A group of faculty members at the George Washington University Law school are moving to rescind Attorney General William Barr’s honorary degree and to have his name removed from the Dean’s Suite all because they are politically opposed to President Donald Trump, according to three concerned GW Law students who spoke to this reporter on the condition of anonymity.
The Daily Beast first reported that faculty members were weighing the decision, but their sources signaled that they weren’t going to move forward “for now.”
However, the students, who spoke via phone to this reporter, confirmed they had knowledge of a “secret meeting” that took place between Law school faculty members and that a final vote on the decision is set for this Thursday, June 11. The action by faculty came shortly after Barr’s meeting with President Trump last week and the Park Police’s actions in clearing Lafayette Park in front of the White House. Barr had been closely monitoring the protests and violent riots in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd.
Kerri Kupec, the AG’s spokesperson, declined to comment on the matter.
Historically, GW has awarded honorary degrees to a number of prominent global figures and it appears that the distinction has only been taken away from one person, Bill Cosby after he was charged with sexual assault in 2015.
“I heard that the faculty secretly convened to rescind Bill Barr’s honorary degree, and, in that meeting, a faculty member claimed that the majority of students favored the move,” One student told this reporter. “For two years now, I’ve been wanting to host the Attorney General, but for fear of being ‘canceled’ by the students and the faculty and not being able to get a job after law school, I’ve refrained from doing that. It’s shocking to me that I can’t host the U.S. Attorney General who happens to be a GW Law graduate because of this.”
The student added, “Bill Barr has donated so much time and money to our law school and now they’re going to cancel him. What message does this send to our other donors? If you were going to donate money to the Law School, would you do it knowing that one day the school would betray you and ruin your name? They will take your money, they will write your name on the Dean’s Suite and then once they’re done with you, they’ll character assassinate you and throw you in the garbage.”
A second student told this reporter, “This is ridiculous and it doesn’t reflect the desires of the entire student body, including myself. He is a good man and a distinguished alumnus.”
Ten faculty members met last Thursday to request that the Dean’s Office convene for an emergency meeting, according to the students. The Dean’s office fulfilled their request to discuss the proposed move, all within a 24-hour period, which a third student called the swift action “absolutely unprecedented.”
“Faculty meetings at GW never happen this quickly,” the third student explained. “They’re usually at least a few days notice hear and the call to action and the subsequent meeting all happened within 24 hours, which many of the faculty couldn’t even attend it because of the short notice. So basically the only people who attended this meeting are for the most part those that want to take Barr’s name down. It’s like a lynch mob. That’s what this is.”
The student said the faculty believes, “Bill Barr has abused his power and that he’s politicizing the Justice Department, and, therefore, his honorary degree should be revoked and his name should be taken off the Dean’s Suite.”
The late Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is a notable name on the list of the Law School’s honorary degree recipients, despite being charged by international human rights organizations for torturing and repressing his own citizens.
The third student continued, “It’s just ridiculous. It’s literally a lynch mob. They have no facts. They literally are just acting on pure emotion and pure political partisan BS. And the law school and the University have only one time in GW history rescinded an honorary degree. And that was for Bill Cosby. So, basically they are equating the only two-time attorney general with being a sexual predator.”
Barr received his J.D. from GW Law in 1977 and his honorary degree in 1992 when he delivered the school’s commencement speech serving as AG in George H.W. Bush’s administration.
Between 1996 and 2012, he served on the school’s Board of Advisors. In 2005, the School’s Dean asked Barr to head the school’s fundraising campaign. During that time, Barr personally donated to the program. To honor his dedication to the program, the school’s Dean Suite was named after him.
In 2014, Barr was selected to be a member of the Admiral Stockton Society and was given an adjunct faculty position.
In 2015, Barr was appointed to co-teach a constitutional law course.
In 2016, Barr was selected by the university again for the Stockton Society for his lifetime contributions.
In 2017, Barr received the Stockton Guard Alumni Award by The George Washington Law Alumni Association for his extraordinary service to the school, his decorated career, and for his continued support of the school.
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Highland Park Parade shooter ‘posted videos appearing to preview deadly attack’
Suspect Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, was taken into custody Monday evening for the deadly shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. The 22-year-old was zeroed in on as the person of interest thanks to a “significant amount of digital evidence” that helped lead investigators to him, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said when announcing the arrest.
