Former Attorney General Bill Barr told Megyn Kelly on Tuesday that leaking the Supreme Court majority opinion could be a possible obstruction of justice.
Barr said he felt “flabbergasted” when the news of Politico obtaining a draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s decision slated to overturn Roe v. Wade broke and that he believes the leak occurred in order to influence the final decision.
“It really is unprecedented,” Barr said on Sirius XM’s The Megyn Kelly Show. “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.”
Kelly and Barr agreed that a law clerk handed the draft to Politico, which prompted her to ask if he believes a liberal or a conservative released the apparent decision. The former attorney general said the likely scenario is that the leak occurred to influence the Court’s final decision-making process.
“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.
Burr then said there is a possibility for the chief justice to appoint a counsel and the FBI to investigate who released the drafted decision, but suggested the Court may need a grand jury to identify the individual. (RELATED: ‘Betrayal’: Roberts Speaks Out About SCOTUS Leak, Announces Investigation)
“What’s your confidence that they can get to the bottom of who leaked it?” Kelly asked.
“I think they may need a grand jury to do that which would mean a criminal case,” he said.
“Wow, why?” Kelly asked.
“To compel the truth,” the former attorney general replied. “It could be obstructing the administration of justice, the due process of justice.”
The obstruction of justice means the individual is “attempting to influence” a form of wrongdoing, he said. The former attorney general clarified that after carefully reviewing the case, he would take the direction of appointing a grand jury to prosecute the person on possible criminal charges.
“I think they should spare no effort to get to the bottom of what happened,” he continued. “Once you expose the Court to this kind of popular pressure and sort of potential mob psychology, it’ll divert them from reaching a principal decision based on the merits. We go to a lot of trouble in our system to insulate the court so they can do what they think is just under the law.”
He added that he hopes there are reporters that are against the threat of national security on such a profound level.
Chief Justice John Roberts ordered for an investigation into the leak on Tuesday, saying the decision was leaked to “undermine the integrity” of the court.