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Nadler: Calls to impeach Barr are 'waste of time'
01:38 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Law professors and faculty from George Washington University Law School, Attorney General William Barr’s alma mater, said in a letter Tuesday he has “failed to fulfill his oath of office to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ “

The rebuke comes after continued fallout over the departure of Geoffrey Berman, the federal prosecutor ousted over the weekend by the Trump administration, and adds to a chorus of criticism over Barr’s actions as attorney general. Barr received his Juris Doctor degree from the law school in 1977, and while serving as attorney general under then-President George H.W. Bush he received an honorary degree from the university in 1992.

In a statement signed by 65 faculty and professors from the law school, the group wrote that Barr’s actions as attorney general “have undermined the rule of law, breached constitutional norms, and damaged the integrity and traditional independence of his office and of the Department of Justice.”

“We include members of both major political parties, and of none,” they wrote. “We have different legal specialties and represent a broad spectrum of approaches to the law.”

CNN reached out to the Justice Department for comment on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, the New York City Bar Association said in a letter sent to House and Senate leaders that Barr is unfit for the “high position he occupies in our federal government” and should step aside.

The association cited a series of actions, including Berman’s ouster, that “form an overwhelming public impression of an Attorney General whose primary loyalty is to the President who appointed him, not to the American public or the rule of law.”

Signatories to the law school letter include president and CEO of the National Bar Association Alfreda Robinson and interim dean of the school Christopher Alan Bracey.

“[Barr] obfuscated and misled the American public about the results of the Mueller investigation. He wrongfully interfered in the day-to-day activities of career prosecutors, and continues to do so, bending the criminal justice system to benefit the President’s friends and target those perceived to be his enemies,” the law school letter read.

The group also criticized the attorney general for reportedly ordering the clearing out of protesters with police tactics ahead of President Donald Trump’s walk across Lafayette Square and the President’s subsequent photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church earlier this month.

“At a critical moment in American history, Attorney General Barr could have been a leader in protecting Americans’ First Amendment right to express their outrage at our nation’s long history of institutional racism, and police brutality against people of color. Instead, Attorney General Barr stands on the wrong side of history,” the statement also said.

Barr’s actions, the statement continued, “have posed, and continue to create, a clear and present danger to the even-handed administration of justice, to civil liberties, and to the constitutional order.”

Democrats, including most recently Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, have called for Barr to resign. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, who has criticized Barr for removing Berman, said on Monday during an interview with MSNBC that he is planning to subpoena Barr for a testimony. The New York Democrat also told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday he thinks impeaching Barr over the move would be a “waste of time” and instead would look at withholding $50 million from the Department of Justice in an effort to punish the attorney general.

“I don’t think calls for his impeachment are premature any more than calls for the President’s impeachment were premature, but they are a waste of time at this point,” Nadler said on “State of the Union.” “We’ve seen a pattern of … Barr corruptly impeding all these investigations, so this is just more of the same.”

In February, more than 2,000 former Justice Department officials signed a statement calling for the attorney general to resign.

This story has been updated with a letter from the New York City Bar Association.

CNN’s Manu Raju, Jeremy Herb, Kara Scannell and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.