Congressional Candidate Worked For Ex-Dictator Accused Of Crimes Against Humanity

Republican Bob Barr, who represented Georgia’s 7th congressional district from 1995 to 2003, is mounting a comeback campaign this year. However, his stint in the House isn’t the only high-profile job on Barr’s resumé. In 2011, Barr worked as an attorney for onetime Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.

Duvalier was president of Haiti from 1971 until he was overthrown in 1986. According to Amnesty International, Duvalier’s regime was guilty of the “systematic or widespread use of torture and enforced disappearance.” Duvalier is also accused of looting hundreds of millions of dollars from the country’s coffers. In 2011, Duvalier came back to Haiti after over two decades of exile in France and he is now facing charges of corruption and crimes against humanity.

When Duvalier first returned to Haiti, Barr was at his side. In a note on his website, Barr described himself as one of three attorneys who would be representing Duvalier “in bringing his message of hope to the world.” At the time, Barr gave an interview to CNN where he dismissed the accusations against Duvalier.

“I deal with allegations all the time,” said Barr. “They are the cheapest commodity on the market.”

Duvalier’s trial is still ongoing and it is not clear when Barr stopped working with him. Barr did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Business Insider for this story Monday and Tuesday.

In addition to his congressional career, Barr ran for president on the Libertarian Party line in 2008. He returned to the Republican Party in 2012 and worked as a presidential campaign surrogate for Newt Gingrich. Barr is one of six Republican candidates who filed to run in Georgia’s 11th congressional district this year. The primary will be held May 20.

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