Following a CREW FOIA request more than a year ago, the DOJ failed to turn over communications between former-Attorney General Bill Barr and Erik Prince—a six-figure Trump and GOP donor, co-founder of defense contractor Blackwater and brother of Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. CREW is suing the DOJ for records on any meetings that Barr and Prince had since they could reveal potential preferential treatment for Trump’s allies in Department of Justice investigations.
Prince reportedly faced a DOJ investigation for apparently lying before Congress about the Russia probe following Representative Adam Schiff’s request for a criminal investigation, but almost two years later, no investigation has been reported and no charges have been announced. In addition to charges related to making false statements to Congress, DOJ apparently was considering whether Prince violated U.S. export laws, but no charges have been announced in that case either.
Throughout his tenure, Barr consistently intervened in cases to the benefit of Trump’s allies, including several Trump would later go on to pardon. In his final days as president, Trump issued pardon after pardon to benefit himself and his cronies, including for four Blackwater guards convicted of killing of Iraqi civilians. Trump also pardoned Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, whose cases Barr and top DOJ officials had reportedly previously intervened in to withdraw stiff sentencing recommendations—in Stone’s case, after Trump tweeted that the recommendations were unfair.
The American people deserve to know the full extent of the politicization of the DOJ under Barr. These records would help reveal whether apparent delays in investigating Erik Prince were yet another example of Barr and top DOJ officials circumventing DOJ processes in order to benefit Trump and his allies.
April 13, 2021