Ian Prior explains how AG Bill Barr threatens the deep state and why the media attacks him
Former Department of Justice Deputy Director of Public Affairs Ian Prior said on “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday that Attorney General William Barr is “a threat to the deep state, not the rule of law.”
Prior penned a Washington Times op-ed, which was published on Monday. In it, he wrote: “Democrats are furious at Attorney General Bill Barr. They should be.”
“Mr. Barr is trying to tear the deep state up by its roots and expose the delusions of moral superiority that have infected so many in the intelligence and federal law enforcement communities,” the op-ed said.
Also last week, a House Judiciary Committee hearing focused on oversight of the Department of Justice was marked by searing accusations and explosive interruptions from the very beginning, as Democrats and witnesses accused Barr and his agency of putting politics over the rule of law.
In his opening statement, Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., excoriated Barr, accusing him of a “clear and dangerous pattern of conduct” of shielding President Trump’s associates and undermining cases stemming out of the Russia investigation.
He went on to point out that “critics say that Attorney General Bill Barr is a threat to the rule of law” and asked Prior what his answer to that would be.
“My answer is, where is that coming from?” Prior said in response. “We look at sort of these narratives in the media and it’s always, you know, you get these letters that get published in The Washington Post or wherever saying, ‘a thousand former prosecutors say Bill Barr is a threat to the rule of law.’”
“The Department of Justice has 120,000 people in it, the alumni network is huge, a thousand people is not a very big number,” he continued.
Prior went on to say when you look at the list of name,s you will find “these are career officials” and “not disaffected Republicans or political appointees,” with the exception of former Deputy Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush Donald Ayer “who seems to have a personal ax to grind with Bill Barr.”
“And these are the folks that they call up on Capitol Hill to testify,” Prior added.
During last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, Ayer blasted Barr’s conduct.
Gallagher pointed to an op-ed written in The Hill on Saturday by George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley titled, “Think twice about why the media attacks William Barr.”
“New evidence further supports the Justice Department position that no legitimate investigation was tied to the original interview of [former national security adviser Gen. Michael) Flynn, a key portion of a prosecution,” Turley wrote.
“Notes from fired agent Peter Strzok reveal that former director James Comey told President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that the call between Flynn and the Russian ambassador was legitimate from the start. Yet officials continued to find a way to charge Flynn on any crime, including violations of the Logan Act.”
“I don’t think anyone has been prosecuted successfully under the Logan Act in over 200 years, it’s a joke,” Prior said in response. “I think that when you have the vice president, the president, all the folks at the top looking and stretching for ways to investigate General Flynn, all to get to the president of the United States that is a big problem in our intelligence community and our law enforcement community and it should be taken seriously, not just because it does or doesn’t involve Donald Trump, but that’s how intelligence and that’s how investigations can be weaponized.”
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer, Andrew O’Reilly and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.