Attorney General Barr Testifies on Justice Department Mission Programs CSPAN July 28, 2020 11:08am-4:02pm EDT
quote exactly right, but we won't be held to account by an unelected bureaucratic organization and i think that that is part of the reason by he has withdrawn from the world health organization. again, it's a bureaucratic, unelected organization. kevin, marshall, texas, republican. caller: yes, good morning. i have been a tea party protesters since 2000 eight, before president obama took office. [ambient room noise]
>> the house committee on the judiciary will come to order. the chair is authorized to declare recess at any time and we welcome, we welcome everyone to this morning's hearing on oversight for the department of justice. i apologize for getting the hearing late, as many of you know i was in a minor car accident on the way in this morning. everyone is fine, except perhaps the car. but it did cause significant delay. i think the attorney general and the members for their patience
and flexibility and we will now begin. before we begin, i want to acknowledge and note that we are joined this morning by the distinguished majority leader, the gentleman from maia -- maryland, leader hoyer, who has long recognized the need for vigorous congressional oversight of the executive branch under both parties and we appreciate his presence today as we question the attorney general. before we begin, i would like to remind members that we have an established email distribution list dedicated to circulating exhibits, motions, and other materials members would like to offer. if you would like to submit materials, send them to the email address previously distributed to your offices and we will circulate those materials to members and staff as quickly as we can. i would remind all members that guidance from the office of the attending physician's states that face coverings are required
for all meetings and enclosed spaces such as this committee hearing and i expect all members on both sides to wear a mask except when you are speaking. i will now recognize myself for an opening statement. thank you for being here, mr. barr. according to the congressional research service, this is the first time you have appeared before the house judiciary committee, both during your first tenure as attorney general 30 years ago entering your current service in the trump administration. welcome. 100 and 50 years ago last month, in the aftermath of the civil war, congress created the department of justice. we did so with two missions in mind. first, we wanted to replace a system of party spoils with a core of professional government attorneys. yes, they would be supervised by the attorney general and yes, the attorney general would remain a political appointee, but at its heart, the department would rely on a foundation of
professionals dedicated to the impartial administration of the law and an unbiased system of justice. second, congress established the department of justice to enforce the nation's first civil rights law's after the civil war. from that moment on it became that department's responsibility to ensure the right to vote and stem the tide of systemic racism. now, not every attorney general in the intervening years has given full expression to these goals. i'm certain that every administration has fallen short of those promises in some way over time, but today under your leadership, sir, these two objectives are more at risk than at any time in modern history. your tenure has been marred by persistent war against the department's professional core in an apparent attempt to secure favors for the president. others have lost sight of the importance of civil rights law's, 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. there is no precedent for the department of justice to actively seek out conflict with american citizens under such such pettyext for purposes. 150 years later, we are again at a pivotal moment in the nation's history and we are confronted with a global pandemic that has americans and 50,000 and infected 16 million worldwide. we are coming to grips with a civil rights struggle long swept under the rug if not outright ignored by the government. as a nation we are witnessing the federal government turned violently on its own people and responsibility for the failure to protect the rights of the people belongs squarely to president trump, he could not have done this alone. he needed help.
he finished utterly humiliating his first attorney general, he found you. in your time at the department, you have aided and abetted the worst failings of the president. let us recount just some of the decisions that have left us deeply concerned
about the apartment of justice. thet, under your leadership department has endangered americans and violated their constitutional rights by flooding federal law enforcement into the streets of american cities against of the wishes of the states and local leaders of the cities to forcibly and unconstitutionally suppress dissent. direction ther department officials have downplayed the effects of systemic racism and abandoned the victims of police brutality. abusive police departments accountable for their actions and expressed open hostility to the black lives matter movement.
connection and coordination with the white house, the department has spread disinformation about voter fraud, failed to enforce voting rights laws, and attempted to change the census rules to flaunt to the plain text of the constitution and even defied court orders on the subject. all in an apparent attempt to assist the president's reelection. fourth, at the presidents were asked, the department has amplified the presidents conspiracy theories and shielded him from responsibility by blatantly misrepresenting the mueller report and failing to hold foreign actors accountable for attacks on our election, undermining both national security and the department must professional staff in the process. again, you, and personally, have interfered with ongoing criminal investigations to protect the president and his
allies from the consequences of his actions. when career investigators and prosecutors resisted these brazen unprecedented actions, you replaced them with less qualified staff who appeared to be singularly beholden to you. the message that these actions send is clear. in this justice department, the presidents enemies will be punished and his friends will be protected, no matter the costs, no matter the costs the liberty, no matter the costs to justice. finally, perhaps most pernicious league, the department has placed the presidents political needs over the public health by challenging stay-at-home orders in the states hit hardest by the pandemic. the department's persistent efforts to got the affordable care make recovery that was harder. these actions come at a price. real damage to democratic norms, the erosion of the separation of
powers, and a loss of faith in the equal administration of justice. in the hands of president trump, a department of justice that adopts a dangerously expansive view of executive power and demonstrates a willingness to shield him from accountability represents a direct threat to the liberty and safety of the country. and we were warned. in your confirmation hearing, professor neil king testified that public confidence in the rule of law depends on there being an attorney general that won't allow the president to do whatever he wants with the justice department. william barr's views of presidential power are so radically mistaken that he is simply the wrong man at the wrong time to be attorney general of the united states. again, this failure of leadership comes at great costs. the administration has twisted the department of justice into a shadow of its former self,
capable of serving most americans only after it has first served those in power. the committee has a responsibility had -- to protect americans from that kind of corruption. we have a responsibility to ensure the justice department and its attorney general administer justice lee in fairly. this is what has brought us to the hearing room today. we want to give you a chance to respond to our questions on these and other matters and we hope and expect that you will do so in a clear and forthright manner. our members expect sincere answers today and our country deserves no less. now recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan, for his opening statements. >> spying, that one word, that is what they are after you for. 2019 in a sentence -- putting 19, you said that spying on a
political campaign is a big deal. spying on a political campaign is a big deal. it sure is. since that day i must that day, when you had the courage to state the truth, they attack to you and have been attacking you every sense, every day, every week, simply for stating the truth that the obama biden administration spied on the trump campaign. "the new york times" said this -- paying an aide to investigate, sending a young lady to meet papadopoulos. they said someone pretending to was sent to meet a person associated with the trump campaign. you know what they call that? you know what they call that? spying. one month later, october of 2016, they use the dossier to fire carter page. a salacious, unverified dossiers. jim comey's words. said they didn't tell the court
that the guy who wrote the document had already communicated to the justice department that he was desperate to stop trump from getting elected. guess what? there were 15 more lies that they told the court. 17 in total, outlined by the inspector general. each and every one of them in his 400 page report. guess what? chairman nadler refuses to allow mr. horwitz to come answer these questions about the 17 lies that the obama biden administration told to the secret court. the obama biden doj opened the investigation in july and used a secret agent lady in august and lied to the court in september. they did all of this without any basis for launching the investigation to begin with. how do we know that? how do we know there was no basis? they told us. they didn't want to, but thanks to grenell, who released the transcript of their testimony, we now know that there was no basis for them to start the
investigation in the first place. susan rice, here's what she said. intelligence i would consider evidence of a conspiracy." "i about james clapper? never saw any evidence that the trump campaign was conspiring with the russians to meddle in the election." say that again, "i never saw evidence," yet they investigate him. a proper never predicate, so why did they do it? they told us that, too. peter strzok, august 2016, asked , is trump going to win? what was his response? member, this is struck, the guy -- ran thee -- run investigation. "no, no he's not, we'll stop it. october, they use the fake dossier in the court. guess what happens in november? guess what happens in november?
november 8, 2016, the american people get in their way. 63 million of them to be back. now everything changes. now the real focus is while, wait a minute, we didn't stop him, he won. now what do they have to do? they have to do the cover up. who do they have to go after? who is target number one? the former head of the defense intelligence agency. the guy about to become national security advisor to the president, michael flynn. they can't have him hanging around, he will figure it out. so, they decide to go after michael flynn. and we know they went after him because they told us that, too. the head of counterintelligence at the fbi, the day they interviewed him, 2017, what to his notes say? the goal is to get flynn to lies of the beacon process him or to get him fired. think about what the obama doj,
what their administration did in the last month they were in power fourth -- they were empowered? january 4, the famous meeting in the oval office, they are all in their plotting a strategy. january 6, the trump tower in briefs the president-elect on the dossier that they already know is false just so that they can think to the press and the press and write the story that he was brief. and of course, january 24, the day that they go to set up michael flynn, set up michael flynn in his interview. guess what else they did? guess what else they did between election day and inauguration people 49 times unmask his name. comey, klapper, biden, seven people at the treasury department unmask his name for goodness sakes. of course, he resigns on
february 13. he resigns on february 13. now the cover-up is complete. flynn is gone, everything is fine, they think, until may 9, 2017, when president trump fires jim comey. now they have a problem again. the guy who was going to keep it all i it has been fired. now how do they continue the cover-up? real simple. jim comey leaks his memos with the express purpose of getting a special counsel appointed to investigate something they know isn't true, which is exactly what happened. two years, 500 witnesses, $30 million in costs to the taxpayer and they come back with nothing, absolutely nothing. so, all they have got left is to attack the attorney general who had the rage to state the truth from the get-go the first time that he testified. you guys attack him every day, every week, no you file articles of impeachment.
it's ridiculous. he had the courage to do what no one else would do at the justice department. sally yates wouldn't call it spying. rod rosenstein wouldn't do it. chris wade sure as heck isn't going to do it. mr. attorney general, i want to thank you for having the courage to call it what it was, spying, for having the courage to say that we are getting the politics out of the department of justice that had been there in the previous administration and most of late, we will be talking about this on our side of russian, thank you for defending law enforcement. for pointing out what a crazy idea the defund the police policy, whatever you want to call it, is, and standing up for the rule of law. we have a video we want to show the threat to this. can we play that video, please? [no audio] collects clear and how i
characterize it. it's mostly a protest. it is not, generally speaking, unruly. x peaceful protests. . peaceful protests >> peaceful protests. >> peaceful protests. protests.l >> peaceful protests. >> peaceful protests. >> peaceful protesters. >> i have asked myself, my children and my family, we would like to thank friends, neighbors, coworkers, and the community for the love and loss ofafter the tragic my husband, my beloved husband david dorn. we would like to thank the metropolitan police department for their hard work and perseverance in this investigation, as well as the circuit attorney's office.
he dedicated his life to the city of st. louis, retiring at the rank of captain after 38 years of distinguishable service. chief for six years and during those years he touched so many lives as a friend, mentor, coworker, and guardian. life was taken from me, from us, by an opportunist who had no regards for human life or the law. this didn't have to happen. it must've been god's plan for david. we need to come together as a community into better, teach our young people that life is very precious. as a family we are going to be taking some time to focus our attention on healing. it's very important as we move forward. we would like david's legacy to
and note the minority do not give the committee the 48 hour notice required by that policy. without objection, other opening statements will be included in the record. i will now introduce today's witnesses. william barr has served as the attorney general of the united 2019, since february 14, having previously served in the same position from 1991 to 1993 under president george h. w. bush. he also served as deputy and assistant attorney general and the office of legal counsel under the bush administration, was a member of the domestic policy staff under president reagan, served in the central intelligence agency, and was a law clerk for the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit judge in addition to his he did get public service, he also has --ensive service plaque to practicing law in the private sector. he received his ma from kobe
university and a jd from george washington school of law. we welcome the attorney general and we thank him for participating today. if you would please rise, i will begin by swearing you in. if you could raise your right hand, or left-hand. do you swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief, so help you god. let the record show the witness has answered in the affirmative. thank you and please be seated. please note the written statement will be entered into the record in its entirety. i ask that you summarize your testimony in five minutes. to help you stay within that time, there is a timing light on your table. when the light switches from green to yellow, you have one minute to conclude your testimony. when the light turns red it signals your five minutes have expired. mr. barr, you may begin. a.g. barr: good morning mr. chairman, ranking member jordan. i am pleased to be here this
morning. on behalf of the department of justice i want to pay my respects to your colleague, congressman john lewis. an indomitable champion of civil rights and the rule of law. i think it is especially important to remember today he pursued his cause passionately and successfully with unwavering commitment to nonviolence. as i said in my confirmation hearing, the attorney general has the unique obligation. fair andin trust the impartial administration of justice. he must ensure there is one standard of justice that applies to everyone equally and criminal cases are handled evenhandedly based on the law and the facts and without regard to political or personal considerations. i can tell you i have handled criminal matters that have come to me for decision in this way. the president has not attempted to interfere in these decisions.
on the contrary he has told me from the start that he expects me to exercise my independent judgment to make whatever call i think is right and that is precisely what i have done. it is because i feel complete freedom to do what i think is right that induced me to serve once again as attorney general. chairman,t said, mr. i served under president h w bush, and after that i spent many years in the corporate world. i am almost 70 years old and slipping happily into retirement. i am nothing to prove and no desire to return to government. i had no prior relationship with president trump. theme turn bleakly to several -- let me turn briefly to the several pressing issues of the day. the horrible killing of george floyd in minneapolis understandably jarred the country and forced us to reflect on long-standing issues in the nation those issues relate to
the relationship between law enforcement and the african-american community. isen our history, it understanding that among black americans there'll be some ambivalence and distrust towards the police. so,l just 50 years ago or our laws and our institutional were explicitly racist, explicitly discriminatory. it was not until the 1960's that the civil rights movement finally succeeded in tearing down the jim crow edifice. our laws finally came to formally embody the guarantee of equal protection. since then the work of securing civil rights has focused on reforming institutions to ensure they better conform to our laws into our aspirations. that work is important to work, it is-- that important to a knowledge, has been increasingly successful. police forces are far more diverse may have been, they're
more black police chiefs and black officers in the ranks. although the death of george floyd at the hands of police was a shocking event, the fact is these events are fortunately quite rare. according to statistics compiled by the washington post, the number of unarmed black man killed by police so far this year is eight. the number of unarmed white men killed over the same period of time is 11. the overall numbers of police shootings have been decreasing. nevertheless, every instance of excessive force is unacceptable, and must be addressed appropriately through legal process as is happening now in minneapolis. apart from the numbers, i think these events strike a deep chord in the black community because they are perceived as manifestations of a deeper lingering concern that in encounters with police, blacks will not be treated evenhandedly. they will not be given the benefit of the doubt and treated with greater suspicion.
senator tim scott has recounted the numerous times he has been unjustifiably pulled over on capitol hill, and as one prominent black professional in washington said to me, african americans also -- often feel treated as suspects first and citizen second. i think these concerns are legitimate. at the same time i think it would be an oversimplified -- an oversimplification to treat the problem as a racism infecting our police department. it seems more likely the problem extends from a complex mix of factors that can be addressed over time. meet -- we in law enforcement must be conscious of the concerns and ensure we do not have two systems of justice. unfortunately, some have chosen to respond to george floyd's death in a far less constructive grosslying irresponsible proposals to defund the police.
the demonization of the places not only unfair and inconsistent with principles that all people should be treated as individuals, but gravely injurious to inner-city communities. when communities pillory commute -- pillory police, officers become more risk-averse and crime rates soar. we are seeing that now in many of our cities. posed byt black lives crime on the street is massively greater then any threat posed by police misconduct. the leading cause of death for young
black males is homicide. every year approximately 7500 black americans are victims of homicide. the vast majority of them, around 90%, are killed by other blacks, mainly by gunfire. each of those lives matter. that inr this reason selected cities where there has been an upsurge in violent crime , we are stepping up the
activities of our joint anti-crime task forces. finally i want to address a different breakdown in the rule of law that we've witnessed over the past two months. in the wake of george floyd's death, violent riders and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to reach senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims. the current situation in portland is a telling example. every night for the past two months, a mob of hundreds of riders have laid siege to the federal courthouse and other nearby federal property. rioters have the come armed with slingshots, tasers, salt, knives, and explosive devices. inside the courthouse are at relatively small number of federal personnel charged with a defensive mission to protect the courthouse. what unfolds nightly around the
courthouse cannot reasonably be called protests. it is by any objective measure an assault on the government of the united states. as elected officials of the federal government, every member of this committee, regardless of your political views or your feelings about the trump should --tion violence against federal officers and the destruction of federal property. thank you, mr. chairman. listing for meur the areas of concern in your opening statement, and i am looking forward to addressing them all. nadler: we will now proceed under the five minute rule with questions and i will recognize myself for five minutes. 22, you joined the president as he announced the --ansion of operation legend
let me start that again. on july 20 second you joined the president as he announced the expansion of operation legend, an initiative to combat violent crime in kansas city with approximately 61 million dollars of doj grants. ofm confused as the purpose launching operation legend at this moment in time. in december of last year, you announce the department would divert $70 million in grant seven u.s. cities -- correct? a.g. barr: that's right. rep. nadler: operation relentless pursuit targeted familiar list of cities, places like albuquerque, baltimore coming kansas city, correct? a.g. barr: correct. rep. nadler: at the same press conference, you claimed 200 arrests have been made under operation legend. correct. a.g. barr: but you misspoke -- correct. rep. nadler: but you misspoke. the u.s. attorney's office
confirmed only a single rest had been made under the auspices of operation legend. correct? a.g. barr: i don't know. rep. nadler: the 199 other arrests were made under relentless pursuit or other programs. a.g. barr: that was correct. rep. nadler: i think you can be forgiven for being confused. operation legend appears to be little more than a repackaging of existing operations. why all the drama? why join the president to announce a bold new operation that appears to be another bold nor new? understandably, americans are very suspicious of your motives. there are those who believe you're sending federal law enforcement into these cities not to combat violent crime, but to help with the president's reelection efforts. the president has made clear he wants conflict between protesters and police to be a central theme of his campaign. let me ask you directly. yes or no. projectrebrand existing
under project legend in order to assist the president an election year? would you agree with me on principle that it is improper for the department of justice to divert resources and law enforcement personnel in an effort to assist the president's reelection campaign? a.g. barr: no. in the fall we did inaugurate an anti-crime initiative because we were concerned about increasing violent crime in a number of cities and we call that relentless pursuit. unfortunately, covid intervened, and our agents who were detailed for these assignments cannot perform the operation, so the operation was squelched by covid. we cannot complete or make much progress on relentless pursuit. timeer, in the intervening , we saw violent crime continuing to rise, and a lot of that was triggered by the events
after the death of george floyd. program afterthe covid started breaking and we could commit to law enforcement resources to actually accomplish the mission, which is to reduce violent crime. i regret covid interrupted our butenforcement activities, there is serious violent crime in the cities. police departments and mayors have been asking us for help, and we have put in additional federal agents and investigators to help deal with it. rep. nadler: yes or no. have you discussed the president's reelection campaign with the president or with any white house official or any circuit of the president? a.g. barr: i will not get into my discussions with the president. rep. nadler: have you discuss that topic with him? a.g. barr: not in relation to this program.
