Congressman Lou Correa condemned Attorney General William Barr over allegations he directed the Department of Justice Antitrust Division to investigate legal cannabis businesses “out of personal animosity.” The allegations originate from the written testimony of current Department of Justice employee and Antitrust Division Trial Lawyer, John Elias. In his testimony, Mr. Elias recounted several instances of abuse by the Attorney General, including launching a politically-motivated probe into automobile manufactures who complied with California’s unique emission standards over the President’s displeasure and wasting twenty-nine percent of the Antitrust Division’s investigative capacity on meritless investigations into legal cannabis businesses.
Rep. Correa said, “After nearly four years, I did not think the actions of this Administration could continue to shock me. John Elias’s testimony showed me just how wrong that was. The very idea that the lead law enforcement professional in the land would use the immense power of the United States government to investigate American businesses out of his own personal animosity should put fear into every American. Due process and equal protection under the law are the cornerstones of our republic. When they crumble, the fabric of our democracy and legal system follows close behind.
“Right now, cannabis is legal in some capacity in 42 states, yet the federal government continuously treats this legal industry as criminals and second-class businesses. The Attorney General’s blatant abuse of his authority to improperly investigate cannabis businesses shows just how important it is to end the federal prohibition of cannabis. Regardless of Mr. Barr’s own personal feelings, Americans wildly support descheduling cannabis, and it is time our federal laws represented the people’s will.
“Attorney General Barr has once again shown he cannot be trusted to meet the high standards of his position. His use of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division to satisfy his own personal grudges is beyond reproach. If these allegations stand true, there must be serious consequences for the Attorney General. Every American must know with full confidence that the leader of American law enforcement will protect each of our constitutional right to due process and equal protection under the law. When investigations by the Department of Justice can be directed by the personal whims of individual men, the very core of our legal system is shattered.”
This article was released by Office of Representative Lou Correa.