Nearly 2,000 former Justice Department and FBI officials on Monday signed an open letter strongly critical of Attorney General William Barr's decision to abandon the prosecution of Michael Flynn, calling the action "extraordinarily rare, if not unprecedented."
If anyone else who is not a friend of the president "were to lie to federal investigators in the course of a properly predicated counterintelligence investigation, and admit we did so under oath, we could be prosecuted," the letter said.
The letter calls on Barr to resign and encourages Congress to formally censure Barr over "his repeated assaults on the rule of law in doing the President’s personal bidding rather than acting in the public interest."
Barr directed federal prosecutors to abandon their prosecution of Michael Flynn, who served briefly as national security adviser in the early days of the Trump administration. Flynn admitted that he had lied to the FBI about his conversations during the transition with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.
The letter urges the judge who is in charge of the Flynn case, Emmet Sullivan, to "take a long, hard look at the government's explanation and the evidence." Barr is using the Justice Department to further President Donald Trump's personal and political interests, it says, and "has undermined any claim to the deference that courts usually apply to the department's decisions about whether or not to prosecute a case."
Most of the signers are former career lawyers from both Republican and Democratic administrations, though many former political appointees are included. The highest-ranking to sign so far is Stuart Gerson, who served briefly as acting attorney general at the start of the Clinton administration after leading the Justice Department Civil Division in the first Bush administration.