Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a recent interview that he thought that Attorney General William Barr handled himself “extremely well” with the release of the special counsel’s final report on the Russia collusion probe amid accusations that the attorney general was protecting the president.
Jordan made an appearance with fellow Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) on Fox News to discuss the release of the Mueller report. During the interview, Jordan praised the attorney general when asked whether Barr was acting as President Donald Trump’s lawyer rather than the nation’s top lawyer.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 18, 2019
“No, I think the attorney general handled himself extremely well,” Jordan said. “I think he said that he will hold people accountable last week when he talked about the fact that there was spying that took place. And I think that he presented the conclusions, and the conclusions speak for themselves—no new indictments, no sealed indictments, no obstruction, no collusion.”
“I think he has handled himself exactly the way the American people want their attorney general to operate. And I think what’s most important now, lots of people Mark and I talk to, they want us to get to the bottom of this,” he added.
The Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller’s report just after 11 a.m. on April 18. The nearly 500-page report details how the special counsel concluded that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The report also found that the special counsel did not find enough evidence to substantiate that the president obstructed justice.
Democrats have repeatedly criticized Barr for taking what they call “unprecedented steps to spin” special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
“Rather than letting the facts of the report speak for themselves, the attorney general has taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said on April 17.
Several prominent Democrats such as presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) also expressed their dissatisfaction with Barr’s remarks and actions relating to the release of Mueller’s report.
Moreover, Nadler issued a subpoena for the full unredacted Mueller report on April 19 so that members of his committee could make “informed decisions,” such as whether or not to try and impeach the president.
This morning, @HouseJudiciary has issued a subpoena to the Department of Justice for the full the Mueller report and the underlying materials. DOJ is required to comply with that subpoena by May 1. pic.twitter.com/nzu9O5CC36
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) April 19, 2019
“We need the entire report, unredacted, and the underlying documents in order to make informed decisions,” he said, adding that he expects the Justice Department to comply with the subpoenas by May 1.
In order to accommodate the Congress members’ ongoing requests for a fully unredacted report, Barr said in a press conference on April 18—just before the report was released—that he was releasing a less-redacted version of the report to select members of Congress.
Barr Commended for Professionalism
Similarly to Jordan, former FBI official Jeff Danik, now a managing member at consultant group Danik Solutions, praised Barr for his handling of the press conference on April 18.
“I wanted to commend AG Barr on his professional press conference,” Danik told The Hill.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 19, 2019
“This is a good indication that an adult was in the room today on the press conference,” he added.
During the press conference, Barr was again accused of protecting the president, which led to an uncomfortable exchange with a reporter.
Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks on the Release of the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election https://t.co/R6WI0cDXF3
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) April 18, 2019
The back-and-forth came after Barr said that the context of Trump’s actions had to be taken into consideration and that he and Rosenstein kept in mind that Trump was facing “an unprecedented situation.”
“As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as President, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was, in fact, no collusion,” Barr said.
The reporter told Barr that she felt he was being “quite generous” to Trump, quoting Barr saying the president faced “an unprecedented situation” and noting that he discussed how frustrated the president was with the probe.
“What do you say to people on both sides of the aisle who say that you are trying to protect the president?” the reporter asked.
“Well, actually, the statements about his sincere beliefs are recognized in the report, that there was substantial evidence for that, so I’m not sure what your basis is for saying that I’m being generous to the president,” Barr said.
“You said he faced an unprecedented situation,” the reporter responded. “It just seems like there’s a lot of going out of your way to acknowledge—”
“Well, is there another precedent for it?” Barr interjected.
“Well, no,” the reporter said.
“Then unprecedented is an accurate description, isn’t it?” Barr said.
“Well, yeah,” the reporter said.
The Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.