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House Judiciary Chairman Nadler Announces Actions to Hold AG Barr Accountable

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced a series of actions to counter Attorney General William Barr's continued defiance of Congress and improper politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The announcement comes following the Attorney General’s refusal to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, the second time he has failed to do so this Congress.

Chairman Nadler and the Judiciary Committee will take steps to protect the integrity of the Department of Justice, including the following:

  • This week, Chairman Nadler will introduce legislation to slash the budget of the Attorney General's personal office at DOJ by $50 million.
  • In the coming weeks, the Committee will hear testimony from DOJ whistleblowers and former Department officials. These individuals are prepared to describe specific incidents of misconduct, as well as the unprecedented politicization of the Department of Justice under President Trump and Attorney General Barr.
  • Chairman Nadler and other members of the Committee will file an amicus brief in the case of United States v. Michael Flynn in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Flynn case is one of many cases in which Attorney General Barr has improperly interfered for the benefit of President Trump and his political allies.

Chairman Nadler released the following statement on these actions to hold Attorney General Barr accountable:

“Attorney General Barr has been given ample opportunity to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, and he has refused to appear once again. In fact, Mr. Barr has taken every opportunity to avoid oversight by the Committee—he also failed to appear before the Committee during his first tenure as Attorney General in the H.W. Bush Administration.

“The Attorney General’s behavior is unacceptable. He continues to undermine his career staff in a flailing effort to erase the findings of the Mueller investigation. He refuses to answer questions about actions taken by the Department during the coronavirus epidemic. He told the Committee that he could not find the time to testify because of that epidemic—but took the time to tour the peaceful protests at Lafayette Park just minutes before riot police fired tear gas into the crowd. Mr. Barr has thoroughly corrupted the integrity of the criminal justice system, he has shown contempt for Congress, and the Committee has an obligation to hold him to account.

“I am not going to spend months litigating a subpoena with an Attorney General who has already spent years resisting the courts and legitimate congressional oversight—but neither will we stand by and allow Mr. Barr to continue to corrupt the Department. We do not take these actions lightly or with any sense of joy. We have both a duty and a moral obligation to protect the rule of law in our country, and we intend to do just that.”

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