It’s as if the barnyard animals sense the wolf pack circling and approaching ever closer. The latest screeching and squealing noises heard from the corralled Democrats in D.C. are coming from House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler who sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr expressing “serious concern” about the Department of Justice (DOJ) receiving Biden-Ukraine information from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani “outside of normal channels.”
Nadler’s four-page letter charged that the process by which the DOJ has accepted info from Giuliani “would seem to be a significant departure from traditional channels,” and he demanded answers regarding the DOJ’s new “intake process” involved in receiving that material.
He also raised questions about “conflicts of interest–both for the Department, generally, and for you [Barr], specifically.”
Nadler wrote: “Whether or not you are in league with Mr. Giuliani and his associates, DOJ guidelines and regulations exist to protect you and the Department from even the appearance of a conflict of interest or any impropriety,” after referring to allegations by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas that Barr was connected to the effort to collect info on the Bidens in Ukraine.
“Given your creation of a new ‘intake process’ for Mr. Giuliani, it is all the more important that you provide a complete explanation for your decision to sidestep standard Department practice,” Nadler added.
The letter formally asked for responses to a list of 11 questions within the next two weeks. For instance, the first two read …
- “Please describe the exact “intake process” by which any information from Mr. Giuliani or others may be received, documented, and reviewed.
- “Under what official guidelines or procedures was this intake process established? Who has reviewed this process? Has the Department’s legal counsel reviewed whether this process conflicts with any of the Department’s established guidelines, ethics rules. or internal procedures?”
In a Monday press conference, Barr told reporters: “The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant. As I did say to Senator Graham, we have to be very careful with respect to any information coming from the Ukraine. There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine, there are a lot of cross-currents, and we can’t take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value.
“For that reason,” he continued, “we had established an intake process in the field, so that any information coming in about Ukraine could be carefully scrutinized by the department and its intelligence community partners, so that we could assess its provenance and its credibility. And you know that is true for all information that comes to the department relating to the Ukraine, including anything Mr. Guiliani might provide.”
Watch Barr’s comments …
Video by CBS
During the news conference, Barr confirmed that information provided to the DOJ by Giuliani and his associates are being reviewed by the department and carefully assessed “because it could be Russian propaganda.”
According to ABC News, Attorney General Barr dispatched a memo to federal law enforcement personnel instructing that approval had to be obtained from top DOJ officials before any investigation of a declared 2020 presidential candidate could take place, to ensure “this fall’s elections are conducted in a fair manner that is free from inappropriate influences.”
“We must investigate and prosecute those matters with sensitivity and care to ensure that the department’s actions do not unnecessarily advantage or disadvantage any candidate or political party,” he said in the directive.
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