about Ukraine, POTUS & his minions. https://t.co/WELCDTK6KZ
— Joseph A. Bondy (@josephabondy) February 10, 2020
Senior political editor for NBC News Mark Murray wrote, “Remember the outrage over that tarmac moment b/w Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton?”
“The goalposts have certainly moved in the last 3 1/2 years,” he said.
“Different world, different times,” responded national security attorney Mark Zaid, a member of the Ukraine whistleblower’s legal team.
Different world, different times.
I didn't like it then. I really don't like it now. https://t.co/cynQZt0Mdy
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) February 10, 2020
Former Assistant FBI Director Frank Figliuzzi simply referred to news as “the plot to destroy Justice.”
Let’s talk today during the 4p ET hour about the plot to destroy Justice: Barr confirms DOJ is receiving Ukraine information from Giuliani – Axios @DeadlineWH @NicolleDWallace @MSNBC https://t.co/ubqKJ8xqQA
— Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) February 10, 2020
[image via Ed Zurga/Getty Images]