i'm a member of the cabinet and there is election going on. august with the topic comes up. it should not be a surprise that the topic of the election comes up. rep. nadler: i did not say i was surprised. i ask you if you have done that. it is part of those conversations, have you ever discussed the current or future deployment of federal law enforcement? a.g. barr: in connection with what? rep. nadler: in connection with what you just said. in connection with your discussions with the president or other people around him of his reelection campaign, have you discussed the current or future deployment of federal law enforcement? a.g. barr: i will not get into my discussions with the president, but i made it clear i would like to pick the cities based on law enforcement neat and based on neutral criteria. rep. nadler: you cannot tell me whether you discussed -- a.g. barr: i will not tell you what i discussed with the president. rep. nadler: can you commit it
will not use the federal government as a prop for the reelection campaign? you cannot hide behind legal fictions this time. people see what you're are doing for themselves. footage fort wants his campaign ads and you appear to be serving it up as ordered. in most of these cities, the protests had begun to wind down before he marched in and confronted the protesters. the protesters are not mobs, their mothers, veterans, mayors curate real leadership would entail de-escalation, collaboration, and looking for ways to peaceably resolve our differences. instead you used pepper spray on american citizens. you did in washington curate you did it at levy at square curate to expand it to portland, now you're expecting fear and violence nationwide in pursuit of obvious political objectives. shame on you.
my time is expired. what purpose does mr. jordan secret ignition? a.g. barr: could i have a moment? rep. nadler: my time is expired. to what purpose does mr. johnson seek recognition? nson: questions for the witness. you have conflated two different things. the effort of legend is to confront violent crime. predatory violence like murder and shootings which are soaring in some cities right now. that does not involve encountering protesters as you refer to it. civil disturbance is a different set of issues. that thethe idea department is flooded anywhere and attempted to suppress demonstrators. we make a clear distinction between demonstrators.
is, you of the matter take portland. portland, the courthouse is under attack. federal resources are inside the perimeter around the courthouse defending it from two months of daily attacks where people marched to the court, try to gain entrance, and have set fires, thrown things, used explosives, and injured police, including this past weekend, perhaps permanently blinding three federal officers with lasers. we are on the defense. we are not looking for trouble. if the state and the city would provide law enforcement services that other jurisdictions do, we would have no need to have additional marshals in the courthouse. rep. johnson: on behalf of hundreds of millions of americans, thank you for that clarification and for being here in your service today and your willingness to do this in challenging times. mr. attorney general, we are
very appreciative. job. a vitally important i appreciate what you said in your confirmation hearing. the attorney general has a unique obligation. the trust the fair and impartial administration of justice. the democrats have asserted this morning, and they continue to say in the media that under your leadership the justice department has become highly politicized. why is that a totally unfounded allegation? a.g. barr: because what i have been trying to do is restore the rule of law. the rule of law is in essence that we have one rule for everybody. theou apply one rule to a, same rule applies to b. i felt we did not have that at the department. we had strayed. -- i amask people supposedly punishing the presidents enemies and helping the presidents friends. what enemies have i indicted?
can you point to one indictment that has been under the department that you feel has been unmerited, that you feel violates the rule of law? one indictment. you say i help the presidents friends. the cases that are cited, the stone case in the flynn case, were both cases where i determined that some intervention was necessary to rectify the rule of law, to make sure people are treated the same. me,e was prosecuted under and i said all along i thought that was a righteous prosecution, i thought he should go to jail, and i thought the judge's sentence was correct. the prosecutors were trying to advocate for a sentence that was more than twice what anyone else in a similar position had ever served. this is a 67-year-old man, first-time offender, no violence, they were trying to put them in jail for seven to nine years. i was not going to advocate that. that is not the rule of law.
friendsthe president's do not deserve special breaks, but they do not deserve to be treated more harshly than other people. sometime that is a difficult decision to make, especially when you know you will be castigated for it. that is what the rule of law is and that is what fairness to the , beingual comes to willing to do what is fair to the individual. rep. johnson: amen, and thank you for that. previousst, what the doj did was politicize law enforcement. the obama administration's appetizer -- sabotaged the trump transition, they spied on members of trump campaign, they employed aggressive tactics, senior fbi officials carried over from the obama administration carried on their abuses into the trump administration and into the impeachment stamp and all the last -- all the rest. let me ask you one question. president obama's attorney general eric holder referred to
himself as president obama's wing man. he said in an interview "i'm still enjoying what i'm doing, there is still work to be done, i am still the presidents wing man." is it the duty of the attorney general to be the presidents wing man? a.g. barr: i've already described what i think the duty of the attorney general is. rep. johnson: in your office you are then free to act independent of the president, isn't that clue -- isn't that true? a.g. barr: it is true, especially on criminal cases it is required. rep. johnson: that is exactly what he is asked you to do. lofgren?er: ms. lofgren: it is obvious what is happening from the video play ed. it is clear the presidents playbook is to divert attention
from his catastrophic failure in dealing with the covid-19 situation. , the virusin europe has been reduced to such a level that people can go out and not worry about being infected. here in the united states, millions of americans have been infected, tens of thousands are dying, and the president needs to divert from that failure. the playbook is to create the impression there is violence that he must send in federal troops and that the american people should be afraid of other americans and trust the senddent because he will troops to american cities, and that is how he wants to win the election. it is one thing to fight crime with joint task forces.
that involves the cooperation of state and local officials. the governor of oregon and the mayor of portland has asked the federal troops leave because the has been in reverse proportion. people are showing up because the troops are there. i would like to say most of them are nonviolent. we have all heard about the wall of moms. the wall of moms who show up to make sure people are safe. here is what they say. they say they have been teargas to night after night. they have been shot at with beanbags, pepper spray. this brutality has created even more devastation. i would like to ask you this. when the president issues his executive orders, they indicated your department should
prioritize investigations. has your department started any investigation pursuant to the executive order? a.g. barr: which executive order? rep. nadler: the executive -- rep. lofgren: the executive order that asked for the deployment of troops to protect the monument and the federal facilities? i would not say it was troops. we have initiated investigations, yes. we have made arrests. --ple who have been riding rioting and taking down statues. i think your characterization of portland is false. rep. lofgren: we can get into that. i would like to ask you a question about surveillance. we read a report that
stimulators are being used to collect phone call rotation and .ven contacts of phone calls [indiscernible] what specific authority is the department using for the surveillance tools? a.g. barr: i cannot speak to those instances if they occurred . i am glad to go and try to determine what you are talking about your -- what you are talking about. rep. lofgren: i am asking about authority. of our cyberst activities are conducted by the fbi under law enforcement powers to protect and detect federal climb. rep. lofgren: i think the american public should know that --s surveillance technique
if a husband-and-wife call each other and one of the spouses has a cell phone within range of one of these technologies, not only is the content of that couples this is not just about the demonstration, this is about all americans [indiscernible] scene, createte a a reason to subvert attention from covid. .t is very unfortunate my time has expired. rep. nadler: the gentlelady real deals back -- the gentlelady yields back. can you ask those members who chose not to come to work to silence their cell phones
because it is distracting? rep. nadler: that is not a point of order. i now recognize mr. cap. -- mr. cabot. >> would it be accurate to say it is the administration's responsibility to see federal laws are upheld and the federal property is secure and safe and protected. is that correct? a.g. barr: that is right. one mission is to enforce federal law. the federal government is the sovereign of the united states. we have two sovereigns in the united states and we enforce the federal law all over the country. every square foot we enforce federal law. specifically, u.s. courthouses, which of the heart of federal property in all 90 jurisdictions in the united states. we have the obligation to protect federal courts, and the u.s. marshall specifically has
been given that obligation. federal courts are under attack. since when is it ok to try to burn down a federal court? if someone went down the street to the beautiful courthouse we have at the bottom of the hill and started breaking windows and firing industrial grade fireworks in to start a fire, throw kerosene balloons in and start fires in the court, is that ok? is that ok now? the u.s. marshals have a duty to stop that and defend the courthouse. that is what we are doing in portland. we are defending the courthouse. we are not looking for trouble. rep. chabot: thank you. as far as weapons and devices utilized by the group of people, you mentioned trying to destroy the courthouse. they were trying to burn it down. it apparently did not give a hoot about the people occupied in the building. people were in danger. a.g. barr: that is absolutely
right. rep. chabot: as far as the weapons you mentioned, my understanding is the people attacking the building had rifles, explosives, knives, saws, sledgehammers, tasers, rocks, bricks. have i missed anything or does that cover it? a.g. barr: you have missed some things but that is a good list. they have powerful slingshots with ball bearings. they have used pellet guns. we have found those projectiles have penetrated marshall's to the bone. they use the lasers to blind the marshalls. they do start fires. they start fires if they can get the fire inside or through the windows, and they start fires along the outside of the courthouse. when the marshall's come out to try to deal with the fire, they are assaulted.
if local elected officials, mayors and city councils and governors did their jobs and kept the peace, would it even be necessary for federal law enforcement personnel to be there in the first place? a.g. barr: no. that is exactly the point. even where there are riots occurring, we have not had to put in the kind of reinforcements we have in portland because the state and local law enforcement does their rioterswill not allow to physically assault the courthouse. in portland that is not the case. rep. chabot: some have derisively referred to these law enforcement personnel as stormtroopers and worse. does that accurately describe them? would you like to set the record straight? a.g. barr: they are not stormtroopers.
normally we would have a group of deputy marshals in a court in suits and ties in civilian dress. those would be the deputy marshals as a protective force for the court. after almost a month of riding in portland, we sent in -- around the fourth of july -- we sent in about 20 special operations marshals. aree are tactical teams who padded and protected so they can deal with this kind of thing. ourl last week i was told stormtroopers from the department of justice amounted to 29 marshals in the courthouse. until recently increased, i think there were 95 dhs federal protective service and other dhs officers trying to protect the courthouse and three other buildings. that is what we are trying to do.
protect federal functions and federal buildings, which are a small part of the city. we riders go at them and have gradually increased our numbers to protect those facilities. in andstate would come keep peace on the streets in front of the courthouse, we would not need additional people at the courthouse. rep. chabot: thank you, general. my time has expired. rep. nadler: the gentleman's time has expired. lee?ackson jackson lee: john lewis in 1963 said we are tired of being beaten by police and put in jail. we want our freedom now. mr. attorney general, and your remarks you indicated we have made great progress since that time and you indicated that killing of george floyd was shopping. i disagree.
it was outright cold-blooded murder on the streets of america by police misconduct. you seem to have a difficult time understanding systemic racism and institutional racism that has plagued so many. mr. attorney general, do you understand a black mother's or parents "talk" to their child or son. a.g. barr: i think i do. rep. jackson lee: i do not know if you do but trayvon martin, r mark arbery, sean bell, george floyd, black mothers and fathers have had to talk to their sons about police violence. i take no backseat to the history of this committee that has stood for good policing and not misconduct. does the trump justice department seek to and systemic racism in law enforcement? i need a yes or no answer. a.g. barr: to the extent there is racism in any of our institutions in this country and
the police, then obviously this administration will fully enforce. rep. nadler: you agree there is us -- rep. jackson lee: you agree there is systemic racism? a.g. barr: i do not agree there is systemic racism in the police department, but generally in this country. rep. jackson lee: do you understand the violent impact of racial profiling and you support the end of racial profiling, racial and religious profiling in the george floyd bill, including the removal of the strict interpretation of qualified immunity, which would leave individuals like breonna taylor and george floyd without any relief at all? a.g. barr: i am opposed to eliminating qualifying immunity and i do not agree it would leave victims of police misconduct. -- without any remedy. rep. jackson lee: let me share with you some aspects of profiling. after the
death of george floyd found that while black people make up 19% of the minneapolis population and 9% of its police,
they were on this receiving end of 50%
of the use of force incidents. in addition, we have seen lack men are twice as likely -- we have seen black men are twice as likely to be stop and search. native americans in arizona three times more likely to search and be stopped. let me ask you the questions of how we respond to that. the justice department has many tools at its disposal to reduce police violence and practice investigations, practice to end back policing and police violence. it addresses police violence at an institutional level rather than focusing on a few cases. if you understand that, then why has your department only pursued one practice investigation since president trump took office to stop systemic racism? if you read my statement or listen to my statement, i did specifically
acknowledge there was a difficulty in this country with the african-american community. rep. jackson lee: i am short time. can you tell me while you have not done a pattern and practice? a.g. barr: you asked me what i thought the response was, i thought the response is the training of police and i think the police believe that is the response. i was talking to a black -- rep. jackson lee: mr. attorney general, i want to respect you, but i have a short time. 18 usc section 242 makes unlawful the denial of lights under the law. can you defend the fact that in the first several months of fy 2020, federal prosecutors filed only 242 charges in just 27 cases in the trump doj, and were you aware that in fy 2019 federal prosecutors brought two section 242 charges in just 49
cases in the united states and you are aware of how may cases we have had? 2019, only 27fi out of avril -- out of every 100,000 prosecutors related to section 242 charges. do you have a reason for that? a.g. barr: yes i do. i will get you the numbers. there are criminal prosecutions under 241 and 240 two are extremely strong and comparable to if not exceed prior administrations. at the beginning of this year, very few jurisdictions had grand juries that were open. rep. jackson lee: i think the reason is because it was not your focus. your focus was to let out friends like roger stone and paul manafort while tamir rice was playing with a toy gun was killed by police at the age of 12. breonna taylor was sleeping in her apartment. rayshard brooks was killed just for sleeping in his car in a
wendy's parking lot. george floyd, known as a humble man, was murdered in the streets of minneapolis crying "i can't breathe." i hope the doj would focus on systemic racism. there is good policing. that is what we need you to join us on and recognize institutional racism does exist and until we accept that we will not finish our job and reach the goals and aspirations of our late iconic john lewis. with that i yelled back. rep. nadler: the gentlelady yields back. mr. gomer? mer: attorney general barr, we have been hearing about these peaceful protests in major cities around the country controlled by democratic mayors and city councils. you have had a lot of experience. have you ever seen so many
killedhurt, injured, and at peaceful protests in your life? i have not seen it, nodded a peaceful protest. as i have said from the beginning, the peaceful protests are being hijacked by a hard-core of instigators, violent instigators. they become violent and their primary direction of violence is to injure police. police casualties far exceed anything on the civilian side. weren't there over 50 police injured in chicago in recent days? now i am hearing this allegation that this administration is helping spread the coronavirus. these are some of the same
people that just castigated the president for shutting down travel from the location where the virus was coming from. now some seem more interested in defending the chinese communist party than they are our own country. hearing this allegation about the administration helping , would it be a good idea if that is the big concern, that may be the federal government should shut down the protests during this covid-19 spread so we can satisfy our colleagues that they are doing more to stop it? has that ever been a consideration? a.g. barr: i have never considered that. rep. gohmert: it would apparently stop some of the allegations being thrown. i know you know history. 1917, the to
bolshevik revolution, the mao revolution, some of these tactics we are seeing are not new. trying to get even david horwitz, i under -- i introduced as a full socialist, he said i was a full-blown communist, and he said he started looking away from the group he was in because he saw they were interested in trying to provoke the police to kill somebody so they could create mayhem. you are familiar with that tactic by marxists, are you not? a.g. barr: yes. rep. gohmert: it is a dangerous time. i know you know that u.s. attorneys are supposed to serve at the pleasure of the president. 93 know bill clinton fired u.s. attorneys on the same day. do you know what made u.s. attorney berman think he was the exception who did not serve at the pleasure of the president?
