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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade Says William Barr Failing as AG

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Image credit: Liam James Doyle/NPR

I do think that a re-elected second term Donald Trump is even more dangerous than what we see right now,” says McQuade.

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The Trump administration has adopted an unprecedented approach to governing, breaking countless democratic norms throughout the first term.

We need people with integrity to be” in the Justice Department. — Barbara McQuade, former prosecutor

Under Attorney General William Barr, the Justice Department has repeatedly intervened on the president’s behalf in ways that have made many current and former DOJ officials uncomfortable.

Listen: Barbara McQuade on Attorney General William Barr and the DOJ.

Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuadeJake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET

Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade


Barbara McQuade, Law Professor at the University of Michigan and former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, says that while the Justice Department follows policy directives from the president, it’s also important for DOJ to exercise independence.

According to McQuade, the William Barr-led Justice Department is not operating with that same independence, instead seeming to curry favor with Trump allies and punish detractors.

We did see similar abuses in Watergate era and as a result a number of policies were put into place to protect the Justice Department, but we’ve seen [Trump] administration run roughshod over them,” says McQuade.

McQuade says it’s more important now than ever to encourage career Justice Department officials to stay at the DOJ. “I’m very proud of the prosecutors who walked off the Roger Stone case. We need people with integrity to be there. I am hopeful that people with integrity are trying to speak truth to power,” says McQuade.

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