January 28, 2019
From the article:
Barr received a routine questionnaire from the Judiciary Committee asking him to disclose his past work including pro bono activities "serving the disadvantaged.” The "disadvantaged” that Barr spent the most time helping was an FBI agent who slayed an Idaho mother holding her baby in 1992. Barr spent two weeks organizing former Attorneys Generaland others to support "an FBI sniper in defending against criminal charges in connection with the Ruby Ridge incident.” Barr also "assisted in framing legal arguments advanced… in the district court and the subsequent appeal to the Ninth Circuit,” he told the committee.
That charitable work (for an FBI agent who already had a federally-paid law firm defending him) helped tamp down one of the biggest scandals during Barr’s time as Attorney General from 1991 to early 1993. Barr was responsible for both the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, two federal agencies whose misconduct at Ruby Ridge "helped to weaken the bond of trustthat must exist between ordinary Americans and our law enforcement agencies,” according to a 1995 Senate Judiciary Committee report.
After Randy Weaver, an outspoken white separatist living on a mountaintop in northern Idaho, was entrapped by an undercover federal agent, U.S. marshals trespassed on Weaver’s land and killed his 14-year-old son, Sammy. The following day, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi killed his wife, Vicki, as she was standing in the cabin doorway. Horiuchi had previously shot Randy Weaver in the back after he stepped out of the cabin. The suspects were never given a warning or a chance to surrender and had taken no action against FBI agents. Weaver survived.
After an Idaho jury found Weaver not guilty on almost all charges, federal judge Edward Lodge slammed the Justice Department and FBI for concealing evidence and showing "a callous disregard for the rights of the defendants and the interests of justice.” A Justice Department internal investigation compiled a 542-page reportdetailing federal misconduct and coverups in the case and suggested criminal charges against FBI officials involved in Ruby Ridge.Barr told the New York Times in 1993 that he was not directly involved in the Ruby Ridge operation. Two years later, the Washington Post revealedthat "top officials of the Bush Justice Department had at least 20 [phone] contacts concerning Ruby Ridge in the 24 hours before Vicki Weaver was shot,” including two calls involving Barr.
Read the rest at the American Conservative.
The author writes for USA Today.
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