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October 09, 2020

With 50th posting, ABA Legal Fact Check explores the power of the U.S. attorney general

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2020 — A new ABA Legal Fact Check released today examines statements made last month by U.S. Attorney William Barr asserting that on all matters of federal prosecution, he has the authority to make decisions, even if they would reverse actions by career prosecutors. “Under the law, all prosecutorial power is invested in the attorney general,” Barr said in remarks on Sept. 16.

The new ABA Legal Fact Check, which marks the 50th installment since its debut in August 2017, provides a historical and legal look at the office of attorney general. Created by statute in 1789 as a part-time, one-person office, today the attorney general wields enormous power, overseeing a department with roughly 108,000 employees and a budget of nearly $30 billion. The fact check examines the prosecutorial authority of the office, and how over the years tension has surrounded the position because of its political and legal duties.

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public through case and statutory law to find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. Recently, the web portal for ABA Legal Fact Check added a search button for its content, which is grouped by legal topics in nine different categories, including COVID-19 legal issues, presidential authority, election law, and police and security.

The URL for the site is


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