Department of Justice Refuses to Send Officials to Testify Before Congress, Citing Treatment of AG Barr

September 22, 2020 Updated: September 22, 2020

The Justice Department on Monday said they will not send their officials to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, turning down a request from Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to appear before Congress in Sept. and Oct.

Nadler’s sent a request for Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal, and U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington to appear before its Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

The letter from the DOJ was sent from Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd who declined Nadler’s request, citing a recent hearing attended by Attorney General William Barr in which he said Democrat lawmakers mainly complained and mistreated Barr.

“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,” wrote Boyd.

Boyd said, instead of letting the AG respond, the lawmakers spent their time scolding and insulting one of the country’s top officials. To support this point Boyd’s letter pointed to how an article in The New York Times described the July hearing, “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 July 28 oversight hearing was conducted to question Barr for his role in operation Legend and the administration’s handling of the ongoing protests.

Democrats accused Barr of using federal law enforcement to fulfill Trump’s political agenda and provide the campaign with video footage for campaign ads. When the Attorney General tried to respond and give his account of the protests and federal resources being used in Portland and elsewhere, he was often cut off and not allowed to give an answer.

Barr at one point in the hearing asked Democrats to condemn the destruction of federal property and the violence used by the rioters.

“What makes me concerned for the country is this is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our two great political parties, the Democratic party are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts,” Barr said.

“Why can’t we just say, you know, violence against federal courts has to stop? Could we hear something like that?” Barr added.

Boyd’s letter criticized Democrats for not using Barr’s time more wisely to ask the questions that will be revisited in the upcoming hearings.

“We very much regret that the Committee did not elect to engage in a meaningful, good-faith effort to obtain information and views from the Attorney General while he was present and prepared to testify,” Boyd wrote.

Boyd continued, “Yet the House’s so-called oversight ‘hearing’ of the Attorney General did preciously little to advance any legitimate interest since the Attorney General was repeatedly denied the opportunity to provide information to the Committee.”

Nadler’s office did not immediately respond to a request from The Epoch Times for comment.

Boyd reiterated the department’s willingness to assist the committee if they are sincere about getting answers, “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 letter read.