Two whistleblowers to testify against Attorney General Barr's 'unprecedented politicization' of Trump's Justice Department
Attorney General William Barr at the White House Daily Briefing on March 23, 2020: Getty Images
Attorney General William Barr has promoted the "unprecedented politicization" of the Department of Justice since his appointment last year. Two Department of Justice whistleblowers and a former Assistant Attorney General under President George HW Bush are expected to report to Congress next week.
"Attorney General Barr has repeatedly shown that he will address President Trump's private political interests at the expense of the American people and the rule of law," said Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Justice Department, who convened the hearing, in a statement Tuesday .
The Democrats have questioned Mr. Barr's actions regarding some of the most controversial political episodes in 2019 and by 2020.
Last spring, they rejected his treatment of the report by former Special Representative Robert Mueller from his 22-month investigation into the 2016 Russian election fraud and the president's possible obstruction of that investigation.
Democrats have also accused the Attorney General of using the power of his office to launch dubious investigations into Trump's political opponents, while at the same time addressing the president's political allies such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign adviser Roger Stone.
One of the next week's witnesses, Aaron Zelinsky, is a federal prosecutor who withdrew from the DOJ's case against Mr. Stone after department officials intervened to argue for a less severe punishment for the former Trump confidant.
Mr. Zelinsky will be admitted to the witness committee on June 24 by former deputy AG Donald Ayer and current DOJ employee John Elias, who, according to Nadler, is supposed to inform legislators about "inappropriately motivated cartel department activities".
Mr. Ayer will offer a broader context. He plans to "describe what the department's independence will collapse under its own leadership," said Nadler.
A spokesman for the Department of Justice could not be reached immediately for comment.
The hearing is part of the House Democrats' sweeping offensive against Mr. Barr, who they believe has blocked their oversight duties and favored Mr. Trump's most shameful political instincts.
Mr. Nadler, whose committee wrote and ratified impeachment articles against Mr. Trump last year, has proposed laws to cut the budget of Mr. Barr's personal office at the DOJ by $ 50 million, he announced earlier this month.
Most recently, Mr. Barr was convicted of ordering law enforcement officers to use violent means - rubber bullets, chemical gas agents, and lightning grenades - to evacuate peaceful demonstrators who had gathered in Lafayette Square, north of the White House, to combat police brutality to demonstrate.
Shortly after the road clearance, Mr. Barr, Mr. Trump, and others went to nearby St. Johns Episcopal Church, where the President held up a Bible while photojournalists were taking pictures and television teams were recording video.
"Although he has since tried to escape responsibility for his actions, he ordered federal officials to apply tear gas, stun grenades, and pepper spray to American citizens who peacefully exercise their constitutional rights - all to pave the way for the President, who is comfortable Photo op wanted to go, ”said Mr. Nadler.
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