what caused him to think he owned that position? a.g. barr: i think part of it was he seems to have the view that because he was court appointed, and there is a provision in law for court appointment of a u.s. attorney as essentially a placeholder until the administration gets somebody, that he felt he could not be removed by the president because he was court-appointed. that is not correct. rep. gohmert: some judges fail to know what my constitutional law professor new, and that is all courts except one of their existence and continuation and jurisdiction to the u.s. congress. hopefully mr. berman will figure that out at some point. is bruce still working for the fbi? a.g. barr: he works for the department of justice. rep. gohmert: we have heard so
much information about his being the go-between between the dnc, the clinton campaign, fusion gps, christopher steele, the russian propaganda in his dossier, and i know kleinsmith, christopher wray indicated he had been given the chance to resign, get a better job. i'm wondering how long bruce or will be staying where he is. it is incredible to me he is still there. a.g. barr: i cannot talk about individual personnel matters. rep. gohmert: thank you for your service. i am sorry for the abuse you have taken when you're just trying to do your job. appreciate it very much. i yelled back. >> the gentleman's time is expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. >> i am the chairman from the
subcommittee on the constitution, civil rights, and civil liberties. this is a permanent hearing to me. i would like to ask you if you will work with us and allow the head of the civil rights division to testify before this committee this fall? a.g. barr: i will talk to him about it. we encourage it. a.g. barr: i will talk to him about it. >> i have closely watched actions in lafayette park and portland oregon. according to a document received by this committee, 1500 federal agents were deployed to confront protesters in washington, d.c. at lafayette park which has long been honored and accepted as of place of protest in our nations capital. on the first day of june, the world watched in horror as federal agents deployed by the administrations and with you present and telling him to get
it done, used force to clear lafayette park so the president with you and others at his side good walk across the parking have a photo opportunity at st. john's church. this was anathema to the diocese of the church and an affront to the constitution and the american people. giving the time for the coordinated attack against the peaceful demonstrators, it strains fragility this was not planned for political -- it strains credulity this was not planned for political purposes. andprotesters were peaceful that is what the majority of people has said. the response was excessive. when did you first learn the president planned to walk through the park and go to st. john's church? a.g. barr: first i would like to respond to -- rep. cohen: would you answer my question? my time is limited. a.g. barr: i learned sometime in the afternoon the president might come out of the white house, and later in the afternoon i heard he might go
over to the church. rep. cohen: it was necessary the park be cleared. a.g. barr: it had nothing to do with that. rep. cohen: it was necessary that the park be cleared and it was done and you said get it done. in portland we have seen mothers and veterans who were peacefully protesting, not threatening the federal courthouse, beaten and gassed. unidentified armed federal agents finally attacked demonstrators and a violation of the first amendment freedom of assembly and arrested citizens in a violation of fourth amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. you've gone through the fifth amendment and due process and negated it. in the 10th amendment, which leaves general policing to the law enforcement of the state has been forgotten. maybe what happened was your secret police were poorly trained, just like your bureau of prisons guards were poorly trained and allow the most notorious inmate in our nations last several years, jeffrey
epstein, twin be neatly commit suicide. sad. you misled congress and the on roberteople mueller's finding with your summary of his report. it was a month before you release the redacted portion of the report. you set the stage for the special counsel, objected to the accuracy in how it was reported by the press, and federal judge reggie walton appointed by george w. bush declared your summary was "distorted" and the court cannot trust you. further, judge walter stated your report was "a calculated attempt to influence public disclosure of the mueller report in favor of president trump." this committee still does not have the unredacted robert mueller report. america has still not seen the unredacted report. your excuses for not releasing it because it has to do with
ongoing cases and alarms exist because the ongoing -- cases no longer exists because the cases have been completed or commuted. others working with the committee to see the american public and judiciary committee had unredacted copies of that report. this report needs to be given to this committee. cohen, you treated him differently than michael flynn and roger stone. in michael flynn, you've attempted to dismiss the charges even after he twice pled guilty. with roger stone, you went further. mr. barr, john lewis said if not me, if not who, if not now, when. that is why introduce house resolution to require this committee to investigate your conduct as attorney general and determine whether you should be impeached. that is my constitutional duty. i yelled back the balance of my time. a.g. barr: may i respond to
these? i would like to seek repetition for unanimous consent requests. thank you. i would like to introduce a slight article entitled why trump chose poorly, -- why trump chose portland which describes the history of the state and i would also like to include an op-ed from mary mccord who says her words were twisted to justify the decision to drop charges against michael flynn. i would like to introduce an op-ed describing the interference in the roger stone case and why he resigned from the department of justice and i would like to introduce a statement from over 2600 former doj officials calling for attorney general barr's resignation because of his assault and up letter from the new york city bar -- a pattern of conduct by attorney general barr that threatens public confidence in the fair and impartial and ministration of justice, and a letter from 27 of the district of columbia was ,rominent -- law professors
calling for an investigation into president bars conduct. a letter from over 80% of the george washington university law aterol faculty, your alma m saying his actions promoted danger to the evenhanded administration of justice and civil liberties. >> without objection. >> one more unanimous consent request? >> this is the argument where jerry nadler says antifa violence is a myth. >> without objection. >> mr. collins is recognized for five minutes. rep. collins: i am beginning to believe you are probably the cause of the common cold and possibly even covid-19, i'm not sure. everything has been thrown at you. mater doesma
not like you anymore. the chairman said why all the drama. that is the most outrageous statement i have heard from this committee. we are seeming to contort ourselves to get to some way to show you have nefarious motives. i believe the biggest problem you have is telling the truth. i believe that is the problem with you. you tell the truth and you take responsibility for your actions and that is why you are being attacked. i want to continue on this peaceful protest. talking about the courthouse just inside the straight, what if they decided -- you think this body would rise up if they decided to go tonight and paint the capital building? a.g. barr: this body, i'm not sure. rep. collins: i think this side would. i'm not sure about the other. maybe we are about the other -- maybe we are about 1812 again. the statement about the stormtrooper from the speaker of the house. we know that is a reference to the nazi party.
you believe that puts our law enforcement community -- as the son of a state trooper, i want to know your opinion. don't you think it encourages the violence we are seeing and encourages participation against the police? a.g. barr: i think that is possible. i think it is irresponsible to call these law enforcement officers stormtroopers curate rep. collins: we are seeing that played out over and over. let's switch back to something -- we have talked about the investigation, especially going with flynn. do you believe there was a basis to going after general flynn? what we have seen, and what is been released, do you believe there is a basis for the beginning of this investigation to start with or continuing it? a.g. barr: i would say i asked another u.s. attorney in st. louis who had 10 years in the fbi and 10 years in the department of justice as a career prosecutor to take a look at it, and he determined based on documents that have not been and not to flynn's side
provided to the court that there was no basis to investigate. furthermore, it was clearly established by the document the fbi agent that interviewed him did not believe he thought he was lying. rep. collins: there is another part that concerns what has been given to the courts and the interviews, and that is that the facts were not disclosed to flynn prior to the interview. that seems like a brady violation. do you believe there is a brady violation? a.g. barr: there was not a brady violation, but what the council concluded was the only purpose of the interview, the only purpose was to try to catch him and therefore there was not a legit -- the interview was untethered to any legitimate investigation. rep. collins: so is the top law enforcement officer in the country it is your responsibility to provide justice for both sides, call as
it should be and i think that is what you have done. ,ontinuing on the durham case to your knowledge, and we are seeing release documents in the last week or two, to your knowledge has kevin kleinsmith or anyone who is there attempted to redeem themselves by cooperating with you? a.g. barr: i cannot get into that. rep. collins: i understand. i have another issue as we finish up and looking at this. i think the durham investigation is something most of us were waiting for because we cannot get this community to believe worth -- there is not a democrat or republican who cannot make a claim why the inspector general has not been called to explain his report except politics. i've another problem. i read about this. that is with the district attorney in fulton county, georgia, making felony murder charges on an officer. the interesting part about this
is what -- were you aware the district attorney failed to seek an indictment for grand jury or waited for an investigation before bringing up charges. were you aware of that? a.g. barr: i was. rep. collins: as an attorney and looking at this from the environment we have with police officers constantly under attack , and especially from the speaker of the house, as an attorney and a prosecutor, you think it is appropriate to charge a law enforcement officer with a crime as severe as felony murder, without obtaining an indictment from a grand jury and by you announce the charges, lay out a case full of falsehoods? a.g. barr: i have said i would've preferred that he had used the grand jury and had waited until the georgia bureau had completed its investigation. rep. collins: i appreciate your help in that and with that i yield back. chair recognizes mr. johnson from georgia. johnson: your opening
statement reads like it was written by alex jones or roger stone. sen. johnson: i am sure we can agree on something. trump isthat president a prolific tweeter. a.g. barr: he seems to be. sen. johnson: he tweeted many times about the roger stone sentencing. a.g. barr: i don't know how many times. sen. johnson: you are aware of them because you said it hurt you from doing your job. isn't it true that when prosecutors in the roger stone case filed a memo with the court 9ecommending a sentence of 7- years in prison, a few hours later president trump tweeted that it was a disgrace.
several hours after that, you filed with the court stating that the sentencing recommendation would be changed and you would be asking for a lighter sentence. is that correct? a.g. barr: no, what is correct is that on february 10, monday, i gave instructions. i am answering your question. sen. johnson: i am reclaiming my time. you filed a sentencing recommendation hours after hisident trump tweeted dissatisfaction with the stone recommendation. you changed it. a.g. barr: i am telling my story. that is why i am here. sen. johnson: you are here to answer my question. i am reclaiming my time.
i know you don't want to answer. the facts are clear. sentencing recommendation made in the morning. tweet in the afternoon. you change the sentencing recommendation. a.g. barr: the tweet was made at 2:00 in the morning. sen. johnson: it was made before and after. you filed your sentencing recommendation asking for a lower sentence, you said you would recommend a lower sentence. wasn't the sentence that was recommended by the prosecutors according to the sentencing guidelines? a.g. barr: it was within the guidelines. but it was not within justice department policy. sen. johnson: you are expecting the american people to believe that you did not do what trump
wanted you to do. when you change that sentencing recommendation and lowered it for roger stone. peoplenk the american don't understand that you are carrying out trump's -- a.g. barr: i had not discussed my sentencing recommendation with anyone at the white house. you did what the president wanted you to do. do you think it is fair for a 67-year-old man to be sent to prison for 7-9 years. sen. johnson: you just said that it was an according to the sentencing. i will move on from that. you never changed a sentence recommendation for a friend of george herbert walker bush. a.g. barr: as i recall.
sen. johnson: over the course of top -- trump, you changed to sentencing recommendations. a.g. barr: which where they? sen. johnson: michael flynn. a.g. barr: i didn't change it. --. johnson: you indicated you changed it because the original sentencing was for him 6 months, but the justice department supplemented that recommendation with a probationhat stated would be a reasonable -- sentence. is that correct? a.g. barr: i don't think that is what it said. sen. johnson: go back and read
it. reclaiming my time. >> time has expired. you can give a speech or you can ask questions. if you do the latter, you need to answer the questions. >> thank you for appearing before the committee today. there is a disturbing pattern we have seen throughout history with totalitarian systems of government. disarm theseek to population. the american left has been infected with the same totalitarian desire to remove firearms and silence opposing views.
we have seen this scenario play out in every major democrat run city in america. a failedaw presidential candidate say he
would take away their guns. now the american left is actually cheering as antifa rages in the streets. terroristmestic organization that organizes armed riots. , lutes stores, and spreads hate. reports of attacks began circulating in 2017. they jumped into the national
conversation after a journalist was brutally attacked in portland. no arrests were made. ago today, the wall street journal ran an op-ed saying portland has to do something to deter political violence or the city will get more of it. of course, the city's feckless leadership is only encouraged these violent antics. we have seen 61 straight nights of violence in portland. these totalitarian activities are now spreading to other democrat run cities. they organized a family-friendly event in honor of law enforcement appreciation day. andatmosphere was peaceful the counterprotesters were given plenty of space. thugsm of violent antifa
infiltrated peaceful black lives matter counterprotesters and began assaulting pro-police americans. police were ordered to retreat a detective said, i am sorry on behalf of the rank-and-file. that is not us. that is not who we are. it kills me that we let this be down. he continued, i found out that a retreat order was given by the commander. we had one lieutenant step up and say we are not leaving. he said these people will get killed if we do not stay. so he kept his people there.
that is the reason this thing did not get worse. america. sad times in free speech on the right to keep and bear arms are both being threatened by violent anarchists. this has to stop. we cannot and people continue terrorizing our country. theyou please tell us about appropriate use of civil and criminal call statutes to address violent criminal groups? a.g. barr: in the wake of the beginning of these riots, i asked our joint terrorism task to be our principal means of developing evidence and prosecuting violent extremists terrorists who are involved in these activities.
one of the tools we would use is rico. that does not mean we currently have a case pending. do you have anything you want to say in response to the speeches that have been given by the other side when you have been cut off? -- >> the gentleman time is expired. a.g. barr: and i ask for a recess? >> 10 minutes? a.g. barr: five. >> we will stand in recess for five minutes.
>> the committee is in session. >> thank you. you just told us that nothing was ever elevated. interviewn an recently there is a escalation in place. you?as this elevated to a.g. barr: on monday, february 10, the u.s. attorney was with me and he raised the issue with me. >> had it been elevated between the two months that this came in ?nder the former u.s. attorney
a.g. barr: i think he may have had conversations with people. >> did you ever have conversations with the former u.s. attorney about this case? >> i do not recall any discussion. >> you said in the interview that he was new, he had just started. but he had worked for you for a long time. what was his job? a.g. barr: when i was attorney general 30 years ago. he was on my staff. >> he advised you on criminal justice policy? a.g. barr: correct. >> you named him acting u.s. attorney. had you discussed the stone case with him? a.g. barr: no. you said he came in the week before. to see some senior staff. he may have had some discussions.
i was not involved in them. no substance of involvement with stone until he came in on the morning. i think he had raised it with the deputy offices. >> the first week he was there he came to raise this issue. a.g. barr: i think he started february 1. that is what you told abc news. that he talked to senior staff. i think i speak english. he had some conversations.
did you talk to the senior staff ? >> they said he was trying to work something out. he was optimistic that something could be worked out. >> he filed the sentencing memo and it called for 7-9 years. then you overruled and asked for a lower sentence. that apply to roger stone? a.g. barr: i cannot reveal all of the information. >> does that apply? a.g. barr: no. did what apply? >>'s health.
a.g. barr: health is a reason. >> was that the case for roger stone? age can be a consideration only if it creates conditions to an unusual degree. he is 67. a.g. barr: the judge agreed with me. >> i am not asking you that. a.g. barr: i know you're not. the issue here is whether roger stone was treated differently because he was friends with the president. when you asked to reduce the sentence, you said enhancements were technically applicable. do you think of other times when a defendant threatened to kill a witness, threaten to a judge, lied to a judge where the justice department claims those were mere technicality. a.g. barr: the judge agreed with us. >> i am not asking about that.
i am asking about what you did hereduce the sentence threatened the life of a witness. a.g. barr: can i answer the question? >> i am asking if there is another time. a.g. barr: the judge agreed with me. appearances. this is exactly what you want. the rule of law for everybody. and we don't in this case because he is a friend of the president. thank you for being here. i am a member of this committee and the appropriations committee. i have seen firsthand the funding in the operation of the department.
i served on the city council in my hometown of mike conaway alabama. i witnessed the value of different grant programs. it is also responsible for the alabama center for missing and exploited children. it has done a great job combating child expectation. isyou believe that congress adequately funding programs that provide states and local agencies with the tools that effective inbe
preventing and pursuing crimes such as child expectation and human trafficking? particularly over the internet? we could: i think always use more resources. the u.s. attorney came to me and said the prosecutors were threatening to resign. tore was no comparable case support that sentence. it would've been very disparate. clustered cases were around a three year sentence for that. had gotten to that number was applying an enhancement. there are debates all the time within the justice department about the upper calculations
they were saying he had a phone call at night and told the witness let's get it on. i will kill your dog. we thought that technically could apply but in this case it did not afflict the overarching conduct. we make individual assessments of the defendant. nothing is excessive. tose individuals were trying force the u.s. attorney to adopt that sentence. i made the decision though, we are going to leave it up to the judge.
later, when that was not done that evening, i told people we have to go back and correct that the next morning. that was the sequence of events. at the end of the day, the proof and the footings in ve day. the judge would not have gone along with the first recommendation because the enhancement artificially inflated the exposure of the defendant. at the end of the day, the question is fairness to the individual. even though i was going to get a lot of criticism for doing that. >> i am happy to have yielded you time to respond. i am a departing member of congress. i have just a few short moments left. hownt to express to you
rep. bass: last august, when speaking to the national fraternal order of place, you that this willws make everyone safe. you said zero-tolerance for resisting police. a.g. barr: i think it is very important. barr: a zero is costing lives. elijah mcclain was walking home from a convenience store when he was approached by police.
he had not committed a crime. police held him in a choke hold and then injected him with ketamine. are you familiar with the case? do you know how frequently cadman is used -- ketamine is us ed? do you know if police departments have been directed to document paramedics? a.g. barr: no. have not: i guess you evaluated the use of force tactics since becoming attorney general. a.g. barr: not with respect to that. >> will you commit to directing the department to evaluating the protocols around the use of otherne, chokehold, and uses of force? a.g. barr: absolutely.
under the president's executive order, we are reviewing that. the bass: especially ketamine. that is pretty outrageous. george floyd was killed by a police officer via chokehold. he was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill. consider james holmes, who murdered 12 people and injured 70 others in a movie theater in aurora, colorado the same town as elijah mcclain. he wore body armor, had a knife, semi automatic weapons, and in ar-15. yet he was calmly arrested by the same police department as elijah mcclain without a chokehold or injection of enemy.
