- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2020

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler came out swinging against Attorney General William P. Barr Tuesday as the nation’s top law enforcement officer made his first-ever appearance before a congressional panel.

Mr. Nadler, New York Democrat, assailed the attorney general, accusing him of downplaying systemic racism and doing favors for President Trump’s associates.

“In your time at the Department, you have aided and abetted the worst failings of this President,” Mr. Nadler said.

“This administration has twisted the Department of Justice into a shadow of its former self, capable of serving most Americans only after it has served those powers,” he continued.

Mr. Nadler criticized Mr. Barr for his handling of the civil unrest in riots playing out in Portland and other cities across the country.

Rioters laid siege to a federal courthouse in Portland and are firing laser pointers in officers’ eyes. Democrats, however, have slammed Mr. Barr’s decision to deploy federal troops to Portland saying it is a heavy-handed approach to peaceful protests.

“Your tenure has been marked by a persistent war against the department’s professional core in an apparent attempt to secure favors for the president,” Mr. Nadler said. “Others have lost sight of the importance of civil rights laws, but now we see the full force of the federal government brought to bear against citizens demonstrating for the advancement of their own civil rights.”

Mr. Nadler ticked off a litany of complaints against Mr. Barr, including his handling of ex-special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, intervention in criminal cases against Trump associates and filing lawsuits against stay-at-home orders in states devastated by the coronavirus crisis.

“These actions come at a price: real damage to our democratic norms, the erosion of the separation of powers, and a loss of faith in the equal administration of justice,” he said.

The committee’s ranking Republican, Jim Jordan, recounted the Russia-collusion investigation, noting the role of former Obama administration officials in the probe.

Ultimately Mr. Mueller did not uncover any evidence linking the Trump campaign to the Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“He had the courage to do what no one else would do at the Justice Department,” Mr. Jordan, Ohio Republican, said. “So Mister Attorney General, I want to thank you for having the courage to call it what it was: spying.”

Mr. Jordan also praised the attorney general for standing up to the defend police movement, which has spread across the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Mr. Floyd, a Black man, died on Memorial Day while in the custody of four Minneapolis police officers.

“I want to thank you for defending law enforcement; for pointing out what a crazy idea this defund the police policy -whatever you want to call it is — and standing up for the rule of law,” Mr. Jordan continued.

The Republicans played a video highlighting the lawlessness and civil unrest that has taken hold in nation’s across the country.

The video showed a montage of left-leaning media figures and Democrats referring to the civil unrest as “peaceful protesters.” It then followed with a tribute to David Dorn, a police captain killed in looting during the protests in June followed by clips of violence, looting and attacks on law enforcement.

Mr. Nadler complained about the length of the video after it ended.

“I hope that Mr Jordan will never complain about the length of my opening statements,” he said.

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