According to Attorney General William Barr, federal anti-crime initiatives have been paying remarkable dividends, leading to the arrest of some 200 suspects over the past two weeks in Kansas City as part of what the Department of Justice (DOJ) has dubbed Operation Legend:
“Just to give you an idea of what’s possible, the FBI went in very strong into Kansas City and within two weeks we’ve had 200 arrests.”
Problem is, officials in Kansas City say Barr’s claims are total BS, The Kansas City Star reports:
“But after inquiries from The Star and pushback from local officials, a senior Justice Department official clarified Barr’s comments, saying the 200 figure included state and FBI arrests in joint operations dating back to December as part of another operation, Relentless Pursuit.”
Such a blatant lie coming from the head of the Justice Department raises a much larger issue: Can the attorney general or DOJ be believed, especially when Kansas City officials said the arrests which have taken place only resulted in one new federal charge? The entire fiasco led Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) to remark:
“Trust grows out of credibility, and credibility grows out of clear communication. It appears that the people in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City are working out of good intentions, but right now they are being damaged by Washington’s lack of credibility and believability.”
And Stephen Hill, Jr., who served as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton, added that using information from a previous federal anti-crime initiative brings into question if Operation Legend was nothing more than a new name given to existing operation that began in 2019:
“At a time when confidence and trust in the Department of Justice and federal law enforcement is at a low point, the last thing you want is to have someone suggest you are padding your numbers to make a political point or that the Attorney General is unaware of the situation on the ground in Kansas City. Either one hurts the effort and the public confidence it needs to be successful.”
The exposing of Barr’s lie regarding Operation Legend comes as the DOJ — under pressure from President Donald Trump — continues to insert federal agents into cities such as Portland in an effort to make Trump appear tough as his poll numbers tank in head-to-head matchups with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Just this week, Trump said more federal agents would be deployed to Chicago, New York, and other cities, all of which are run by Democrats, a clear indication that the president is using the DOJ as a political tool in direct violation of Justice Department rules.
Featured Image Via NBC News