used a gun to injure nine people. when he was arrested, no chokehold, no injections. he was treated so well that officers brought him burger king. are you familiar with that case. a.g. barr: yes. rep. bass: i racist too example to follow up on what my colleague from texas highlighted earlier. the department is not doing enough to address issues of racism, bias, and brutality in law enforcement. when someone who commits mass murder is calmly arrested while a young man walking down the street is placed in a chokehold and injected with ketamine. you set under the executive order the administration is looking at chokehold. what have you determined so far? a.g. barr: we are setting up a
system of certification of police departments. that would include limitations on use of force. part of that act called for a national registry of law enforcement officers. tamir rice might be alive today if the police chief who hired that officer had known that the officer had been fired from another department. what is your view of a national registry of law enforcement officers? aspect of the second the president's executive order is to set up a database. if police departments are not
reporting that information, they without the certified. rep. bass: thank you. i want to comment on part of your opening statement when you said after the jim crow. that our justice system was equal. i do not believe that. a.g. barr: i set the laws were made equal. rep. bass: they are certainly not applied equally. we have systemic problems in our law enforcement. 2.3 million people in the u.s. are incarcerated. 34% are black. while african-americans are just 13% of the u.s. population. it is not the numbers, it is the
.ercentage gaetz: you described the prosecution of roger stone as righteous. i would suggest that uncovering the criminal conspiracy that exists where people in our own government are trying to convince intelligence agencies around the world to destabilize our election and discredit our president would be more righteous. i don't think any of those other folks are killing anyone or burning down our buildings. i would like to focus our efforts.
you said antifa is a terrorist organization. what is your basis for that belief? a.g. barr: i'm not sure i said terrorist organization. i said we are investigating as of terrorism. there are a number of violent extreme groups in the u.s. and they are across the spectrum. antifa is heavily represented in the recent riots. they have 10 identified as being involved in a number of violent mob actions. rep. gaetz: some say antifa is a myth. that their involvement in this violence is not something that israel. what is your reaction? a.g. barr: i don't think it is a myth.
asifa can be best thought of an umbrella term for what is essentially a movement comprised of loosely organized groups around the country. there are a number of groups and centers of activity. organized are loosely but they are definitely organized. they do not get along very well. they tend to get organized for an event. there is a lot of organization right before an event occurs. rep. gaetz: that is a really important distinction when considering how to apply our
rico laws to something like this. that strikes me as legally distinct. i wonder if there is a risk if this will metastasize to other parts of the country. a.g. barr: we are concerned about this. we feel like we have to, and a place like portland, or even where we do not have the support of the state government or local government, we have to take a stand and defends federal
property. wherenot get to a level we will accept these kinds of violence. if you did what my democratic colleagues were asking, if you abandon that federal property and allow people inside to be harmed, is it your view that antifa and other violent people would civilly stop and accept that as their sole victory? or is it your expert opinion that they would not stop? a.g. barr: there is no doubt in my mind it would spread. rep. gaetz: what comfort can you give americans in my district and around the country that you ?ill stop the burning that you will give confidence to regular americans that they can go out in the streets? a.g. barr: as you can see in
portland, we have a small number of federal officers. it is a great strain but we cannot stand aside and allow federal court to be destroyed. rep. gaetz: thank you for your service and your great work. >> thank you. started with eloquent words about john lewis. when you came here and brought your top staff, you brought no black people. that is systematic racism. that is exactly what john lewis spent his life fighting. suggest that actions speak louder than words. the namey should keep
of john lewis out of the department of justice's mouth. talkedalso say, you about the bogus russia investigation. is russia attempting to interfere in the 2020 president election? i think we have to assume they are. >> thank you. let's talk about the integrity of the election, which is also something congressman lewis fought for. kenny sitting u.s. president move and election date? a.g. barr: i have not looked under that in the constitution. if you take that as the
correct statue, is there any executive action? a.g. barr: i have never looked into it. that this 2020ve presidential election will be rigged? a.g. barr: i have no reason to think it will be. thatesident trump tweeted the election will be rigged. that when heweeted was losing to hillary clinton. i don't want to be too political. do you believe as attorney general that mail-in voting will lead to massive voter fraud? a.g. barr: i think there is a high risk that it will. >> do you ever vote by mail-in ballot? a.g. barr: i did once. >> what you believe other people voting by mail-in ballot could lead to massive fraud? a.g. barr: what i have made very
clear is i am not talking about complications for people who have to be out of the state or have some particular need or inability to going vote. >> you do understand that african-americans disproportionally do not survive covid-19? a.g. barr: yes, i think that is right. the firstuld not be time that african-americans would risk their lives to vote in this country to preserve its democracy. that of themn is having the ability to vote by tol would somehow lead massive voter fraud. a.g. barr: i did not say that. if you have wholesale mail-in
voting, it increases the risk of fraud. >> can a president protest because he lost an election? a.g. barr: protest in what sense? >> can he contest and election because he loses? that was over a slim voter margin. if it is very clear that the president has lost an election, does he have a remedy to contested? a.g. barr: not that i am aware of. to whate go back representative bass mentioned. you mentioned eight after marrying -- after americans killed by the police. 85you use those numbers, percent of the population is white.
42% of the deaths are african-american. is a glaring disparity in terms of population. a.g. barr: not necessarily. you have to adjusted by the race of the criminal perpetrator. >> i just did that for you. i'm using your number. i wanted to give you that based on your numbers. a.g. barr: the studies i have seen have suggested two things. likely to shoot at a black suspect. a little bit more likely to shoot at a white suspect. the fact that police are more inclined to use nonlethal force
and a contact with an african-american suspect. in terms of the statistics, that is what it looks like to me. have, that is you incorrect. i am interested in seeing it. send me the data on african-americans within the department of justice. how many you have in leadership ranks. i yield back. nadler: i would remind you to stop violating the rules of the committee. stop violating the safety of the members of the committee.
stop holding themselves out as not caring by refusing to wear their masks. it is permissible to drink a sip of coffee? that is why i took off my mask. rep. nadler: mr. jordan is recognized. jordan: the judge agreed with your sentencing? a.g. barr: that is right. rep. jordan: would st. john's church be standing today if you had not taken action? a.g. barr: that was on sunday night. i think law enforcement did use tear gas. so the firetrucks could get in to save it.
rep. jordan: seven people at the treasury department unmasked michael flynn's name. this is an issue you're looking into? another u.s.asked attorney to look into the issue of unmasking. because of the high number of notsking's and some that do readily appear to have been in the line of normal business. there is another investigation going on? a.g. barr: yes. rep. jordan: that is great. he is looking at how this started.
rep. jordan: 38 people 49 times unmasked his name. that was in the final days of the obama-biden administration. a.g. barr: over a much longer time. rep. jordan: even before that. i appreciate that. our peaceful protests violent? a.g. barr: no. rep. jordan: do they destroy businesses? a.g. barr: no. rep. jordan: to the injure officers? a.g. barr: no. rep. jordan: today attack civilians? a.g. barr: no. rep. jordan: to the burned down buildings? a.g. barr: no. rep. jordan: the video we play, it is really hard to watch. to see that happening in our great country. the start of it was almost laughable where you have the reporter saying, as a building is burning behind him, it is not an unruly protest.
he said is it's a peaceful burning building. is defunding the police a rational policy? a.g. barr: no. if anything, i am more concerned that the police be adequately funded. and get more resources. a lot of the things we need to do to address the concerns people have about minneapolis are going to take some time. one of the difficulties in our we have 18,000 law enforcement agencies. most of them are very small. we have to find a way of training and making sure the training is being pushed out. rep. jordan: is it dangerous to defund the police? a.g. barr: extremely dangerous.
rep. jordan: are you familiar with the letter that the chief of police of seattle since two business owners and residents? a.g. barr: yes. she said she cannot protect and do her job. rep. jordan: that is exactly what she said. the policy they are trying to pass gives officers knowability. to safely intercede. said, she had given the citizens that she is supposed to serve, i have done my due diligence. this is why it is so dangerous. she said seattle police will have an adjusted deployment. that is a nice way of saying,
you are on your own. we cannot help you. here's the kicker. that is how ridiculous this is. i appreciate your work. i yield back. the job that the attorney general is to defend the best interests of the people. you have undermines democracy. undermine the constitution. the health and safety and well-being of the american people. all to benefit donald trump.
you testified there is no mechanism for a president to contest an election that has rarely been won by the opponent. what will you do if donald trump loses the election on november 3 but refuses to leave office on january 20? a.g. barr: if the results are clear, i would leave office. do you believe there is any basis or legitimacy to donald trump's recent claims that he cannot provide an answer as to whether he would leave office? a.g. barr: i am not familiar with these comments. i'm not going to give commentary on them. >> you praised president trump's
coronavirus response is superb. over 150,000 americans have died. more than 4 million americans have been infected. more than 5 million have lost their health care. 1000 small businesses have permanently closed. ofmillion americans are out work. let's explore. a.g. barr: i disagree with that. >> that was not a question. trump falsely claims that the number of coronavirus cases would go to zero in a few days was that superb? a.g. barr: i would have to see the context in which it was said. >> here is the context. the cases did not go down to zero. it is over 4 million. in march, president trump said he takes no responsibility at all for the failure in testing. was that superb?
a.g. barr: it was accurate.
the problem with the testing system was a function of president obama's mishandling of the cdc. his efforts to centralize everything in the cdc. a.g. barr: that is inaccurate. that is a myth. trumpapril, president suggested that the american people inject themselves with bleach. was that superb? a.g. barr: that is not what i heard. >> that is exactly what he said. that is what the american people heard. you know it and you cannot defend it. let's move onto may. on national nurses day, president trump falsely called ppp shortages fake news. while nurses and other health core -- health care
professionals resorted to wearing trash bags and ski goggles to protect themselves. was that superb? i think the administration did a good job of mustering ppe. the national supply was run down during the obama administration. no, itrr: the answer is was not superb. hadune, president trump constantly continued to refuse to wear a mask. despite the public health guidelines from his own experts. was that superb? a.g. barr: which guidance? the earlier guidance that the masks wouldn't work. >> you know exactly the guidance we are talking about. the cdc in april recommended that american people wear masks. but donald trump had to become for sns -- poster boy business.
the answer is the refusal to in july,s not her president trump falsely claimed that 99% of covid-19 cases are totally harmless. with that superb? a.g. barr: i think essentially what he was saying is that the metallic these are very low. low.talities are very are dead. americans it has been a failure of epic proportions. his response to the coronavirus pandemic has been the worst failure of any president in american history. havehe american people paid the price. i yield back. rep. nadler: who seeks recognition? >> i guess i do. speak. it is my turn to
rep. nadler: the gentleman is recognized. >> chairman nadler opened up his statement by saying you can no longer hide behind the legal fiction. that caused me some consternation. you have any idea what he is talking about? a.g. barr: i don't recall that phrase in what context it was in. >> who knows what context. he was just kind of rattling on. he was attacking you and your performance in everything you could. the gentlelady from california referred to civilian agents as civilian troops.
intimating that portland was federal agents arrived on the scene. is like blaming a fire department for showing up to put out a fire and then being blamed for the fire. was there violence and attempts to burn down and vandalize the building and attack civilian employees of the federal government prior to any of the federal agents in portland? a.g. barr: my recollection is our main attempts to reinforce them around the fourth of july. >> talk about lafayette square. mobs disobeying curfews. flags andd american set fire to st. john's episcopal church near lafayette square.
secret service and park police use of force cleared that up. 51 u.s. park police officers were injured during the perimeter expansion. do you want to expand on the actions? a.g. barr: for those days there was unprecedented riding right around the white house. around 90 officers were injured. it has been so bad that it was reported that the secret service recommended the president go into shelter. we had a breach of the treasury department.
st. john's was on fire. bricks were thrown at the police repeatedly. they took crowbars to lafayette park and through them at the police. balloons of caustic liquid were thrown at the police. there was total consensus that we could not allow that to happen. that kind of rioting. perimeter out the one block and push it up toward another street. being that plan and the park police and secret service have worked out the night before. put the perimeter further away and give them time to put a non-scalable fence around the northern part of the part.
there were enough units in place to perform it. when those things were accomplished, the tactical commander in charge of the park preceded with the movement of pushing the perimeter. this was conceived of long before and did not turn to the nature of the crowd, although i would say the crowd was unruly. while technical considerations were made by the park police, they tried to respond to the situation, to say this had to do with the photo op, and i do not need to compare this to a
military operation, but it is a can to sing we invaded the philippines during world war ii so douglas must darker just so douglas macarthur could walk the beach. >> thank you. yield. >> gentlemen yelled back. ever. barr, did you intervene other than to get the president's friend a reduced sentence? a sentencing recommendation? >> yeah, did you ever intervene, other than that case? a.g. barr: not that i recall. i cannot really remember my first, if you let me finish my question, 30 years ago i was attorney general. >> as attorney general now? no, i didn't. issues come up with a dispute, and i never heard of a dispute in the department. when my prosecutor started to quit -- >> because of a -- mr. barr,
americans from both parties are concerned that there are two systems, one for mr. trump and his cronies and another for the rest of us. but that can only happen if you enable it. at your confirmation hearing, you are asked, do you believe a president could lawfully issue a pardon in exchange for the recipient's promise not to incriminate him? and you said that would be a crime. you are asked, could a president issue a pardon in exchange for the recipient's promise to not incriminate him? he responded, no, that would be a crime. correct? a.g. barr: yes, i said that. >> you said it would be a crime. and when he said that, that a president swapping a pardon to silence a witness would be a crime, you are promising the american people that if you saw that, you would do something about that. is that right? a.g. barr: that is right. >> are you investigating donald trump for commuting the prison sentence of longtime friend and political advisor roger stone?
no.ra.g. barr: >> why not? a.g. barr: why should i? sevenwas convicted on counts during the russian investigation, and he lied. why would he like? it was said he lied because the truth look bad for donald trump. -- in trump not give written answers, that he talked to roger stone during a russian influence operation. there is evidence that trump and stone did talk during that time. you would agree that it is a federal agree to lie under oath, right? a.g. barr: yes. >> a crime for you, a cry for me commensurately for the president of the united states. is that right? >> yes. >> a donald trump lied to the investigators, would you agree was a crime, donald trump would be in the position to expose the law.
donald trump said roger stone had shown guts on twitter by not testifying against him. aware of: i am not that. >> do you read the president's tweets? a.g. barr: no. >> they say a lot, and i think you should start reading them he said roger stone had guts. this that i had 29 or 30 conversations with trump during the campaign period, and trump knows i was under enormous rush her to turn on him. it would have eased my situation considerably, but i did not the prosecutors wanted me to play judas, but i did not. are you familiar with that? a.g. barr: actually, i am not. why should iu say, investigate the president of the united states if you're not even aware of the facts concerning the president using the commutation power to swap the signs of a witness? a.g. barr: because we require a reliable predicate before we open a criminal investigation. >> i just gave to you, sir --
a.g. barr: i do not consider it. i consider it a theory that you have. >> it sounds like -- a.g. barr: there would be a lot more people under investigation. >> the same day roger stone said that, donald trump -- a.g. barr: the standards of justice were during the tail end of the obama administration. >> are you aware that michael: come after being released from prison, was asked to not engage with the media, including to write a book? were you aware that was asked of him? a.g. barr: was i aware? no. >> do know if anyone else in your department was aware? a.g. barr: maybe i should tell you what happened. he was furloughed from the bureau of prisons. tell us what he was asked -- a.g. barr: i will tell you.
