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Attorney General William Barr will be unleashing an aggressive defense of himself and President Trump while blasting Democrats for the “bogus Russiagate scandal.”
Barr’s long awaited testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday is expected to be filled with strong condemnation of tactics by Democrats while also taking a bold stand for the nation’s law enforcement, according to his prepared remarks in a transcript.
In his first appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Barr will address Democrats chomping at the bit to confront him, calling them out for their attempts to “discredit” him.
“Ever since I made it clear that I was going to do everything I could to get to the bottom of the grave abuses involved in the bogus Russiagate scandal, many of the Democrats on this committee have attempted to discredit me by conjuring up a narrative that I am simply the president’s factotum who disposes of criminal cases according to his instructions,” the Attorney General’s remarks read.
“Judging from the letter inviting me to this hearing, that appears to be your agenda today,” he adds, prepared for what will likely prove a contentious hearing as top Republicans including ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, will also be sparring with Democrats.
Barr’s written remarks preview his defense against claims by Democrats that he has been pressured or manipulated by the president, dismissing accusations that Trump has politically interfered in the Justice Department while noting he has behaved “appropriately” in regard to law enforcement issues.
“The President has not attempted to interfere in these decisions,” the transcript reads.
“[T]he handling of the matter and my decisions on criminal matters have been left to my independent judgment, based on the law and fact, without any direction or interference from the White House or anyone outside the Department,” Barr added.
“My decisions on criminal matters before the Department have been my own, and they have been made because I believed they were right under the law and principles of justice,” he is expected to say.
He further noted the “emergence of two separate standards of justice” in the DOJ due to politicization that had occurred before he stepped into the role again after serving as attorney general under George H.W. Bush.
“The Department had been drawn into the political maelstrom and was being buffeted on all sides,” he will testify. “When asked to consider returning, I did so because I revere the Department and believed my independence would allow me to help steer her back to her core mission of applying one standard of justice for everyone and enforcing the law even-handedly, without partisan considerations.”
Barr is expected to be grilled about recent cases involving Trump confidant Roger Stone and former national security adviser Michael Flynn as well as the removal of Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor, Geoffrey Berman. The Attorney General has not been subpoenaed and is appearing voluntarily in what will likely be four-and-a-half to five hours of questioning, according to Fox News.
One of the areas of focus will be recent racial issues, protests and rioting as well as Democrats’ defense of the calls to “defund” police departments.
“Police forces today are far more diverse than ever before; there are both more Black police chiefs and more Black officers in the ranks,” Barr is expected to testify.
“Police forces today are far more diverse than ever before; there are both more black police chiefs and more black officers in the ranks. Although the death of George Floyd…was a shocking event, the fact is that such events are fortunately quite rare,” he will say, citing statistics compiled by the Washington Post.
“Unfortunately, some have chosen to respond to George Floyd’s death in a far less productive way – by demonizing the police, promoting slogans like ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards), and making grossly irresponsible proposals to defund the police,” Barr writes.
He will draw special attention to the more than 50 days of protests in Portland, Oregon, where the demonstrations have often turned violent and have led to serious injuries of police officers.
AP reporter embedded with feds in Portland recounts officers’ fear and injuries in terrifying nightly riots https://t.co/QXxRNmRonE
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 27, 2020
“Every night for the past two months, a mob of hundreds of rioters has laid siege to the federal courthouse and other nearby federal property,” Barr’s prepared remarks read. “The rioters arrive equipped for a fight, armed with powerful slingshots, tasers, sledgehammers, saws, knives, rifles, and explosive devices. Inside the courthouse are a relatively small number of federal law enforcement personnel charged with a defensive mission: to protect the courthouse, home to Article III federal judges, from being overrun and destroyed.”
Barr goes on to describe multiple instances of the “assault on the government of the United States,” pointing to fires being set, dangerous objects being thrown at law enforcement, and even “a mob enthusiastically beating a deputy U.S. marshal who was trying to protect the courthouse.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 27, 2020
“Largely absent from these scenes of destruction are even superficial attempts by the rioters to connect their actions to George Floyd’s death or any legitimate call for reform,” Barr’s remarks read.
“As elected officials of the federal government, every Member of this Committee – regardless of your political views or your feelings about the Trump Administration – should condemn violence against federal officers and destruction of federal property,” Barr will conclude.
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