DOJ says tells Nadler ‘no’ to new testimony after rude treatment of AG Barr by committee
In a stinging rebuke to House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a letter to the Chair that it will not be sending additional officials before the committee, as requested by Nadler, because when the committee had the chance to ask similar questions to Attorney General William Barr, “many members of the majority devoted their time entirely towards scolding and insulting the Attorney General.”
“Unfortunately, when given the opportunity to obtain information from the head of the Department of Justice about precisely these matters, many committee members chose instead to use their allotted time to air grievances,” the letter read according to the New York Post.
Barr previously appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on July 28, in a five-hour, wide-ranging and acrimonious back-and-forth with Democrats.
At one point, Barr responded to accusations that he used the Department of Justice to “help Trump’s friends and punish his enemies.”
“What enemies have I indicted? Could you point to one indictment?” Barr asked.
Barr was grilled by Democrats over a variety of topics from the Mike Flynn and Roger Stone cases, to mail-in voting fraud and the handling of violent protests.
In the DOJ refusal to Nadler, the letter cites a New York Times article on the Barr testimony that says Democrats didn’t allow Barr to answer questions, but instead only asked questions to cut off Barr’s replies and insert their own answer.
“The hearing grew increasingly combative as the hours wore on,” wrote the Times. “Democrat after Democrat posed questions to Mr. Barr only to cut him off when he tried to reply, substituting their own replies for his.
“Clearly frustrated, Mr. Barr complained at one point: ‘This is a hearing. I thought I was the one who was supposed to be heard.’ At another point, after being reminded he was under oath, he insisted, ‘I’m going to answer the damn question.’”
As a result, the DOJ says it will not be sending more representatives before the committee to be treated like political props.
“Rather than attempt to obtain information from the department that would assist the Committee in recommending legislation to the House, many members of the majority devoted their time entirely towards scolding and insulting the Attorney General. These members refused to allow the Attorney General to respond to their accusations or to answer questions asked for rhetorical effect,” said the DOJ to Nadler in the letter explaining their decision.
The letter was signed by Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd, in response to Nadler’s request for testimony from Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal and U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington.
“41 days before the election,” Nadler responded on Twitter, “Mr. Barr is trying to pick a fight with the Committee in an attempt to change the subject from the President’s disastrous handling of the pandemic, and set a new standard for sheer arrogance and open contempt of Congress. We will plan accordingly.”
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