- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2019

Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Richard Blumenthal said President Trump’s pick for attorney general William Barr avoided meeting with them on Wednesday.

“I tried (as did Blumenthal) to get meeting [with]AG nominee Barr and was told he couldn’t meet until AFTER the hearing. The reason given? The shutdown,” Ms. Klobuchar tweeted Wednesday.

Mr. Barr ventured onto Capitol Hill Wednesday to meet with Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham, the new Judiciary Committee chairman.

Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Blumenthal, who are both on the Judiciary Committee, are enthralled that they were unable to get a meeting with the nominee.

“Unprecedented & unacceptable, AG nominee Barr defies norms & degrades his stature by ducking individual Senate meetings,” Mr. Blumenthal wrote on Twitter. “They help us & him prepare for hearings. DOJ pathetic excuses only deepen the embarrassment.”

They both mocked the reasons given as to why Mr. Barr did not meet with them, but both Democratic senators said those excuses weren’t enough.

“No credible reasons. What are their motives?” Mr. Blumenthal wrote.

“Last time I checked, AG nominee Barr was not a furloughed worker,” Ms. Klobuchar wrote. “Why was shutdown given as reason for him not meeting [with] me before hearing like every other nominee has done [with] judiciary Senators? I even met [with] head of patents once. Will serve coffee.”

Kerri Kupec, a DOJ spokesperson, told The Washington Times that Mr. Barr returned to Capitol Hill Thursday to meet with some Democratic senators, including Ms. Klobuchar.

“Given our reduced DOJ staff and resources due to the shutdown, we are doing our best to meet with as many senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and will continue to do so after the hearing,” she said. “By the end of today, we will have met with twelve senators, both Republican and Democrat. We look forward to meeting with all Committee members who wish to meet.”

Mr. Barr is slated to return to Capitol Hill in front of the entire Judiciary Committee on Jan. 15 and Jan. 16. It is likely he will be grilled by Democrats on critical statements he made about the Muller investigation, including a memo he wrote arguing that the obstruction of justice probe was baseless.

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