Whistleblower lawyers to Grassley: Make Barr commit to False Claims cases
A coalition of academics, public interest groups and lawyers who represent whistleblowers sent a letter Thursday to outgoing U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, calling on the Iowa Republican to protect one of his own signature pieces of legislation, the False Claims Act, when Attorney General nominee William Barr comes before the Senate later this month in confirmation hearings.
As I reported Wednesday, Barr has previously called the FCA, which offers a bounty to private whistleblowers who file fraud suits on behalf of the U.S. government, an unconstitutional “abomination.” As the head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 1989 – three years after Senator Grassley and others in Congress overhauled the FCA to spark prosecution of fraud against the U.S., Barr wrote an opinion highlighting what he considered to be constitutional violations in the law’s whistleblower provisions. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected some constitutional challenges to the FCA in a unanimous ruling in 2000, but Barr said in 2001 that he still considered the law unconstitutional.
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