“Elie Honig has written much more than a compelling takedown of an unfit attorney general; he also offers a blueprint for how impartial and apolitical justice should be administered in America.”—Preet Bharara
“An essential analysis for anyone committed to understanding the abuses of the Trump administration so we can ensure they never happen again.”—Joyce White Vance
“Essential reading for all who cherish the rule of law in America.”—George Conway
"Written with all the color and pacing of a legal thriller."—Variety
CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig exposes William Barr as the most corrupt attorney general in modern U.S. history, with stunning new scandals bubbling to the surface even after Barr's departure from office.
In Hatchet Man, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig uncovers Barr’s unprecedented abuse of power as Attorney General and the lasting structural damage done to the Justice Department. Honig uses his own experience as a prosecutor at DOJ to show how, as America’s top law enforcement official, Barr repeatedly violated the Department’s written rules, and those vital, unwritten norms and principles that comprise the “prosecutor’s code.”
Barr was corrupt from the beginning. His first act as AG was to distort the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, earning a public rebuke for his dishonesty from Mueller himself and, later, from a federal judge. Then, Barr tried to manipulate the law to squash a whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine—the report that eventually led to Trump’s first impeachment. Barr later intervened in an unprecedented manner to undermine his own DOJ prosecutors on the cases of Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, both political allies of the President. And then Barr fired the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York under false pretenses. Finally, Barr amplified baseless theories about massive mail-in ballot fraud, pouring gasoline on the dumpster fire battle over the 2020 election results and contributing to the January 6 insurrection that led to Trump’s second impeachment.
In Hatchet Man, Honig proves that Barr trampled the two core virtues that have long defined the department and its mission: credibility and independence – ultimately in service of his own deeply-rooted, extremist legal and personal beliefs. Honig shows how Barr corrupted the Justice Department and explains what we must do to prevent this from ever happening again.