Disciplinary counsel in Washington, D.C., last year declined to take up an ethics complaint against then-Attorney General William Barr in part due to the political conduct involved, an explanation that’s alarming lawyers behind the complaint and legal ethics experts alike.

The complaint against Barr, filed last year by 27 attorneys, including four former presidents of the D.C. Bar, documented four instances in which Barr was alleged to have violated ethics rules in the District, including his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller III’s report and last year’s forced clearing of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square.