Legal Experts Say That William Barr’s Ties to Russia Are Troubling, Warrants Recusal
As he had already served as Attorney General, William Barr had a relatively easy confirmation experience. While there were questions about his opinions on Russia, Barr was confirmed to the position by a vote of 54-45.
Barr had spent the last 10 years working in the private sector. During that time, he had associations with Russia-based Alfa Bank and The Vector Group, another Russian company. Some legal experts claim that Barr should recuse himself from the Mueller investigation because of these ties.
Jed Shugerman, from Fordham’s School of Law, explains, “The legal standard is really clear about these issues. It’s not about actual conflict, it’s about the appearance of a conflict, about the appearance of bias. The problem is that we have so many flagrant conflicts that are so obvious, we get distracted from what the legal standard is.”
Michael Frisch, from Georgetown’s Law School feels that these ties should be looked into. “All of this raises the need for further inquiry from an independent review, not a Department of Justice investigation,” Frish told Newsweek. “He’s not doing anything illegal. [But] is it good practice, given that he might have been involved with these entities in private practice? Probably not.”
In his role of Attorney General, Barr has been accused of shielding Donald Trump from the Mueller Report fallout. With the Senate under Republican control, it is unlikely that Barr would be put under any kind of investigation, especially one looking into his Russian ties.
The Department of Justice has not replied to any queries on this matter.