Democrat leaders have made it clear from virtually the day he was installed that they were out to get Attorney General Bill Barr. Now, they think they’ve found the ultimate gotcha after the abrupt firing of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman at the request of Barr last weekend.
On Monday, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) confirmed that the committee is planning on issuing a subpoena for Barr’s testimony this week, and told MSNBC’s Rachael Maddow on Monday that if Barr doesn’t cooperate with the investigation, House Democrats will remove Barr’s office budget.
Maddow first asked if reports that Nadler was preparing to issue a subpoena were true, to which Nadler replied that the reports were “very much true.” Maddow went on to question what Nadler’s contingency plan is if Barr refuses to comply. Nadler replied:
Well, we don’t know that. Subpoenas are supposed to be respected, obviously, but the corruption of the Attorney General Barr may lead him to try to defy it. Let me say we have other remedies too, to try to force the attorney general. We can eliminate his office budget. There are a number of things we can do, which we will do.
Maddow appeared to be confused by Nadler’s threat, asking what he meant by “office budget,” asking, “like his paper clips budget? Or does he have some sort of large discretionary amount of funding that you could cut off? What do you mean by his office budget?”
Nadler declared cryptically, “we are talking about the budget in the Department of Justice.”
Democrats clearly aren’t willing to play games anymore when it comes to testimony that could make or break their case. It appears that Nadler learned his lesson by not subpoenaing former National Security Adviser John Bolton when he had the chance.
The Judiciary Committee is expected to issue the subpoena for Barr to testify about Berman’s firing within the week. The committee is also reportedly soliciting testimony from Berman himself as well.
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