something people do not seem to understand was at his home confinement was not being supervised by the bureau of prisons. theas being supervised by probation office, which is part of the u.s. court system. and the u.s. court system had the requirements of that -- >> that u.s. court system call your actions retaliatory. do you agree with that? a.g. barr: what i know is what has been said in court before the judge on the record, which is that the individual was then called by the u.s. court system andng that this guy cohen's comfort -- uncooperative and not agreeing to the positions, and at that point the bureau of prisons person made the decision he was no longer eligible for home confinement. >> a judge said no other inmate had ever been asked of, in his experience. you told abc news that the president's tweets sometimes make your job impossible. sir, your job is only impossible if you enable the president's corrupt schemes. i yelled back. back.ld. >> the constitution says the
president shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the united states except for cases of impeachment. do you know any other limitations on the president's power to pardon? a.g. barr: no. >> has a president exceeded that power? a.g. barr: no. >> my colleagues implied that in challenging the sentencing imitation of roger stone, you were doing the bidding of the president. he did not want to hear your response. i would. a.g. barr: no, roger stone, i never discussed our sentencing recommendation with anyone outside the department of justice. it was a very condensed period of time. i made the decision that we should not take a position as to the precise sentence but should leave it up to the judge, and we should not affirmatively advocate for seven to nine years, and i made that on monday, the 10th, and that night we filed, the department filed, and it did not reflect what i had cited, so that night i told
people we had to fix it first thing in the morning. so we did as soon as i got in. we went forward with a plan to file. at that point i learned about the president's tweets because i do not monitor the president's tweets, and i hesitated because i knew that i would be attacked for doing it. people would argue that i did it because of the tweet. but i felt, at the end of the day, i really had to go forward with our filing because it was the right thing to do, and i am glad the judge agreed with it. >> we're learning more and more about the targeting prosecution and extortion f michael flynn i partisan officials of the fbi. no one has been held accountable for this grotesque abuse of power. knowing that agents with a political agenda can take anything that someone says, edit it, misrepresent it, prosecute it, and then extort confessions by threatening family members
and do so with unity, why would anyone ever want to talk to an fbi agent again? a.g. barr: i have not reached judgments and i'm not -- and i'm not suggesting all the sexy set forth are true, and we have not at this point challenged the actions of the prosecutors in court. the order of business right now is, knowing what we know now, we do not think any of the u.s. attorneys in the department would have prosecuted this case, partly because of the behavior of the fbi but also because the evidence is not there to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. and part of what i am trying to establish is that we will use the same standards for everybody before we indict anybody, and this goes for both sides. we will not prosecute anyone, anybody, unless there is proof
beyond a reasonable doubt that they have committed a crime. but soteric made up crime, a crime. >> for more than three years, the most powerful agencies in our government took information ever kitted by agents of a political campaign that it was fraudulent, used it to launch an investigation alleging treason against a presidential candidate, then leaked the existence of that investigation in manner that was calculated to affect the outcome of the election. and then used it in a largely successful attempt to obstruct the duly elected president. are you going to be able to right this wrong before it becomes a precedent for future election interference by corrupt officials in our justice and intelligence agencies? a.g. barr: no, i really cannot predict that. as you know, these matters are being looked into. covid did delay that action for a while. he is working diligently,
and justice is not something you order up on a schedule like ordering a pizza. >> there is concern that if you were succeeded why someone like keith ellison as attorney general, this will become an institutionalized practice in the investigation will simply go away. a.g. barr: i understand your concern. >> one more thing, the term we keep hearing from the left is, these are mostly peaceful protests mostly peaceful. it seems to me that you either are or you are not. calling what is happening in our cities mostly peaceful protests is a lot like calling scot peterson a mostly faithful husband or al capone a mostly law-abiding businessman. there is a constitutional right to peaceably assemble. where does that right to stop? a.g. barr: when it becomes violent criminal activity. that is the challenge here. i mean, you have honest people out protesting and demonstrating and that is important first
amendment activity that we believe strongly in and try to protect. violentparticular opportunists that are involved here get into those crowds and then start engaging in very violent activity and hijack it. a lot of protesters have been telling law enforcement, providing information to us, about these people who are not with them, not demonstrators, but they're coming in, and a lot of demonstrators leave when that happens because they see what is happening themselves. >> would you call that balance a myth? >> the time has expired. mr. wu. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you, mr. barr, for being here today. i would like to ask some questions about the regal standard for seizing interesting protesters. under an amendment, it requires probable cause before you can seize and arrest a protester,
correct? a.g. barr: yes. yes. ok, and the probable cause has to be particularized to a particular person, so if a protester was merely standing around in a crowd and someone else was suspected of criminal activity, you cannot arrest that peaceful protest are. in other words, there is no such thing as probable cause by mere association, correct? a.g. barr: not strict like, but i do say you do need to particularized probable cause. >> and if there is no probable cause -- a.g. barr: if somebody jumped into a getaway car and there are three or four people, that might be enough for probable cause because of the circumstances. >> if there is no probable cause, you cannot arrest a protester, correct? a.g. barr: i said at the beginning, i rest has to be predicated on probable cause. >> all right. an arrest can also occur whether
or not a federal official says it is interest. for example, a federal officer takes a protester into custody, transports the protester to a federal building, detains the person for questioning, that would constitute interest whether or not the federal official says the person is under arrest, correct? a.g. barr: that would require their intent to review of all the specifics involved. it would not. in a case of over 40 years, the police voted the fourth and 15th amendments without probable cause arrest and they took someone into custody, transported him to a police station, and detained him. the answer is yes. a.g. barr: know, the answer is the fourth amendment is ultimately governed by reasonableness, and there cannot be circumstances the question sometimes is when something becomes crime. >> this is not a trick question, mr. barr.
i am just telling you what the supreme court said. here's the problem, under the standard black letter law which has been in effect over 40 years, but the federal court did was unconstitutional. federal forces in full combat gear in the dark of night grabbed a protester he was peaceably standing there, forced them into an unmarked van, drove him to a separate location, searched him, detained him, and questioned him. that is what authoritarian regimes do. a.g. barr: i do not think those are the facts. >> i have not asked the question yet, mr. barr appeared what the federal officials it was illegal because i did not have probable cause. how do we know that? because the deputy director admitted it on national tv. deputy director klein said the individual they were questioning was in the crowd and in an area where another individual was
aiming a laser at the eyes of officers. that is go by association that is what the fourth amendment prohibits. he further stated that the protester was released after federal officials concluded, "they did not have what they needed," which shows no probable cause. it appears that the deputy director appears to have said there was no probable cause because he essentially justifies the action as saying it was not an arrest. he calls it "a simple engagement." i am a former prosecutor and have never heard that term because it is a made up excuse. what these federal officials did was an arrest. they grabbed a peaceful protest van,orced him into the drove him to a location, question him. that is what the supreme court prohibited over 40 years ago. a.g. barr: i oversee do not know -- >> i have not asked you a question yet. there was an article where
federal agents told a reporter that there is no basis for these arrests, saying, at times they grabbed an individual and take them inside the courthouse for questioning before determining that they had no probable cause to cause with any crime. theyeputy director said coordinate with the u.s. attorney's office on all these arrests. i urge you to instruct your federal officials to comply with the constitution, and i ask you to investigate these arrests because many are in violation of the fourth amendment. we do not live in a police state. we are better than that. i yield back. back.tle man yields >> thank you. since the representative did not allow you any time to answer his allegations, would you care to answer any of his allegations? a.g. barr: yes. obviously i do not know particulars of any individual case, but based on my general understanding, what had happened
was that when they tried to effectuate arrests of the ringleaders or the people engaged in violence or that they saw with lasers and so forth and they went out, they were immediately swarmed by people in black and there was a lot of violence, so they cannot effectuate the arrests. informationspecific as the individuals who were seen doing things and identified, they later tried to pick them up when there was less of a risk of this kind of mob response. the fact that if you have someone has aat laser and is using it and later pick them up and he does not have it, it does not mean that there was not probable cause. it means he does not have the laser. the question is, was it reasonable for you to rely on the information that you had in the identification of that individual? in some cases it could be misidentification. in other cases, it could be the person ditched the laser
appeared so there is a distinction between whether the person ultimately can be shown to have violated the law and whether there was probable cause for the police to make the oruiry and interrogate them ask them questions, at least. >> thank you, mr. attorney general. i have to tell you, you probably know this, my constituents are scared. americans are scared. i mean, they watch the tv and see all this rioting, looting going on, statues being torn down. in arizona, where i am from, more guns are being sold than ever. i think there is more new gun owners than ever. and this has to stop. and i think that it is really important, as the saying goes, that in order to solve a problem, the first step is to realize there is a problem. disturbing, very
should i say, that chairman nadler denies that antifa even exists. he said it to a reporter. floor of the the united states house of representatives that it was a fantasy, a made up fantasy, and then in this very room just recently, congresswoman jayapal who represents the seattle area said, when i was talking about the autonomous zone and the takeover, she said the area is just a a few miles from where i sit right now and there is no takeover. there is no takeover. she also said lies are being spread by my colleagues in the committee, this area is perfectly peaceful. she also said, my republican colleagues keep saying the seattle police precinct was taken over by protesters, this
is incorrect, incorrect. no one has taken over that building. general, is that your understanding of what happened there? do you agree with her that there was no takeover? >> if you're going to say my name, please say it right. >> would you agree with that? also, why do you think these autonomous zones in democrat-led cities are dangerous to america? a.g. barr: they are dangerous toause they are purporting keep on the outside duly constituted authority of the government. they are also, to make him outrageous because these people who are living now under this autonomous zone have not selected a government. they have selected the duly authorized government of the city and the state.
so it is quite an outrage that people would use force to take over an area. but what makes me concern for the country is, this is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the democratic party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts. know,n't we just say, you violence against federal courts has stopped? can we hear something like that? general, irney totally agree. i support what you are doing, and i support what president trump is doing for law and order in our country, and i yield back . >> the committee will stand in recess for five minutes.
house judiciary committee hearing from attorney general william barr, an oversight hearing taking a five-minute break. in case you missed any of the hearing, we will have it all later online at c-span.org. we will rear the hearing in its entirety tonight beginning at 8:00 eastern. our other live coverage today includes the president, a news conference set for 5:00 a.m. eastern. we will have that live here on c-span.
>> the committee will resume with this meeting. sir, in your opening statement, you continued your assisting effort to undermine the finding of russian interference in our election. in march 2019, he sent a letter to the committee mischaracterizing robert koehler's finding that vladimir putin interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion to benefit donald trump. mr. robert mueller promptly called you up for your mischaracterization in a letter you never corrected it. you then delay the full report, leaving america in people's doing with their misleading summary of support of president trump's bogus claims that there was no collusion or obstruction. you repeat the claims today that
there was no basis to the investigation and it was politically motivated and calling it the russia-gate scandal. 2019, the justice department's own inspector general, michael horowitz, found it had been initiated without political bias and appropriately. a.g. barr: no. >> that was not mr. horwitz's finding? a.g. barr: no. >> you are wrong. a.g. barr: he said he found -- >> reclaiming my time, without political bias. reclaiming my time, in april of this year, the republican-led senate intelligence committee unanimously found that russia interfered with our elections and attempted to undermine american democracy, correct customer -- correct? a.g. barr: i said so, too. >> is it ever appropriate for a president to accept foreign assistance in an election?
a.g. barr: it depends on the assistance. >> is it ever appropriate for the president presidential candidate except or solicit foreign assistance of any kind in his or her election? a.g. barr: no, it is not appropriate. >> i saw you had to struggle with that one, mr. attorney general. let's turn to the first amendment. americans have been exercising their first amendment rights peacefully protest police brutality against black people. i listen to you this morning and read your statement, and we are aware of individuals engaging in violent acts. we agree that is wrong, but there was a lot missing from your statement. as you have seen, a vast majority of protesters are peaceful, and despite that, unidentified federal agents have attempted to prevent peaceful americans from exercising the first amendment rights, even using unmarked vehicles to grab protesters off the street and using teargas ammunitions against them. you forcefully condemned protesters this morning. let me ask you, i have you not
condemned the federal officers standing in the cities without proper training for attempting to take away the constitutional rights of americans peacefully protesting? a.g. barr: i have not condemned protesters. protesters are good. . they are part of the first amendment. what i am condemning is people committing crimes. >> we agree. do you think it is appropriate for officers to use force against peaceful protesters, yes or no? a.g. barr: not against peaceful protesters. >> you also do not mention in your testimony that underwrote officers have even tear grassed elective representative -- teargas elected representatives. onewest teargas by a federal occupying force. they saw them throw canisters of poison in a nonviolent crowd, including elders and the vulnerable. on july 23, mayor wheeler said he was teargas and calls their acts aboard. these are elected
representatives with grave concerns that officers are using these tactics, including tear-gassing nonviolent, elderly american. do you ever think it is appropriate to use teargas on peaceful protesters, yes or no? a.g. barr: the problem in these things sometimes occurs because it is hard to separate -- >> my question is specific. do you everything it is appropriate to use teargas on peaceful protesters, yes or no? a.g. barr: it is appropriate to use teargas when it is indicated -- >> on peaceful protesters? a.g. barr: an unlawful assembly and unfortunately, peaceful protesters are affected by it. >> there is video evidence, as well. i will ask you to look at this video. [video clip] video capturing the nation's attention this weekend. david, video is of super
a navy veteran, being beaten and tear gassed by officers. do you think that was appropriate? a.g. barr: i did not see the teargas. there seems to be gas in the area. i do not know what kind of gas and i do not know it was directed at him. >> do you think it was appropriate? a.g. barr: the inspector general is reviewing that. >> do you think you deserve to get pepper spray and beaten to the point of broken bones? a.g. barr: the inspector general will review the incident. >> as the top law-enforcement official in our country, do you think peaceful american protesters deserve to be beaten, pepper spray and have their bones broken by federal officers? a.g. barr: i do not think what was happening immediately around the courthouse was a peaceful protest. >> that is not my question. my question is, -- reclaiming my time. reclaiming my time, mr. barr. do you think as the top law enforcement official in this country, that americans who show up easily protest should be expected to be beaten, and have
their bones broken by federal officials and pepper spray? a.g. barr: i do not think peaceful protesters should face that. >> is this detecting the first amendment of freedom for americans at least as important as protecting a building from vandalism -- i have not closed the question. you are attempting to take it away and what is worse is for the sole purpose of furthering the president's political agenda. the justice department is responsible for protecting the constitutional rights for americans and not to serve as the president's personal bully. it is worth remembering every separate jet and person who marched to end child labor and abolitionist who marched to and slavery was a protester. it transformed us from colonists into a nation of protesters. they are deep american examples of values, and a desire for the country to be at its best self. one of america's most beloved and effective protesters, john
lewis, lies in state 1008 from here in a deserved race of honor. sir, your failure to respect peaceful protesters in this country is a disgrace, and american in, and it is important to remember what they are about, black lives matter. abuse at the hands of police on black americans. one to you to see a video that fairly represents peaceful protests happening across america that you conveniently omitted your testimony and statement. there was a nine minute video shown by the other side. it is not online, only part of it. [video clip]
♪ >> hands up, please do not shoot me. ♪ ♪ hands up, please do not shoot me hands of, please do not shoot me hands up, please do not shoot me hands up, please do not shoot me hands up, please do not shoot me hands up, please do not shoot me hands up, please do not shoot me hands up, please do not shoot me ♪ >> mr. chairman, real quick, i
do not think we have ever had a hearing where the witness was not allowed to respond to points made, questions asked, and attacks made. not just in this hearing or committee but every committee i have in on, particularly when you think about the fact that we have the attorney general of the united states here. >> the gentleman does not have time. >> i do not want the time but i went there attorney general to have enough time to respond to accusations and russians asked of him and you not cut him -- and questions asked of him and not you cut him off. >> what you want is irrelevant of the rules. >> mr. chairman, am i going to get an additional 2.5 minutes that he had? >> the gentleman is recognized. you foral barr, thank your service to our country and your continued service to ensure our country is safe. i encourage you to ignore the mob. these attacks from, kratz and
the left wing biased, mainstream media. be strong and courageous. the mass majority of the country supports you, supports you from keeping our country safe from rioters, nudists and anarchists. ers, andpy -- loot anarchists. i am happy you are at the head. i would like to focus on the of fbi'sf the report on the unlawful surveillance of trim campaign -- trump campaign associates. isn't it true that they found under the obama-writing administration made 17 significant errors in phis applications are so real trump's trump campaign associate carter page? a.g. barr: i think that is right. >> how many errors are acceptable when the fbi targets americans? a.g. barr: none are acceptable. >> then there was the complete
file failure the fbi operated under the obama-biting administration. the inspector general found 51 assertions in the five applications for the surveillance page. documentationng lacking, two, it did not support the factual assertion, or three, it showed the factual assertion was inaccurate. the inspector general testified there should not have even been one error, yet, he found 51. why is it so important for surveillance targeting americans to be intact? a.g. barr: especially under fisa , which is a counterintelligence tool and is not have the same built-in protections that the criminal justice process would have, it is very important because you are going to be spying on americans that you have demonstrated an appropriate basis for doing that, and therefore, there is an on the
investigative agency, in this case, the fbi, to have accurate information on the basis of their surveillance. i think the bureau has been working very hard to correct those problems and put in place a much more effective system of guaranteeing that the information is accurate. fbi under thethe obama-biden administration had insufficient evidence to obtain a pfizer warrant and did not look at facts on probable cause? a.g. barr: i do not want to characterize it. this is part of what is under review. some exculpatory information was not passed along to the court, let me put it that way. that was evident in the inspector general's report. >> i will yield the remainder of my time to mr. jordan. >> thank you for yielding.
deploy federal law enforcement to enforce federal law? a.g. barr: yes. >> do you apply federal law-enforcement to protect a dual property? a.g. barr: yes. >> for the federal building in portland be standing today view did not deploy federal law enforcement? a.g. barr: i do not think so. to have been multiple attempts to set it afire. i do not understand why a small contingent of marshals inside the court poses a threat to anybody's first amendment right. they set up a fence on federal property, i am told, around the court, and when people are arrested, it is because they are trying to come into the fence. these are not peaceful protesters. they bring power tools to cut the wire and so forth to get in. this is a strange occupation when you have 100, 120 federal people behind the fence trying to protect the building and all these people are trying to cut their way in. that is the occupation of the
city? >> thank you. did the chicago fraternal order of police or president asked for your help? a.g. barr: dude who asked? >> the head of the fop -- david who asked for my help -- did who asked for my help question are a.g. barr: the fop in chicago? a.g. barr: i think he did. >> is there anything you would like to add to mr. horwitz's report? >> my understanding -- a.g. barr: my understanding of the recollection is it did not nine bias, and he made that clear and subsequent testimony. he said he could not find a document or evidence demonstrating bias. >> would it be helpful if mr. horwitz came in front of the committee and the individual who raised concern could ask him himself about what he found in the reports that we have not yet had a hearing on. >> the gentleman's time has expired.
