Jan. 17, 2019 – Today, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) released the following statement opposing the nomination of William Barr to be Attorney General:
The Attorney General is entrusted with ensuring the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans. With the rule of law under daily attack from the President of the United States himself, that sacred trust is more important than ever.
After two days of confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, I do not believe that William Barr is the right person to hold this vital position at this critical time.
With the government shut down over the President’s demand for a border wall and asylum-seeking families detained at the border, Mr. Barr continues to support an ineffective and draconian approach to border security. With a criminal justice system that disproportionately harms communities of color, Mr. Barr continues to express support for the same failed policies he encouraged in the 1990s when he effectively advocated for mass incarceration. And with Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election at a critical moment, Mr. Barr refused to commit to recusing himself—even if career ethics officials at the Department of Justice recommended he do so.
I appreciate the commitments Mr. Barr made, including a willingness to reconsider DOJ’s attacks on Americans’ health care coverage, to provide a list of consent decrees that have been withdrawn by DOJ and any consent decree he may withdraw, to respect state laws legalizing marijuana, and to vigorously enforce voting rights. I fully intend to hold him to these commitments should he become the Attorney General.
While I respect Mr. Barr’s past public service, I do not believe he will defend independent investigations from attacks, embrace a smart on crime approach to public safety, and ensure equal protection under the law for every single American.