DOJ snubs Nadler’s request for testimony from top officials, cites reprehensible treatment of Barr

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Rep. Jerrold Nadler got snubbed by the Department of Justice, which refused his request for top officials to testify in upcoming hearings.

The request by the New York Democrat and House Judiciary Committee chairman was met with a stinging rebuke and refusal by Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd who called out committee members for using a July hearing to “air grievances” when they had the opportunity to question Attorney General William Barr in person.

Nadler called for appearances by Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal and U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington. The officials were requested to appear before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, with one of the meetings reportedly scheduled for this Thursday, according to Fox News.

But Boyd shot down the request, citing the way Barr was treated in the Oversight hearing on July 28 when  Democrats “devoted their time entirely towards scolding and insulting the attorney general” who had appeared to address several different topics, including the Trump administration’s response to months of protests and riots that erupted in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

“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 DOJ letter read.

“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,” the letter continued.

“These members refused to allow the Attorney General to respond to their accusations or to answer questions asked for rhetorical effect,” Boyd noted.

Barr was repeatedly interrupted, he reminded Nadler, noting that some did not even want to hear what he had to say.

“All told, when the attorney general tried to address the committee’s questions, he was interrupted and silenced in excess of 70 times,” Boyd wrote. “One member interrupted him and admitted, ‘Well I don’t want you to tell your story.’”

He even referenced The New York Times and its assessment of the hearing in an article at the time.

“Democrat after Democrat posed questions to Mr. Barr only to cut him off when he tried to reply, substituting their own replies for his,” the Times reported on Barr’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

“For months you’ve tried to get the attorney general to come. He’s here. Why don’t you let him speak?” Committee ranking member Jim Jordan told Nadler at the hearing.

“Why don’t you let him answer the questions, time after time? If you want the attorney general to come, at least let him answer the questions and the accusations made against him,” the Ohio Republican added, only to have Nadler fire back, “The gentleman’s rudeness is not recognized!”

Barr even slammed Nadler as a “real class act” during his testimony after the New York Democrat would not allow him to take a five-minute break.

“Having squandered its opportunity to conduct a meaningful oversight hearing with the attorney general, it remains unclear how further public spectacles with other department officials would now — a mere 14 legislative days since the attorney general’s hearing — advance the committee’s legitimate oversight efforts,” Boyd said in his letter rebuffing Nadler.

But he did add that there was a chance to work together in the future if Democrats are willing to do so in an “appropriate and productive manner.”

“Although the Department is not in position to provide witnesses for these hearings at this time,” the letter read, “should the Committee nonetheless continue to have particular interest in obtaining information from the Department, and should the Committee commit to doing so in an appropriate and productive manner, the Department would be happy to work with you regarding the scheduling of additional oversight hearings in the future.”

The DOJ’s fiery response to Nadler and the Democrats sparked plenty of applause on Twitter.

 

Frieda Powers

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