thank you. sir, did i hear you correctly say that the purpose of unleashing this federal agent assault with tear gas and rubber bullets and pepper spray on 2000 nonviolent protesters in lafayette square was secure and defend the st. john's episcopal church? was that the purpose? a.g. barr: i did not say that. the purpose was to move the been the, which had plan all day, as far as i am aware of. >> so it was legitimate -- a.g. barr: we are talking about the june 1? --there june 1 all salt assault, including my constituents. a.g. barr: i do not think it was an assault. they were told by the speaker that the park police were preparing to clear a street and could they move off? think you said that st. john's episcopal church would have been open. a.g. barr: on sunday night i believe. >> are you aware that the record of the church at the episcopal
church process bishop, along with the catholic ship of the archdiocese of washington denounced this police assault on the civil rights and liberties of the people? a.g. barr: did they do that before or after the fire was put out? >> all that i know is they'd announced what you did, and if you read what the archbishop, the episcopal archbishop of washington wrote said that using police force to clear nonviolent protesters without notice in order to conduct this grotesque photo opportunity was antithetical to the principles of christianity. what i wanted to ask you about was covid-19 because we now lead the world in covid-19 death and case count. president trump promised the magicallyuld disappear. he told his people to slow down the testing and refused for
months to wear a mask. last night, he re-tweeted a number of messages that dr. fauci misled the american people by listing at oxo cork and as a cure, and now we have 150,000 dead americans and 4 million hydroxychloroquine as a cure, and now we have 150 thousand dead americans and 4 million infected, and you through the weight of the justice department behind his campaign to shut down safe public health orders in march and april. if you look at the screen, you will see two tweets from the president of the united states, "liberate michigan, liberate virginia." on april 17, he re-tweeted the slogans of right-wing protesters were blocking access to hospitals i'm trying to overthrow those states. you snapped attention on april
27 by designating a prosecutor to try and bring down those public health orders in michigan and virginia. two days later, armed right-wing protesters and white's apprentice disrupted the michigan legislature, leveling death threats, confronting police, tontine lawmakers, and forcing the legislature to shut down as they brandish their long guns and shouted in the faces of police officers, but you do not send in a secret police force on horseback to unleash tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets against these protesters storming the state capital of michigan, no. by joiningd it litigation against the governors of michigan and virginia. of course, your side lost emotions for emergency injunction, but you spread the trump message that it was time to call off the stay-at-home orders, the masking and social distancing. here's is what you said on national television in april
claiming the cure was worse then the disease "cannot keep beating the patient chemotherapy and say, well, we are killing the cancer because we are getting to the point where we are killing the patient." do you remember that? a.g. barr: yes. >> what did you mean? a.g. barr: exactly what it says, you have to balance the cure with the danger, which relieved the governors. i know everyone likes to lay -- this is a federal republic and the present perspective that. the response has been largely run by governors. for someone who claims to be so concerned about executive overreach, i have not heard anyone talk about keeping an eye on what the governor is doing. and that is the department of -- >> excuse me. a.g. barr: area of religious liberty. >> the supreme court rejected your position on religious liberty 5-4 and there was nothing wrong with public health orders apply to churches.
a.g. barr: that was on an injunction. >> do you accept that or do not accept that? a.g. barr: umm. >> we will talk about it later.with no vaccine or cure insight, you worked to disarm the states of the only weapon we have against the disease, the measures.lth now, we pay the price of the policy in overrun intensive care units and morgues, a shortage of refrigerated trucks, coffins, in out-of-control pandemic, which makes us a global pariah state which people cannot enter, canada.g do you know what dr. fauci was saying at the same time that you are moving to take down the public health orders? here is what he was warning us about three months ago about the premature abandonment of health orders. if only you had the same. he said "i feel if that occurs, there is a real risk you will trigger an outbreak and you may not be able to control it." >> we were not taking -- a.g. barr: we were not taking down public health orders. >> the gentleman's time --
>> can you reinstate my time because this witness -- >> you went over your time. the gentleman's time is expired. mr. chairman? the gentleman is recognized. >> we do have the governor and virginia engaged in overreach, particularly regarding the civil rights of virginians and their expression of their religious faith. i want to give the attorney general the opportunity to respond to the gentleman from maryland. a.g. barr: we adopted a narrow approach of calling to the attention, usually by letter, not by lawsuit, of situations where they were treating religion worse than they were other kinds of organizations and gathering, and the constitution requires it be treated the same. we were calling those to the attention of the governors, and most of the governors voluntarily change their own orders. there were a few occasions we pointed out the anomalies and
regulations of business and mostly they were voluntarily changed by the governors. this was not a wholesale attack on stay-at-home orders. it was just these are broad powers that have been seated, basically telling everyone to stay-at-home and only work if you are an essential is most. therefore, -- essential business. therefore, someone has to stand bye-bye by that. at times, there were crazy rules in effect that were overly burdensome and raised constitutional problems. >> thank you for raising those points early and particularly with regard to virginia and the church on the eastern shore. i want to thank you for being here and returning to lead the department of justice and write the ship and root out the rank partisanship and partisanship that has corrupted it for years. the democrats allege attorney barr has politicized the justice department, doing the personal bidding of president trump.
it is not only unfounded but hypocritical in life of the politicization that occurred during the obama-biden administration and led by president obama's self prescribed wingmen eric holder that the obama-biden investigation journalist shut outinvestigators and shut oversight. i would like to ask particularly come out or even president trump assumed office, fbi lawyers exhibited bias against trump eller working for both mu and fbi investigation, and the inspector general cannot rule out fbi abuse, correct? a.g. barr: that is my understanding. >> the inspector general found one fbi lawyer altered evidence and criminally referred this lawyer to durham for parenteral -- for federal prosecution, the same lawyer who used on hillary
clinton's misuse, had classified information against president trump, and the inspector general testified he could not rule out the bias. what were the consequences be 20 or justice department lawyers if they doctored underlying documents to support evidence of it to a federal court? a.g. barr: in the abstract, talking generally, that lawyer would be fired. >> when they likely be disbarred, as well? a.g. barr: yes. >> is it true that the ig found an email to support probable cause against trump's campaigning? a.g. barr: i think that is right. >> in the same fbi lawyer worked on the russia investigation targeting candidate trump's campaign and was on the special counsel robert mueller team, correct? a.g. barr: not sure about that. >> while working on the investigations, the inspector general found several texts showing that animus, correct? a.g. barr: on that particular
lawyer? i believe so, yes. i cannot remember the timeframe of the text, but i know there were others. i i went to talk about the -- want to talk about the unmasking that occurred where a list was released of 39 officials who submitted a request to unmask the identity of general flynn from november 8, 2016 to january 31, 2017. woody nine requests were submitted. is that normal number? a.g. barr: i mean, historically, that seems to be a high number. the other question you have to ask is why was this after the election? >> and seven treasury officials, including secretary of the treasury and deputy of the secretary, is that a normal occurrence? are times where high-level officials can do it. i do not know enough about the specifics. >> i yield the remainder of my time.
>> what is more important, going to church or a protest? a.g. barr: it depends on the individual. >> both fall under the first amendment. what is more important, going to work for a protest? -- or a protest? a.g. barr: again, it depends on the individual. we are all free and make our own choices. >> we are talking about government and limits on those activities. what is more important, government putting limits on protesting or putting a limit on attending church? a.g. barr: they are both first amendments? >> exactly, we should treat them the same. >> the gentleman's time has expired. barr, on june 1, there were protests against the murder of george floyd and police brutality in lafayette park. let this not be distracted by you or my gop colleagues as to
what these powerful and massive protests were actually about. they were about the persistent killings of lack bodies by law americaent, andfinally, an awan of the conscience of our country. yet, your response was to direct federal officers to close in on protesters and use shields offensively as weapons. balls,s, pepper irritants, explosive devices, batons and horses to clear the area just so the president could get a photo op. thent to ask, do you think response at lafayette square to teargas, pepper spray -- --er-american citizens injured american citizens
was appropriate? >> to my understanding, no teargas was used. semanticrr, that is a
distinction that has been proven
false. >> how is it semantic? >> you talked about chemical irritants. it has been proven false by reports. answer the question. do you think it was appropriate at lafayette park to pepper spray, tear gas and beat protesters and endure american citizens? >> i do not accept your characterization of what happened. as i explained, the effort -- >> mr. barr, yes or no? i am starting to lose my temper. according to sworn testimony before the house natural resources committee by army -- army national guard officer dimarco who was there, this was "an unprovoked escalation in use of force against peaceful protesters." >> i don't remember dimarco being -- >> excuse me, this is my time.
governors on told a telephone call that the way to deal with protesters of systemic racism like in lafayette square is "you have to get much tougher. you have to dominate. if you don't dominate come you're wasting your time." he also talked about you on that call. general "the attorney is here, bill barr. we will activate bill barr and activate them strongly." dear memory that call? >> yes, but he was not talking about protesters. >> apparently the president believes you can be activated to implement the president's agenda and dominate american people exercising their first amendment rights if they are protesting against him. let's look at how you respond when the protesters are supporters of the president. occasions after president trump treated --
tweeted liberate michigan commit to subvert stay-at-home orders to protect public health of swarmed totesters the michigan capital carrying guns. some with swastikas, confederate hairednd one with a dark doll with a noose around its neck. are you aware these protesters called for the governor to be lynched, shot and beheaded? >> no. >> you are not aware of that? michigan, you in are the attorney general and you did not know the protesters called for the governor to be lynched and beheaded? obviously you couldn't be concerned about that. >> there are a lot of protests around the united states. withu seem to be engaging protests in certain part of the country. you are aware of those. when protesters with guns and swastikas -- >> i am aware of -- >> excuse me, it is my time.
kindse aware of certain of protesters, but in michigan when protesters carried guns and contender -- confederate flags and called for the governor of michigan to be shot and lynched, somehow you are not aware of that. somehow you did not know about that so you didn't send federal agents into due to the president's supporters what you did to the president's protesters. you didn't put pepper balls on those protesters. the point i am trying to make, it is important for the country to understand, there is a discrepancy in how you react as the attorney general when white men with swastikas storm a government building with guns, there is no need for the president to "activate you" because they're getting the president's agenda done. and people ofple color protest police brutality, racism, and the president's own
lack of response to those issues , then you forcibly remove them with armed federal officers, pepper balls, because they are considered terrorists by the president. you take an aggressive approach to black lives matter protests, but not right-wing extremists threatening to lynch a governor if it is for the president's benefit. did i get it right? >> i have responsibility for the federal government in the white house -- the white house is the seat -- >> you are supposed to represent the people of the united states of america. >> mission authorities can handle -- >> not violate first amendment rights. you're supposed to uphold democracy and assure equal justice under law, not to certain protesters based on the president's personal agenda. >> the gentlelady's time has expired. >> i would like to ask unanimous consent to submitted to record a
report for the m.i.t. centers for data & slab that says for the past 20 years, 200 -- the fraud rate is .00 6%. >> without objection. thank you ag barr for being here today. i am sincere when i say it is an honor. >> can i ask you for one minute. >> to respond? yes. clear moving out to i street has a perimeter was a decision made the day before. it was justified by the extreme writing going on around the white house. i do not remember captain dimarco, the same who ran as a democratic candidate for congress in maryland, even being close to the discussions as to
what was going on. the fact is the movement was not geared to the behavior of that particular crowd. it was geared to the fact that we were moving the perimeter out so we could put a fence on h street. that the park police reported -- and i saw myself -- projectiles being thrown from the crowd. i did not consider them at all peaceful protesters. thank you. >> i would like to also talk about the violent protests being seen in seattle and portland, oregon. of june andrse july, several shootings occurred inside seattle's police free zone including the tragic murders of his 16-year-old and a 19-year-old. there were numerous reports of robberies, assaults and property destruction. >> sexual assault charges whelp.
chaos, it all of this took the seattle mayor weeks to declare this an unlawful gathering. it took weeks before the police were allowed to clear that area. in similar circumstances in portland, oregon, it has gone through eight weeks of violent rioting as well. to firecontinue projectiles and mortar style fireworks at federal law enforcement officers and are using dangerous lasers which have permanently blinded three federal officers. chairman jerry nadler told a reporter
sunday the anarchy and violence going on in portland, and i quote the chairman, "is a myth that is spread only in washington, d.c." it is in fact commit their -- it is -- is it in fact a myth that there is anarchy in portland?
>> there are anarchists and far-left groups involved in the violence in portland. commentthe chairman's was about antifa. i don't know exactly what he said but i thought he was referring to antifa. >> do you think it is a myth that antifa is involved in this anarchy? >> antifa is involved in portland. >> either way, the chairman's comments were not accurate? >> i do not consider them accurate. >> what about the autonomous zone in seattle? congressman -- has said it is a peaceful protest zone. is it a peaceful protest zone? >> no. it is outrageous that people set themselves up over a piece of territory where the people in there has not selected them as a government and try to exercise sovereign authority. gunsw people handing out
to keep the peace. it was anarchy. has alreadyce charge several violent protesters of federal crimes. can you briefly elaborate on those crimes? >> the whole gamut. 224.nk we have had on the gamut from throwing to assaultingils a police officer, that kind of thing. >> thank you. i want to say that i think -- i don't know if you agree -- chaz and portland are political experiments. happened us what would if we fully embrace the radical ideology of the social justice democrats. according to democrats it is the summer of love. according to the congresswoman that represents seattle it is a peaceful protest.
these cities are experiencing violence, chaos and anarchy. i think this political experiment has showed us the liberal social justice democrats style of government has failed. would you like to comment on that? first goings through confirmation, i expressed concern about violence getting into our political system. we have seen this intolerance of attacking people and i was worried about that. we have seen it sweeping through the country like this. i hope the democratic party takes a stand against the violence. >> i yield my time. >> the gentleman yields back. ms. demings. >> thank you so much mr. chairman. mr. barr, over here. >> i'm sorry. [laughter] >> earlier during your testimony you talked about gun violence and asked what about those lives?
yes, those lives do matter. did you believe that police officers should be held to a higher standard? >> yes. someone mentioned my comment about we should not permit resistance, but i never suggested that just because someone resists means it justifies whatever is done. >> good police officers also believe that they are held to a higher standard. i am glad to hear you stay that -- say that. --a former police department police officer, there is an alarming pattern developing. it appears every time a u.s. attorney investigates the president or those close to him, he or she is removed and replaced by one of your friends. you have removed u.s. attorneys in the eastern district of new york, district of columbia, and eastern district of texas. announced mr. berman would be stepping down.
when you told america that mr. berman was stepping down, did mr. berman tell you he was stepping down? >> no. stepping down is the language that, i am told -- >> he did not tell you that? useo, but it is language we to leave flexibility as to whether the person is -- >> june 20, when asked about the basis of mr. berman's removal come on the very day you announced he was being fired, mr. giuliani suggested that "the reason may lie in the fact that berman's office got involved in baseless investigations." you didwas not true, if not remove berman because he was overseeing investigations of the president, why would the president's personal attorney think that? >> what do you say? --mr. giuliani suggests >> when?
>> june 20, that he may have been fired because he was investigating baseless investigations. >> if he said that, that is nonsense. anyone familiar with the department of justice would say removing a component head is not going to have an effect on investigations. >> i know you are rare that you are aware -- attorney's personal associates and his presidential inauguration. mean to suggest that by my silence i'm confirming that? that seems to be your opinion. you in anyway attempted to influence or interfere in any investigation in the southern district including the investigations i mentioned? mr. barr: i have not interfered in any investigation. i have raised questions about
certain matters, but as far as i , the office was satisfied with the resolution. >> your efforts to remove him bypassed the normal operation of law. >> no they didn't. >> a sitting president cannot be indicted or criminally prosecuted. because you made sure president trump understood that in your 19 page application. are aware that special counsel confirmed a sitting president can be investigated? you did read that in the special counsel report, correct? >> yes. given test -- would southern district have decision-making authority on whether to investigate the president. you removed him. mr. barr: i have explained why i removed him. >> sitting here today under
penalty of perjury, do you maintain as you stated in a february 13 interview that the president has never asked to do anything in a criminal case? yes or no? mr. barr: yet -- no. what i confirm it? >> do you stand by your testimony? he never asked me, directed me, pressured me to do anything in a criminal case. thisthink you had conversation earlier with one of my colleagues that mr. cohen was released early from prison due to concerns of covid-19? >> yes. >> why did you support the decision to send mr. cohen back to prison? mr. barr: i didn't even know the decision. >> did you support it? mr. barr: i have not looked into it. my understanding of life -- >> mr. barr, as a former -- >> the gentlewoman's time is expired. >> the president has made a mark
-- a mockery of the department of justice. as the nation's top cop, no one should care more about that than you. thank you madam chair. 10 years ago in july, my home down was a beautiful -- my hometown was a beautiful day. everyone was playing baseball. a perfect sunny summer day in dickinson, north dakota. in the span of eight minutes commedia tornado came through and cause unbelievable economic devastation. i don't think anyone said it was a peaceful day. i want to talk specifically about what is going on in portland. for 61 nights, the federal courthouse is under siege. federal agents are under siege. you have men and women there protecting that courthouse. were not doubt if they there, the courthouse would not be standing, would you agree? mr. barr: absolutely. >> our problem is how this is
covered versus what is actually going on at that courthouse. can you explain what your officers are going through? thebarr: i am talking about u.s. marshals who are in the courthouse. they initially tried to contain themselves in the courthouse. there have been efforts to push through the main door. people have succeeded in breaching the courthouse, thrown kerosene and fireworks and started fires. the effort was to make sure they cannot breach. there still have been breaches in the courthouse. they try to remain in their. -- they tried to remain in there. starting the fourth, they tried to arrest people directing fireworks. they would climb up and break windows and shoot fireworks. whenever the marshals came out ,o try to put an end to that they were shot at with slingshots.
