(I'll try to ask this in as non-biased way as possible)

If an Attorney General is part of a corrupt administration, would he or she be able to quash any and all Federal investigations related to that corruption as a way of protecting that administration?

For example, William Barr has been widely criticized for what some see as his acting more as Donald Trump's personal defense lawyer than as "the people's lawyer". Concurrent with this is the news that Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's actual personal lawyers, is under criminal investigation by Federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York. Some view this as a possible threat to Mr Trump.

Is the SDNY free to pursue the cases they want or do they need approval of the AG? If the latter, is it possible that a corrupt AG can "shut down" a case if it threatens their special interests?

1 Answer 1


The AG is technically the boss of everyone in the DOJ, and can fire people if they don't do as he says.

To fire people appointed by the president and confirmed by congress, he would need the approval of the president.

The SDNY does not have to ask for permission to start a case, but they can be fired.

  • Just to clarify: termination would be the only way an AG can stop an investigation brought by Federal prosecutors?
    – spring
    Nov 15, 2019 at 18:21
  • 1
    It's the only way he can stop it for sure. I mean a U.S. Atty serves at the pleasure of the President and has all the powers of a U.S. Atty until he is removed or quits, but the AG can make requests. They work for the same place.
    – Putvi
    Nov 15, 2019 at 18:24
  • This answer is wrong in several ways. You may wish to consider researching the relevant law before answering.
    – bdb484
    Nov 17, 2019 at 2:34
  • @bdb484 you may want to step into court once, before sayin an answer is wrong.
    – Putvi
    Nov 18, 2019 at 18:31

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