Lawyers Defending American Democracy contacted the DC Office of Disciplinary Counsel last week to determine why we had not received written acknowledgment of the ethics complaint that we and a group of prominent DC lawyers filed against former U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
We were informed that the original complaint had been rejected last August via email. That email, upon inspection, did not identify the Disciplinary Counsel as the sender and was treated as junk mail.
Putting aside the inadequate communication about a serious matter, the grounds for the rejection are deeply disturbing for the reasons that one of the signers of the complaint, Michael Frisch, described in a post on the Legal Profession blog today. The original complaint describes serious professional misconduct by Mr. Barr, as our chief law enforcement officer, and aspects of that misconduct were sharply criticized recently in an opinion by a federal district court judge.
The DC Disciplinary Counsel has been charged by the DC Court of Appeals with the responsibility to investigate professional misconduct, and the public should have confidence that it is fulfilling its duty. LDAD does not intend to let this matter rest with a form letter rejection that raises so many disturbing questions and shields from investigation public officials who openly commit misconduct before the American public. We are discussing our options with our co-signers.
A copy of the form letter we received can be seen here.