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Wednesday, June 24, 2020
DOJ whistleblower to testify that Barr's personal anti-marijuana sentiment fueled cannabis industry investigations
(CNN)A Department of Justice whistleblower is expected to testify on Wednesday that Attorney General Bill Barr improperly went after cannabis suppliers because of his personal feelings about the industry.
According to testimony released on Tuesday, John Elias, a career department employee, will highlight Barr's perceived motivations behind the department's multiple investigations into mergers in the cannabis industry.
He asserts that 29% of the Antitrust Division's merger probes targeted the cannabis industry, citing Barr's explanation for pursuing one such investigation in March 2019.
"Rejecting the analysis of career staff, Attorney General Barr ordered the Antitrust Division to issue Second Request subpoenas," Elias said, referencing the division's most comprehensive type of merger probe. "The rationale for doing so centered not on an antitrust analysis, but because he did not like the nature of their underlying business."
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