For generations, the U.S. Attorneys General have described the Justice Department as serving the broad interests of the American people—instead of a political tool of the sitting president. Attorney General William Barr stands out to his critics as one of the country's most partisan Attorneys General, repeatedly serving the political and personal interests of President Trump. As the U.S. faces a divisive election already marked by legal challenges, what is the role of the US Attorney General and the Justice Department? How does veteran Attorney General Barr see this? How does he respond to critics? As election day approaches, the questions become more urgent: Will the Attorney General take steps that appear to promote President Trump's reelection—or will he maintain what former Attorney General Griffin Bell called “a neutral zone” to preserve the integrity and credibility of a department with unique responsibilities across all three branches of government?
The Washington Post's Tom Hamburger reports on new questions about Attorney General Barr being raised on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, and the implications for the 2020 election.