Six people were killed and dozens of others were injured and hospitalized in the shooting that took place a little after 10 a.m. during the Independence Day parade in the suburb of Chicago, according to officials.
The Washington Examiner reports “Firearm evidence in connection to the shooting was located at the scene on the rooftop of a local business, where officials said a ladder with access to the roof was left unsecured. The gun believed to have been used by the suspect is a ‘high-powered rifle,’ police said.”
Shortly after Crimo was identified as a person of interest, he was taken into custody which law enforcement said followed a brief vehicle chase several miles away from the site of the morning shooting. Before the arrest, FBI agents were spotted at a home in Highwood, Illinois, which neighbors said is where Crimo lives with his family, according to local reports.
The Washington Examiner viewed videos pulled from Crimo’s BlogSpot video archive page, which remained active even after a YouTube page associated with Crimo was shut down. Crimo performed as a rapper named Awake the Rapper. The Examiner goes into extensive detail on the videos Crimo posted, which appear to preview the deadly attack:
In a short video titled “Where is Everyone?,” an Emergency Alert System can be heard repeatedly playing, as a video apparently being shot from the back of a vehicle shows him driving down an empty main street lined with American flags. The street appears to be the exact street on the parade route where the mass shooting occurred on Monday.
In the right corner of the video, a Salon Lofts store can be seen as the video moves away down the street. The video then crosses train tracks, and then a First Bank office is on the left side of the video as the video continues moving. A Google Map street view shows that this is Central Avenue in Highland Park and was part of the parade route, with the video seeming to end very close to where Monday’s shooting on Central Avenue took place.
The Google Drive for the BlogSpot post indicated the video was uploaded on Aug. 8, 2021, suggesting he may have considered attacking the July Fourth parade route for nearly a year at least. The city’s Fourth of July parade appears to have been canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, but the parade route was the same in years prior.
Another video dubbed “Project Arcturus” — Arcturus is the name of a red giant star named for a Greek myth — shows a drawing of someone wearing a helmet and straps across their back and chest gunning people down with a rifle. In the drawing, one person is on their knees with their hands up, while multiple dead bodies are on the ground. Crimo shows himself wearing a similar helmet and outfit in the video. In the same video, Crimo repeatedly shows what appears to be himself in his bedroom with an “Oswald Slain in Jail Shift” newspaper hanging on the wall above him. Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Some of the video was filmed in a classroom, giving the impression he may have considered a school shooting before attacking the parade instead. The video also appears to depict a drawing of Crimo himself bleeding in the chest.
Another video was titled “Are You Awake?” (also called “Sleepwalker 1” when it is downloaded), and although it was a different video, it also repeatedly showed the same drawing of people being shot and the same depiction of Crimo bleeding and displayed the same Oswald newspaper above Crimo.
“Like a sleepwalker, I am breaking through no matter what,” Crimo said in a voiceover in the video, adding, “I know what I have to do. I know what’s in it. Not only for me but for everyone else. Where am I going? I don’t know. I don’t care. There is no past or future, just the now. It is more abstract than I can ever imagine. I can feel the atmosphere pulling me in. It’s unstoppable. Like a wave pulling me under.”
Crimo also said: “I need to leave now. I need to just do it. It is my destiny. Everything has led up to this. Nothing can stop me, not even myself. Is there such a thing as free will or has this been planned out like a cosmic recipe? It is what I have been waiting for in the back of my head, waiting to be awakened. It’s what I was sent here to do. Like a sleepwalker, walking with my head held high. Like a sleepwalker, walking blindly into the night.”
In a video titled “God’s Not Dead,” he spray paints “God’s Not Dead” as the Star Wars main theme plays. And in a video titled “Smiley Face Solider,” he shows a sped up version of himself spray-painting a soldier holding a rifle with a smiley face for a head as the “Imperial March” from Star Wars plays.
Another video titled “Freedom” shows him seeing to mock the idea of freedom as he repeats “freedom” and also appears to pronounce it as “free-dumb.”
Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo, a person of interest in the Highland Park, Illinois parade shooting, is in custody, police said. https://t.co/jJklpF72qF
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) July 4, 2022
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