Top Democrats in the US House of Representatives have called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General to open a probe into Attorney General William Barr and other political appointees, alleging that they will improperly influence the November 3 election.
The investigation was urged on Friday by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren, reports Xinhua news agency.
They requested that the probe should be launched by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to determine whether Barr’s public comments on ongoing investigations and other actions are a violation of the DOJ’s longstanding policy and federal law.
“Attorney General Barr has signaled repeatedly that he is likely to allow DOJ to take prosecutorial actions, make public disclosures, and even issue reports before the presidential election in November.
“Such actions clearly appear intended to benefit President Trump politically,” they wrote in a letter to Horowitz.
“Few actions would prove more damaging to public confidence in the integrity of the DOJ and our democratic process than the perception that federal prosecutorial power can be used to prejudice a pending investigation or influence an upcoming election.
As such, we believe it is imperative that this matter be immediately investigated, that you inform our Committees of your decision to open an investigation, and that you report the results promptly to our Committees,” they added.
In particular, Democrats have claimed that Barr and US Attorney John Durham made several public comments on an investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation that they say could violate this Department policy and related guidelines, and they pointed to the possibility of the DOJ releasing a report or summary within 60 days of the election, The Hill news website reported.
The letter comes after Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee also similarly called on Horowitz on Thursday to examine Durham’s probe and possible political interference in the 2020 election.