Former Attorney General Bill Barr suggested a special counsel may need to be appointed to discover who released the draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and said the leaker could potentially be charged with obstruction of justice.
Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered the marshal of the court to begin an investigation into discovering who leaked Justice Samuel Alito’s ruling striking down the landmark 1973 decision, but Barr said that might not be enough.
“The chief would’ve had the option, perhaps he still will, to appoint a council. A special council. Not in the classical criminal sense but the court can appoint a counsel and bring in a former US attorney or someone with a law background,” Barr told Megyn Kelly on her Sirius XM radio show on Tuesday.
“I’m sure he would get the support he needed from the FBI or any other law enforcement agency,” Barr said.
The former attorney general in the Trump administration also said that to get to the bottom of the decision’s release a grand jury may need to be convened, which would “mean a criminal case.”
Kelly asked him if the leaker could indeed face criminal charges.
He said the person could be hit with obstructing the administration of justice, “the due process of justice.”
“Obstruction means you’re attempting to influence through some kind of wrongdoing. I don’t think it’s a stretch,” Barr told Kelly.
He went on to say he was “flabbergasted” by the release of the opinion Monday evening from Politico and said he believes whoever did it meant to sway the final decision.
“It really is unprecedented,” Barr said.
“Our institutions have become increasingly politicized, but I never imagined this could happen to the Supreme Court, which has always protected its confidentiality, and for someone to let this out in order to influence the final decision is really beyond the pale,” he said.
Barr said a clerk for one of the liberal justices is most likely the culprit.
“I don’t think a conservative clerk would have put this out on the idea that this would somehow shore up a wobbly judge, this is going to be a controversial decision if it came out,” he said.