lasers were being put into their eyes. there is a good description of it in an ap summary. . >> i was about to quote that. i watched as injured officers were hauled inside. in one case, a commercial fireworks came over so fast the officer did not have time to respond. it burned through his sleeve and he had bloody gashes. another had a concussion from being hit in the head with a mortar. mr. barr: that's right. we have had a lot of injuries there. people who this congress has charged with protecting federal courts. they are directed to protect federal courts. they are under attack. they are injured. it has been constant for 60 days. >> secretary wolf said the violent mobs are publishing personal information of officers , jeopardizing them and their families. are you concerned about it? mr. barr: it is dangerous
takese people can retaliation against of their homes, their families, or them when they are by themselves. i see some of these latin american and central american countries where the police are very brave because the gangs they are trying to deal with go to their houses and kill their families. you never think that could happen here, but you could never think some of the stuff we are seeing today could ever happen here. is being burned by improvised explosive device being blinded by lasers, is this something that typically happens with federal marshals? mr. barr:. now. -- no. >> how is this going for recruitment? morale? how are they doing? storyrr: i think that ep -- ap story gives you that
feeling. they feel that is their duty. a number of them are from that area. they are extremely tired and we have had to put in more people because they are very tired. >> i think that is an important part. one of the most amazing parts of this, it started with under 30 agents and now it is still under 100. they defend a row against a siege. they get up every morning and that courthouse is still running. they are can still -- there are conducting government business. i am going to say something that should be said more often, tell them and q. -- thank you. tell the prosecutors thank you. tell the judges thank you. can you tell the public defenders thank you? they are still conducting business. are they getting sleep? mr. barr: the marshals are having a difficult time because the demonstrators go to the hotel. hotellso go from hotel to
because the demonstrators try to disrupt their sleep at the hotel. >> there is a difference between a protest and a riot. every night it turns into a riot. when you wake up the next morning, you know what is going to happen again. one last question, why would we have to negotiate a cease-fire with the peaceful protest? mr. barr: correct. what we would like to see, all we would like is what we see in the rest of the country. state and local law enforcement taking care of their own city and the streets around the courthouse. >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> thank you mr. chairman. welcome.
let's talk about the senses. every 10 years we decide how many congressional seats each state gets, funding for schools, health care, other issues. let's talk about the president's memo directing the commerce secretary to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment count of the 2020 senses. -- census. the president is sent -- the president is essentially trying to do something illegal. beresentatives shall apportioned among several states according to their respect numbers, counting whole numbers of persons in each state, and then federal law. subsection two a. the presidents shall transmit to the congress a statement showing
the whole number of persons in each state. did i read those correctly? mr. barr: yes. >> do you agree that the president's memo essentially violates the constitution? mr. barr: no. undocumented people knothole individuals -- not who le people? mr. barr: they are people. issue is the terminology of the constitution. >> if i may -- mr. barr: it reflects the decision at the time of the constitution that they count -- you used to work for the department of justice back in 1989. there was a letter written to senator jeff bingaman by the doj , on point there is a letter, i
would ask unanimous consent to admit that to the record. >> without objection. the department of justice has taken the position that section two of the 14th amendment, the original portion and and census clause of article one section two of the constitution requires that inhabitants of states who are illegal aliens be included in the census count. in our view, this issue today we have found no basis for reversing." are you reversing that decision? mr. barr: what the department because-- this came up alabama claims you cannot count illegal aliens in the census under the constitution. the department looked at it and advised that congress can determine the meaning of "inhabitant" it is not a self defined term. >> if i may.
mr. barr: i thought i was the one who was supposed to be heard. --the current disparate dispute, you talked about when the supreme court struck down put aesident's attempt to citizenship question on the census. at that time, the president announced an executive order to collect a information by other means. at that time, you made reference to a current dispute over whether illegal aliens could be included in the apportionment purposes. it is that what you are referring to? mr. barr: i could have been referring to the alabama case. >> is the doj studying this? mr. barr: yes. can you provide this committee with discussions, research, concluding memos? mr. barr: i will look into it. we have considered it. thatdvice has been congress does have the power to define the term inhabitant to
either include or exclude aliens. >> were talking about the president's executive order. mr. barr: congress has delegated the power to the commerce secretary. the commerce secretary has the delegate of congressional power can define that term. readable -- that is there is an argument to make. president has to be within the law. nobody is above the law, including the president. my concern is he goes around that are clearly unconstitutional. my district is a working class hard-working community. immigrants come the greatest generation, all we want is equity. we want to make sure we get our federal dollars like everybody else. we want to make sure our representation is equal,
individual, as individual in orange county as any other part of the country. all we ask for his respect. please tell the president, stop tweeting things that are clearly unconstitutional. thank you very much. >> the gentleman yields back. thank you mr. chairman. barr, will youl send a thank you to the law enforcement people that work for you for the work that they are doing? mr. barr: certainly. >> i want to thank all the law enforcement and crossed the country. we are an imperfect country, but law enforcement, they do a great job and they should be recognized. questiong to ask you a about mr. byrne alt-right from the man who was shot to death at the end of last
week. the african-american man who was wearing a sign. he was known around milwaukee for carrying a trump for president sign. i want to share with you what happened in madison, wisconsin so we understand this is not a myth about antifa. minneapolists hit and extended around the country, they hit madison, wisconsin. i do not know if you have visited madison, there is an iconic street called state street. it starts at the n runs down to the university of wisconsin, madison. that street, 75 businesses are boarded up as a result of a mayor and city council who would not protect those people. those people went to city council last week and asked for assistance. city council, who would not protect their business said no.
we're not going to provide assistance. street waser state destroyed -- by the way, it is disappointing in some of the film i have seen that the police cruiser that went flaming downstate street was not included. afterwards, two monuments at the state capital that i used to walk by were torn down. one was of hans christian -- commit the abolition -- the abolitionist who died at chickamauga defending the union and providing for the end of slavery. down --r monument torn by the way they took a tow truck and tore it down, was lady forward. lady forward was there because of women's suffrage. first state tohe
pass suffrage back in the early 1900s. those were torn down. yesterday, a social worker who teaches at a local school just , she was charged with beating a state senator. her name is samantha hamer. i want to emphasize to my colleagues on the left that if you think you are insulated from antifa, which is supposedly a myth, you should think about that. them and other radicals will not spare violence on anyone. their anarchy is meant to destroy our country. if you want to contact a former colleague of mine, state senator tim carpenter, a democrat, he will tell you he was beat to a pulp on that night at midnight
when they were tearing down those statues. .t is not a myth . ask i don't know if our attorney general in wisconsin or the mayor of milwaukee are going to pursue what appears to perhaps be a political execution. are you familiar with that situation and milwaukee echo mr. barr: the shooting -- mr. barr: i have read about it. >> if the attorney general and law enforcement in wisconsin do not act, will the federal situation study the and bring justice for mr. trammell? mr. barr: yes. we will study that. >> this is not a myth. you were hearing it from all over the country.
this happened in madison, wisconsin also. leftist mayor proudly carries that banner, sat on a street -- not a street, a highway with protesters and shut down traffic. street, one of the most iconic streets in the state of wisconsin was destroyed. i am not so sure those businesses are going to get their businesses back. it is not a myth folks. what is happening is real across our country. we need to stop the riots. protests,not peaceful these are riots. we need to call an end to it. i hope you, mr. attorney general will work towards that. back. gentleman yields >> attorney general barr, i
wanted to follow up on some questions. you testified earlier you have at times voted by mail, correct? mr. barr: i remember once. >> public record shows you voted by mail in 2012 in 2019 -- 2012 and 2019. mr. barr: in one occasion i had to vote before the election. i raise this because in may of this year, 800 public health experts from across the nation sent a letter urging congress to prepare for a presidential election by mail to allow americans to vote from home and assure their health and safety. expertsaware health have emphasized voting by mail is critical to protecting public health? . mr. barr: when was that? . -- >> in may of this year. i have a copy for you.
ist public health advice really important to citizens in the commonwealth because we have a large population of seniors who are at higher risk of coronavirus. they should not have to choose between risking their lives and exercising the right to vote. the problem we are facing is that the president has repeatedly sought to cast doubt on the security of mail-in ballots, saying the 2020 election could be rigged with " millions of mail-in ballots printed by foreign countries." you have repeated this disinformation. mr. barr: it is not disinformation. >> i don't have a question for you yet. last month, you echoed the conspiracy theory when you suggested and three interviews countries could manufacture ballots to influence the election," correct? mr. barr: yes. >> in fact, you have no evidence that foreign countries could
successfully sway elections with counterfeit ballots, do you? mr. barr: no, but i have common sense. >> that is what you responded when you said -- when you were directly challenged. you said it was obvious. according to elections officials, your alleged concerns here are not obvious, but are outrageous. every state in the union has absentee ballots. forthirds of states allow vote by mail for any reason. five states, colorado, oregon, washington, vote entirely by mail and have done so for decades. even the u.s. military uses mail-in ballots, doesn't it? mr. barr: yes. >> isn't it true that after you suggested without evidence that foreign adversaries could sway elections using counterfeit ballots, experts and officials from around the country said that what you suggested was virtually impossible, preposterous, would never happen
and would be readily detected? mr. barr: there are not multiple levels of security. i don't agree that -- >> again, i am happy to supply you with the statements. mr. barr: before donald trump -- >> rescinding my time. evidence that foreign countries can make counterfeit ballots and create a real threat to election security. are you aware that in may, the president tweeted, "mail-in voting will lead to massive fraud and abuse. it will lead to the end of our great republican party." mr. barr: i was not aware that. >> that suggests the president is spreading disinformation about mail-in ballots because he is afraid that if more people vote, he will lose.
the fact is that foreign adversaries cannot actually influence our elections by submitting massive counterfeit ballots. the fbi and intelligence services have repeatedly warned that those adversaries are trying to sow mistrust of our systems. by repeating misinformation, u.n. the president are helping them. would like an opportunity to respond. >> you would agree that prosecutors who make contributions are aligned with a political party? mr. barr: who makes contributions? >> you said that prosecutors who make political contributions are identifying with a political party, yes? you and your wife have donated over 700 $30,000 to republican candidates including donations of $58,000 to republican senator's and senate candidates in the four months preceding your confirmation? is that correct? mr. barr: are you surprised them
republican? >> is that correct? mr. barr: over a long period of time. joomla! to have a long period of time. -- cumulative of a long. of time. i was talking about -- time is expired. >> i would seek unanimous to -- unanimous consent to submit the public health expert letters signed by 800 individuals the attorney general's repeated interviews that our elections can be undermined, the overwhelming reaction from election officials around the country and the articles concerning his campaign donations. >> without objection the articles will be entered into the record. mr. barr, your department
released paul manafort, the president's former campaign manager over concern for coronavirus. -- your department guidelines my criteria by which, priorities by which people would be released early. by your own department's, manafort did not meet that criteria. since the start of this pandemic, we have are -- we have repeatedly urged you to use authority to protect vulnerable populations in prisons. instead, you release the president's former campaign manager. do you know how many federal inmates have tested positive for covid-19 as of today? mr. barr: i have that number. >> quickly. a slide.
10,000 inmates have tested positive and over 1000 staff have tested positive. you know how many have died? mr. barr: almost 100 i think. >> that is right. 99 inmates have died. yet only 5% have been released under your guidelines. mr. barr: 7000 -- >> you said you were taking "every measure we can to protect federal inmates." the numbers tell a different story, as do your actions. despite releasing manafort, your lawyers continue to argue against the release of prisoners. in april, vulnerable prisoners who suffer from serious health conditions like chronic asthma, heart disease and kidney disease filed a lawsuit for early release in ohio. these prisoners were being becausewded like cattle prisons were not able to social distance." 550 prisoners sought relief, get
your own department processed only seven applications and denied them all. yet, you had time to process manafort's application. your department did. not these vulnerable americans living at great risk. in fact, in a series of rulings in april and may, an ohio district court ruled your department "act with urgency and move inmates out due to continued risk of harm to prisoners and government staff." sir, your department challenged that court order, did it not? mr. barr: i am not familiar with that. >> you did. you did not help move these inmates out as ordered. you tried to block the district court's order. the supreme court on may 26 rejected her to part request. nine prisoners had died and it
has been two months. do you even know today how many of those prisoners have been released? or how many more have died? mr. barr: i don't. it started out with 170,000 prisoners. >> i need you to explain to me and to america how is it that the former campaign manager of the president of the united states, who did not meet the priority criteria, got released even though your own department admitted he did not meet the guidelines, but all of these other folks were not? if it were deadly enough a virus that you needed to protect the former campaign manager, why not all of these americans who also have at risk conditions? the contrast says it all. it is not just in ohio. texas, ae state of
federal prison housing women with mental and medical health issues just confirmed last week that of the 1000th rendered 57 prisoners, over 500 tested positive. -- 1350 seven prisoners, over 500 tested positive. yes, none have been released. have you seen those statistics? guidelines put out -- to propel the release of -- >> you have not released anyone. mr. barr: i put out guidelines. >> one of those prisoners is a mother who had to give birth on a ventilator because your department prioritizes releasing paul manafort instead of vulnerable americans. if you weeks after this photo, she died along with two other women housed in this facility from covid-19.
saving lives while reducing the prison population, yet you blatantly abandon your duty to this women. you have shamelessly abandoned your oath of office. you have prioritized giving special favors to the presidents friends. this is not equal justice under the law. it is not the law that you and i learned in law school. -- one for the presidents friends and one for everyone else. mr. barr:. the director of the -- >> i yelled back. mr. barr: the director testified under oath that -- >> the gentlelady yields. >> the gentleman has not been given an opportunity to respond. >> mr. negus is recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman. go through a couple of your prior statements. april 18, 20 19, you stated "the
white house fully cooperated --h the special today, to the penalty of perjury, is that statement true? i thought it to be true at the time i made it. wise and true? >> i will get to that. mr. barr: does it have to be -- >> i have another question. on june 19 -- mr. barr: i need to answer that. >> you did. mr. barr: you said under penalty of perjury. i'm going to answer the dam question. >> are you say no? mr. barr: what i was referring to was the documents. >> the statement was not limited to the supply of documents. [indiscernible] april 19, 2019, the white house fully cooperated with the special counsel's investigation. you knew at that time the
president had not agreed to be viewed by special counsel. mr. barr:. -- mr. barr: i said it was referring to the production of documents. >> on june 18 of this year, the department of justice issued a statement saying that mr. berman , a former u.s. attorney new york had "stepped down." you are aware of that? mr. barr: yes. >> do testified today that that statement was true at the time the department to shoot it? it?epartment issued mr. barr: he may not have known. >> he may not have known? mr. barr: he was being removed. >> the statement did not say he was being removed. it did not say he was being fired. it said he was stepping down. according to your testimony today is that that was accurate even though mr. berman has testified it was not. mr. barr: he was removed.
mr. barr: maybe if they had vetted the dossier. youhere is no u.s. attorney have appointed to do that. what you have done with respect to this process is unprecedented mr. barr: it was cautionary so that we do not delude the criminal investigative process with ukrainian disinformation. >> i will give you an an opportunity. mr. barr: you are? . >> i intend to. the eastern district of new york, the attorney responsible for that district, you have asked that did -- that attorney to be -- the intake process? mr. barr: the u.s. attorney in the eastern district was given oversight of all ukrainian related cases. any new cases involving ukraine. we faced a problem with ukraine which was unreliable information. there is a lot of corruption there. it is a hall of mirrors and i wanted to make sure that before
we got into criminal proceedings, to everyone's benefit, that the information was scrubbed. the memo youte -- issued said any and all matters dealing with ukraine shall be directed to the eastern district of new york. the u.s. attorney responsible in the eastern district of new york was recently changed. my understanding was you wouldced seth ducharme take over rich donahue. mr. barr: -- is in charge of vetting. ther. new charm worked at department of justice? mr. barr: he was a counselor to me, and then the principal assistant deputy attorney general. >> that's right. deputy district attorney. you have appointed your prior
counsel to oversee that process. i yield back my time. ms. mcbeth. >> before we go to ms. mcbeth, can i enter documents with unanimous consent, the two memos are referred to, setting guidelines for who gets released, washington post article about paul manafort's testimony from the council of prison locals the record. >> without objection. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to start by thanking you attorney general barr for joining us and for the work your department are doing to keep our country safe. a few months ago, you said you would be taking the presidents position in urging the supreme court to overturn the affordable care act. when asked if you will still that -- will still take that
position even if it means " stripping millions of americans of health care in the middle of --," youc, quote stated it would not be argued until october and that the president expects to fix and replace obamacare. attorney barr, let's be very clear. as public health officials and data have shown, this pandemic is not going away. was reported that one hospital was planning to send coronavirus patients home to die due to limited resources to treat them. we are still facing an extremely critical and serious situation. even if you expect the president to figure out a new plan by october, the president has not yet put in place another system.
nor is there any guarantee that he will do so by october, as you expect. when you say you expect the president to figure out a new risk withare taking a millions of american's lives. you are risking the lives of a millions. forle will not be covered pre-existing conditions if the supreme court agrees with your position civil servants in your own department have disagreed with you on this matter. in fact, i am introducing a statement by one of the lead whorneys on the aca case resigned in protest when your department refused to defend the law as it is required. in my district, the sixth district of georgia, there are over 300 thousand people that have pre-existing conditions. i am one of them.
a two time breast cancer survivor. our state is continuing to battle hard against a resurgence of covid-19 cases. not to gambleu with american lives. not to gamble with my life. i would like you to confirm that if the president has no other plan in place by october, you will reverse course and drop your position that i quote you directly, the entire aca must fall. children i have two who are cancer survivors. i feel strongly about this. policy.ter of i believe the president has had made clear that he will ensure -- >> answer my question.
will you stop playing politics with americans health care in the middle of a pandemic? mr. barr: i am not playing politics come i am not in charge of health care. >> will you reverse course and make sure millions of americans like me that depend on health care and treat to stay alive, will you reverse course to make sure we have the ability to live in this country freely with quality health care? mr. barr: people will have the health care protection. -- ifill be accomplished the government loses the case -- >> i take this as a no. mr. barr: based on history -- >> i would like to mention my concerns related to gun violence. mr. barr: what? >> i want to go on another concern i have related to gun violence. mr. barr: ok. >> the nation has seen a dramatic increase in firearms
sales and skyrocketing numbers of sales -- background checks. systemh, the background blocked 33,000 attempted sales. were 23,000, there attempts to get a firearm by a person who was not allowed to possess one under current law. it is a federal crime for anyone to lie in an attempt to get a firearm, which is what i expect most people tried to do. i would like to know how many of these march blocked sales were investigated? mr. barr: i sent a directive we should start prosecuting if we can come of these cases. previously we had not been pursuing them. >> i take that as a no. mr. barr: we are pursuing those cases. >> this fits a larger pattern of
your administration that has neglected the health and safety of americans. this administration is failing to keep my constituents and people all over the country healthy and safe. i demand better. americans demand better. i want you to provide the answer that you are willing to -- these are relevant questions. >> mr. chairman. i have a question. >> for what purpose? >> four months to have tried to get the attorney general to come. he is here. why don't you let him speak? >> the gentleman is not recognized. >> if you want the attorney general to come, let him answer the questions. >> the gentleman's rudeness is not exercised. >> rudeness? >> you refuse to let the attorney general answer the questions. >> mr. stanton is recognized. >> maybe the last few witnesses will -- >> mr. stanton is recognized.
