Issued: October 24, 2019

Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD) applauds the statement issued October 23rd by the New York City Bar Association which calls on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to stand down and recuse himself from any further review by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of issues related to the President’s alleged Government pressure on Ukraine to serve his personal political interests. 

The New York City Bar statement is a clarion call for the Attorney General to fulfill his ethical and legal obligations to his office and to the country.  By his actions in participating in the review of issues related to the Ukraine matter in which he is personally implicated by the text of President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s President Zelensky, Mr. Barr fails to meet the standard of behavior which he vowed to uphold when he was sworn in as Attorney General.  Mr. Barr has abandoned those standards and his role in protecting the rule of law, despite forcefully vowing to the contrary in his confirmation hearings in 2019 and in 1991 when he first stood for the office.

Over 800 lawyers from around the country have signed LDAD’s Open Letter to the President and Congress decrying attacks on the basic principles of American democracy, including the rule of law, adherence to truthfulness in public discourse, the independence of the judiciary, the separation of powers, and the importance of a vigorous and free press. LDAD is in full support of the New York City Bar’s position which demands that the Attorney General “recuse himself from the Ukraine Matter …[,] resign … [or] be subject to appropriate Congressional sanctions, including possible removal from office [.]”