A day after the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Attorney General William Barr claimed that his return to the Justice Department bears similarities to the 1944 Battle of Normandy.
During a speech at the FBI academy on Friday, Barr compared the scrutiny that he has received since becoming President Donald Trump’s attorney general to the Allies’ invasion of Europe. About 2,500 U.S. soldiers and nearly 2,000 soldiers from other Allied countries died that day.
“As we’ve been watching the coverage of June 6, 1944 — D-Day — I had the thought that my arrival this time felt a little bit, I think, like jumping into Sainte-Mère-Église on the morning of June 5, trying to figure out where you could land without getting shot,” said Barr.
AG Barr: "As we've been watching the coverage of June 6, 1944 D-Day, I had the thought that my arrival this time felt a little bit, I think, like jumping into Sainte-Mère-Église on the morning of June 5, trying to figure out where you could land without getting shot." pic.twitter.com/D36xU0uYSj
— The Hill (@thehill) June 8, 2019
U.S. troops were airdropped into the French town of Sainte-Mère-Église in advance of the Allies’ amphibious June 1944 invasion in order to restrict German access to the nearby beaches.
Barr — who was confirmed by the Senate in February after serving as President George H.W. Bush’s attorney general from 1991 to 1993 — has faced intense criticism for his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Trump’s attorney general released a “summary” of Mueller’s report in March that claimed to exonerate the president of any wrongdoing. Barr made similar remarks at an April press conference on the release of Mueller’s redacted report.
Mueller reportedly objected to Barr’s misleading summary of the special counsel’s investigation in a letter to the attorney general.
Mueller also undercut the attorney general’s claims in a press conference last month, during which the former FBI director said he didn’t charge the president with obstruction of justice due to DOJ policy, but there were at least 10 cases of potential obstruction.
Barr later admitted he had decided to clear Trump of any obstruction of justice charges before reading the special counsel’s report.
Numerous congressional Democrats have called for Barr to be held in contempt for refusing to testify and share the unredacted version of Mueller’s report with lawmakers.
This piece was updated to note the estimated death toll was for the number of people who died on D-Day.