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 Knew or Should Have Known 

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Michael Santos

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Attorney General Barr Knew or Should Have Known

Federal prosecutors have brought criminal charges against many honest citizens, alleging that they knew or should have known that they were violating the law. Yet powerful people, like Attorney General Barr, can escape such scrutiny.

The highest law-enforcement officer in the United States claims he did not know that prosecutors in the Department of Justice seized communication records belonging to prominent people from an opposing party. The former Attorney Gneeral said he “didn’t recall getting briefed on the moves,” according to reputable news sources:

Barr said that while he was attorney general, he was “not aware of any congressman’s records being sought in a leak case.” He also said that the former president never encouraged him to target leaders from an opposing party to assess whether they were leaking sensitive information.

If prosecutors bring criminal charges against ordinary Americans for what they “knew or should have known,” then they should certainly hold the highest law-enforcement officer in the nation to a higher standard. Investigations are forthcoming, but it’s unlikely that the former attorney general will face the same scrutiny as a couple from Hawaii that face criminal charges in an alleged scheme for tax fraud.

On Friday, June 11, the DOJ reported that a federal grand jury in Hawaii indicted a husband and wife with a series of crimes include:

  • Conspiracy to Defraud the United States
  • Filing a False Tax Return
  • Money Laundering

The couple, Beverly Braumuller-Hawver and Scott F. Hawver, may not have access to the same defense that powerful people use. For that reason, they should learn everything possible about how to launch an effective sentence-mitigation initiative. Our article on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines will be a good place to start.

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