Legal Historian Jed Shugerman Says William Barr's Actions Are "Remarkably Not Normal"Historians in the News
tags: legal history, William Barr
Newsweek asked legal historian Jed Shugerman, an expert on the Justice Department, to put these controversies in historical context. We also asked him about four Supreme Court cases being argued next month that could actually further beef up presidential power.
In this interview, Shugerman faults Barr for refusing to use special counsels, and calls for structural reforms to ensure greater Justice Department independence in the future.
Barr's intervention in Roger Stone's case, he says, was "yet another breach of norms in a pattern with Trump and Barr." He adds that Barr's "aggressively partisan" speeches at Notre Dame and before the Federalist Society, which Barr has posted on the Justice Department website, are "remarkably not normal" and "affect the legitimacy of everything the attorney general does."
As for Barr's recent public complaint that Trump's tweets "make it impossible for me to do my job," Shugerman questions what Barr thinks his job is. "To do justice impartially? Or to keep protecting Trump behind the scenes without losing more Justice Department lawyers to rebuking resignations?"
A professor at Fordham Law School, Shugerman obtained his B.A. (1996), law degree (2002), and Ph.D. in history (2008) from Yale.
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