He mentioned it to give weight to a specious legal argument last month in the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings when he said perjury indictments need not specify the statements alleged to be lies. As a result of his misrepresentation of the law, the perjury charge against Clinton fails to contain any specific quotation of when and where Clinton lied under oath.
Whatever trial experience Barr may have would have come not as a prosecutor but as a criminal-defense lawyer. He represented accused criminals for more than a dozen years, both before and after his stint as U.S. attorney (a fact not included in press releases or on his official online biography).One might infer from his remark that Barr was battling powerful wrongdoers who wanted to operate in the shadows, and probably he was. But among those disgruntled with his penchant for publicity were people who were on his side of the law. Some of his Assistant US Attorneys were so fearful that leaks would jeopardize their cases that they stopped telling Barr sensitive information. And the local heads of law enforcement agencies complained to Washington about Barr, sparking two internal Department of Justice investigations, the results of which were never disclosed.
The question of whether Barr ever actually leaked grand jury information was a topic of some debate, and of his consistent denials. What is clear is that early disclosure of sensitive information meant that people and corporations were widely reported to be under investigation for crimes for which they were never indicted.
In 1989, as U.S. District Court Judge William C. O'Kelley chewed him out for appearing on every possible network news and interview show discussing his then-big case.