Trey Gowdy: Our attorney general should not be a political 'tool or a weapon'

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Gowdy: Our attorney general should not be a political ‘tool or a weapon’

‘Lady Justice is blindfolded for a reason,’ Gowdy tells viewers on ‘Sunday Night in America’

“Sunday Night in America” host Trey Gowdy raised questions surrounding the appointment of America’s top prosecutor on his show over the weekend, pointing to former Attorney General Bill Barr’s confirmation process as proof of the Senate’s shift on the issue. 

TREY GOWDY: In 1991, Bill Barr was unanimously confirmed to be attorney general, not a single vote against him. Twenty-eigh years later, an older, more experienced Bill Barr was nominated to be attorney general the second time, something changed. Forty-five senators voted no. Every Democrat senator but 3, voted no. Same office, same person. Very different outcome. Why? Did Bill Barr change in those thirst 30 years? Not likely. I don’t think he changed one bit. 

Did the office change? Were the qualities we want in an attorney general different in 1991? Did the Senate and confirmation process change? Of course, it has, not for the better. But what about us? Did we change? Did we begin to want or expect something different from an attorney general? What are the ideal qualities for the nation’s top prosecutor, and who is best to identify that person? Does the current process attract, and identify and select the most capable people?

We should want someone devoted to facts, fairness, following the right process, confidentiality, integrity and impartiality. We should want someone with experience and character, a person who’ll not reward friends or punish perceived enemies. A person hopelessly devoted to justice, that is what we should want. But it’s not what presidents seem to want. President Obama picked a friend, President Kennedy picked his brother, President Trump picked a political supporter the first time around… 

Of course, we don’t want the attorney general and the president constantly bickering, presidents are entitled to a cabinet dedicated to implementing the things he or she ran for office on. But there has to be independence. The justice system is not a tool. Prosecutions should not be a sword for enemies or a shield for friends, the job of the attorney general is to foster justice and fairness and a justice system worthy of respect. Not initiate investigations based on who we like and who we don’t…. Attorney general should not be a wingman or a tool or a weapon or a sycophant. Justice is not a favor for friends or retribution for opponents.  Remember, Lady Justice is blindfolded for a reason. And that is who the real judge ought to be, she and she alone.



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