>> thank you very much for being here. since the passing of the voting rights act of 1965, those who have thoughts to suppress the minority route -- suppress the minority vote conceal their intentions. set out tothey were advance all trista goals like election security. history has proven those rationalizations relies designed to fend off -- those rationalizations were lies. those who aimed to suppress the minority vote has never said it out loud. not donald trump. he did not try to keep it secret. he blurted it out. he said he will lose the 2020 election if more americans are able to vote. that is one reason why this president needed a fixer at the department of justice. from letting rush off the hook
to rewarding roger stone. mr. barr, you have proven willing and able. ago, thisa year committee heard testimony about a resurgence in discriminatory voting practices. these practices include unnecessarily strict photo id requirements and the abuse of signature match requirements to reject absentee ballots. despite that, your department has a lax approach to enforcing voting rights act. you filed just one case to do so. to doj has done nothing block the suppression practices we heard about over a year ago. us.our credit, you warned you told the new york times magazine this spring that the doj's role in protecting the rights to vote will be limited this year. it will be up to states to
police themselves. isn't that right? mr. barr: i don't recall saying that. >> it is in the new york times article from last article? >> it is in the article from last month. you say it would be up to the voters to referee the election. >> don't remember the context of that it was i talking about foreign influence? >> no, sir. you will be able to review it and submit additional testimony. when we have more time someday you will have to expand to me how a person who's right to vote is denied by a discriminatory practice can referee and election. but i digress. it troubles me that you have not been consistent in your coach. as the attorney general, you have sued -- stood down on discrimination and made it harder for states to vote. you have used the doj as a sword when attempting to make it easier to vote. voting rights advocates in south carolina and alabama sought to
andent people from voting risking their health by making it easier and safer to complete absentee ballots ring the dojemic, but your intervened to try to block the accommodation. did you discuss either of those cases with the president? >> no. >> the american people -- >> i don't even know the cases you're talking about. >> cases in which -- >> tell me the name. >> i don't know the names. north carolina and alabama. you can comment after your testimony here today is done. the american people have good reason to believe that you will continue to use your authority to carry out the wishes of the president to suppress the vote and there are fears that you in the president are laying the foundation to interfere with the upcoming election, specifically with vote by mail, as my colleagues have review sling noted, because you have both andnced false security ares
i hope we can put some of those fears to rest here today. mr. far, can you commit to the american people to will not interview -- interfere with state and local authorities use probe by mail at absentee ballots in the 2020 elections? mr. barr: i think the federal government has very limited ability to give involved but i'm not going to give up the ability that we have to ensure the tech really -- the integrity of the election. my observation was that it would open up -- >> i got -- >> i think the -- >> mr. barr, the president suggested that only the voters vote on election day should be counted. saying that it shouldn't counted all of it is cast before the day . i want to reassure your commitment to making sure every this upcomingf in
election, the president asks you to intervene to try to stop states from counting legal ballots after election day, will you do the right thing and refused? yes or no? i will-- mr. barr: follow the law. says ite has a law that has to be cast on election day, that's the law. rep. stanton: will you commit to making sure the department of justice doesn't get involved in a contested election? mr. barr: i will follow the law. rep. stanton: so disappointing that we cannot get a clear answer from him. i would like to submit the item from "the bears -- from "guardian," second "new york times magazine," "william barr's state of emergency," "what would happen if you refused." --mr. chairman
>> without objection -- >> following the law -- >> that objection -- x that's something the judiciary committee knows is pretty darn clear. >> without objection, the material will be entered into the record. >> could we take a five minute break? >> no. >> it's a common courtesy of every witness. >> we waited an hour for you. >> i haven't had lunch. >> we are almost finished. we are going to be finished in a few minutes. break.certainly take a mr. barr: you are a real class act. >> he wants a break now? rudeness on display. let the attorney general have a break. >> the committee stands and recess now. mr. barr: thank you, mr.
>> house judiciary committee taking a short five minute make, almost wrapping up today's oversight hearing with the attorney general, william barr. we will stay here for live coverage when they gaveled back in and we will let you know that the entire hearing re-airs tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. we anticipate being able to bring you live coverage later this afternoon of the president's news conference from the white house at 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. eastern.
dean: in lafayette square, peaceful protesters gathered over days and hours to discuss civil rights and the heinous murder of george floyd call for equality and justice. when asked about the use of force displayed in the video against the protesters in lafayette square you stated that your attitude was to get it done . let's look at what you got done. if you take a look at the timeline we compiled, we can see that you were spotted there at 10 p.m. that monday evening. the president was scheduled to speak in the rose garden at 6:15. the park police began to disperse protesters at roughly 6:33. president trump started his speech at 6:43 and finished by 650 -- 6:50. when the president was ready to take a photo in front of st. john's church, the square was
cleared and ready for him to go. am i correct? yes.- mr. barr: rep. dean: the timing is clear. one safety official said that it was as if the plan from the park police to move the perimeter had been "hurried up" when the president needed to walk to church and just today we heard testimony from a national guard officer deployed at lafayette square confirming that he suspected the square to be clear after the curfew. mr. barr: who was that? rep. dean: adam dimarco, national guard. mr. barr: well -- rep. dean: i didn't have a question for you, sir. we were told that you learned of the president's interest in crossing the square to go to the church. is it your opinion the clearing protesters from the square, which local officials were told to hurry up moments before the president's photo op with a borrowed bible in front of the
church was coincident? is this timing coincidence? mr. barr: i believe it is. post hoc ergo proctor hock. rep. dean: never mind the latin. when asked about the use of pepper bombs -- mr. barr: it wasn't a coincidence in the setting, if you would permit me. as i said, i will use the analogy of macarthur. rep. dean: we heard that. -- mr.ttorney general attorney general, we will assume that was all coincidence. mr. barr: i have already explained that it had been planned all day. rep. dean: the time is mine and we have waited a long time for you to come here. mr. barr: you waited to talk to me like this? you didn't need to wait. rep. dean: when you fired pepper bombs -- when asked about firing pepper bombs at americans, you set pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. is barr: everything
chemical, i was referring to a dichotomy in these kinds of things between chemical compounds and naturally occurring substances. rep. dean: there are rules by which we operate and i would ask you to respect them, reclaiming my time. on the screen i have place for reference as you are aware how your department describes the pepper balls used on the americans in lafayette square. it hasnoted that accuracy when accompanying blunt trauma with impact making it an ideal chemical dispensing system so in a quote you said it wasn't chemical, today could -- today you confirmed it is chemical and you are aware of department policy, are you not? rep. dean: -- mr. barr: what policy? rep. dean: the what i just provided to you. mr. barr: what does it say? what's the policy? rep. dean: i showed it to you. perhaps you weren't listening. mr. barr: i didn't see the
policy. what was the policy and there? or not youwhether authorized the use of pepper balls -- mr. barr: the -- i did not ask you a question yet, sir, i ask you to please refrain from interrupting me. horrifying video showing chemical puritans used on protesters. yes or no, this is a yes or no, sir, have you begun an investigation into the use of excessive force in lafayette square? mr. barr: i think the ig is looking at anything related to antiriot. is. dean: so, the answer yes. let's hope he doesn't get fired. tragically, what happened there is no longer an isolated incident. use of chemical irritants has happened in more than 90 cities. we saw the video of the navy veteran being pepper sprayed and beaten, his phone broken.
whether or not you thought this was appropriate at the time, have you called work law-enforcement to stop using these chemical your tents on protesters? yes or no? mr. barr: pepper spray? no, it's an important nonlethal option. rep. dean: for protesters? mr. barr: no, for writers. rep. dean: my question was for protesters. mr. barr: no, america was founded on the principles of free speech. -- rep.: when americans dean: reclaiming my time. of surprised your lack politeness. fromny of my constituents -- fled from america -- fled to america from countries that used armed forces to suppress dissenting force it -- voices. they cherish our constitution as
many americans have done for generations because of the incredible freedoms and rights being an american citizen gives to all of us. it's externally personal to me because you probably know that i live by the american constitution. it's true that those who are not fortunate enough to always have these rights and freedoms sometimes cherish them even more than those who have always had them. when they see photos from portland, they don't see the american ideal for the america they know, they see and are reminded of what they left behind. you would agree with me on that? are you listening, mr. barr? mr. barr: who is the subject of that last sentence? rep. mucarsel-powell: just look at these videos for one second. we have seen violence in venezuela at the hands of maduro. firing tear gas that protesters. using brutal tactics to crush
demonstrations. that's what we see from dictators on the left and the right. but it is hard to distinguish these photos from those events and the videos we have seen by u.s. federal police in portland, tear-gassing and breaking the a peacefully protesting u.s. army veteran. very similar. how do you restore the confidence of my constituents and the valiant of this country when every night on television they see these images of violence used against peaceful protesters? we all denounce violence. how do you restore the trust in our democracy? i think that, i think that the force is being deployed against rioters or, in situations where protesters are
not following police directions. most ofarsel-powell: the protests have been peaceful, mr. barr. you know that. you are using language for political purposes. let me go now to one of the most important topics facing the nation right now, health care. you know in my district we have close to 100,000 people that get health insurance through the aca. 90,000 of them are living with serious pre-existing conditions. and yet you are working to strip their health care at the worst possible moment, when the coronavirus is killing thousands in my state. mr. barr: they will not be stripped of their health care. rep. mucarsel-powell: in the counties i represent, do you know how many people have died from covid-19? mr. barr: no, i don't. rep. mucarsel-powell: 1400 10 people. you were at the white house on march 23rd when the president said that governor desantis was doing an incredible job. do you agree that governor desantis is doing an incredible
job? mr. barr: i have no reason not to believe that. rep. mucarsel-powell: florida now has more cases than china. cuomo do and incredible job in new york? rep. mucarsel-powell: in florida we have more cases than most countries combined around the world, so no, he is not doing an incredible job. you pushed states to open too soon, threatened them with lawsuits -- mr. barr: i didn't ask states to open. rep. mucarsel-powell: you threatened states with lawsuits for stay-at-home orders. mr. barr: things like church. rep. mucarsel-powell: we have the facts. mr. barr: now the united states of america has more than 4.3 million covid cases alone. you, you, mr. barr, and president, working together, are letting my constituents down and it is something that you are going to have to live with. what am i supposed to say to my constituents when they ask me if the government has done everything in its power to
protect their loved ones from dying? you tell me, what am i supposed to tell them? mr. barr: i would tell them that managing this kind of thing requires a lot of difficult choices to be made and different consequences. rep. mucarsel-powell: i'm not going to lie to my constituents. i'm going to let them know that president donald trump and the, working together, are not following health guidelines and are letting americans die needlessly for political reasons. that is what i will tell them. thank you. one last question, if i can, under oath, under oath do you commit to not releasing any reports by mr. durham before the november election? mr. barr: no. rep. mucarsel-powell: you don't commit to that. mr. barr: so you won't go by department of justice policy that you won't interfere in any political investigations before the november election? mr. barr: i have made it clear,
i'm not going to tolerate it. rep. mucarsel-powell: under oath you would not commit to not releasing the report. mr. barr: i'm not going to -- any report will be in my judgment not one covered by the policy that would disrupt the election. i have already made it clear. mr. barr: going against federal justice department policy. -- rep. mucarsel-powell: going against federal department policy. mr. barr: i know the policy. rep. mucarsel-powell: do you want me to repeat it for you? i yelled back. mr. barr: point of order -- >> point of order. is it permissible for a member of this committee to accuse the sitting attorney general of murder, because that is what we just heard. those words need to be struck from the record, this is outrageous. theycan just say whatever want? what about the rules of decorum? >> i have a clarification.
escobar is recognized. >> was the video played by the previous member, was that a video of things that happened in the united states for things that happened in venezuela? >> not a point of order, miss escobar is recognized. rep. escobar: mr. barr, the administration against the doj own memo is trying to exclude undocumented persons from the census, an action that harms american lives and immigrant communities and american communities. here's an example. many american children live with an undocumented -- undocumented parent or relative. the change in the census would mean that those children would receive less money for programs like the national school lunch program, headstart, or the state children's health insurance program. a simple yes or no, please, are you comfortable with the decision that would punish
american children in immigrant communities in this way? i don't make the policy, i provide legal advice on legal issues. both this issue and the issue of the aca, the question that you presented to the department is the law. yes orcobar: a simple no, does the constitution say that only citizens should be counted in the census? mr. barr: no. rep. escobar: correct, it does not. the framers explicitly confronted this question and provided that persons in each state be counted. mr. barr: they wouldn't have confronted it because there were no illegal aliens. rep. escobar: among other things, i'm alarmed by your refusal in the department to comply with key supreme court rulings. june 18 of this year the court in an opinion authored by chief justice roberts ruled that the trump administration must attempt to rescind doc was
arbitrary and capricious and required the administration to process new applications. despite that ruling, zero applications have been processed. that's not the only supreme court decision that your administration has ignored. in 2017 your department issued a memo saying that transgender workers were not protected by civil rights laws. the supreme court struck that down, too. saidarr: no, i'm sorry, we the 64 act -- rep. escobar: reclaiming my time, sir. in the docket and transgender decisions, your department has aca and-- d transgender decisions, your apartment has yet to comply. mr. barr: i guess we are. rep. escobar: you are now processing daca applications? mr. barr: we are trying to restore the administrative process and i think that dhs out a rule today.
at least that's what i was told. testify that you you discuss to the president's reelection campaign with him. does the president tell you what he thinks the winning issues for him would be in his reelection? mr. barr: i can't discuss my discussions with the president. rep. escobar: i'm not asking you to dive all jenny think private or classified. mr. barr: i think that my discussions with the president are confidential. but it shouldn't surprise you that in an election year that the topic of the election comes up. mr. barr: it surprises -- rep. escobar: it surprises me that the doj has become so politicized, that's what surprises me. have you ever discussed the fact that anti-immigrant and anti-lgbt from -- policies excite his base? mr. barr: no. rep. escobar: you've never had that conversation? he's never told you that his anti-immigrant, anti-lgbtq policies june up his base? mr. barr: i haven't discussed
that with him, but i think a lot of his base does care about immigration policy. mr. barr: does that motivate -- rep. escobar: does that motivate some of the work that you do? mr. barr: like what? rep. escobar: that position was taken on the transgender that you are talking about was taken before i arrived in litigation, i believe. mr. barr: and you can -- rep. escobar: you can reverse it any day. mr. barr: it was a legal question as to whether -- rep. escobar: i'm running out of time, one more question. you keep telling us that you are not aware of the president's tweets. are you aware that your department has stated that the president's tweets are white house statements? mr. barr: i wasn't. i don't pay attention to them unless they are brought to my attention. for escobar: thank you being here today. i want to remind you of something you probably don't remember but some months ago you were outside my office, coming out of my neighbors office, doug collins.
i tap you on the shoulder and in a friendly reminder i handed you a copy of the constitution and i defend the help us constitution. there is nothing more dangerous to our republic than an attorney general who refuses to uphold his oath, refuses to uphold and defend the constitution, and swears allegiance to just one person, donald trump. sadly, that's where we are. my loyalty is the constitution -- >> the lady just accused him of not adhering to his oath of office. let them talk. she just accuse the attorney general of the united states of not adhering to his office. >> the gentleman will suspend, the gentlelady yields back. the ranking member asked if the video shown from florida took place in the u.s. or ecuador. >> venezuela. >> the u.s. or venezuela -- >> that, sir, is precisely the point. this concludes the point.
thank you, attorney general, for participating. without objection, all members have five legislative days to submit additional materials to the witnesses for the record and for that objection -- and with that -- and without objection, the hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020]
>> in case you missed any of william barr,ith you can catch it in its entirety p.m. oron c-span at 8 at any time on our website, c-span.org. >> during the summer months, reach out to your elected officials with the c-span congressional directory, it contains all the information you need to stay in touch with congress, federal agencies, and governors. order your copy online today at
c-span store.org. >> the body of congressman john lying in state front of the u.s. capitol. a memorial service was held yesterday for the 80-year-old civil rights leader. in 1965 he led the selma to montgomery marches across the edmund edison ridge, which became known as bloody sunday. he was first elected to congress in 1986, representing atlanta, georgia. his autobiography, "walking with the wind," memories of the movement -- wind, memories of the movement." >> camera two?