There is no basis in the call from Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee for Attorney General William Barr to recuse himself from matters related to Ukraine, and he "should ignore it," former federal prosecutor and National Review contributing editor Andrew McCarthy writes in an opinion piece.
The demand letter, posted on Twitter by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is "nonsense," McCarthy said in his column for National Review, while asking why Feinstein herself didn't recuse herself from the hearings to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh because of her actions concerning Christine Blasey Ford's accusations of sexual assault against the judge.
He said Feinstein made the "characteristically hyperpartisan and frivolous claim" that Barr should recuse himself because there are concerns about his part in President Donald Trump's efforts to damage political rival Joe Biden and to undermine the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Feinstein said she's speaking for Democrats on the committee, who have signed a letter to Barr, noted McCarthy, but there is no basis for him to recuse himself.
Barr did not ask the president to intercede with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to seek assistance with the ongoing probe of the Russia investigation, nor did he communicate with Trump on Ukraine before the president's July 25 call to Zelenskiy, said McCarthy.
Also, the United States has had a treaty for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters since 2001, McCarthy writes.
This means that if Barr asked Trump to seek help from Ukraine, it would have been both "appropriate and routine," but Barr did not make that request, McCarthy continues.
"The Democrats have been laying the groundwork for the argument that they pounded away at this weekend: The Barr/Durham investigation is not a legitimate Justice Department investigation," he said. "It is a political initiative of the Trump 2020 campaign."
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