Barr defends federal deployment in Portalnd (USA Today)
The teaser note on the News Journal’s front page was “Barr goes on defense,” which seems rather absurd given what happened at the July 28 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
Yes, AG William Barr characterized the nightly protests in Portland as an “assault on the government of the United States.” His reasoning was spelled out in his written statement, which he was allowed 5 minutes to summarize at the start of the hearing.
True also that Barr’s testimony has been “long sought” by House Democrats, but that’s not to say it was highly valued. To the contrary, as stated in this story, Rep. Nadler “seized on Barr’s defense of the Portland response” as evidence that Department of Justice actions are being shaped by the president’s political agenda.
“Shame on you, Mr. Barr,” Nadler said, when Barr declined to discuss conversations that he had had with the president.
And although the story doesn’t go into the matter, other Democratic members of the committee were equally disrespectful. One after another bombarded the attorney general with accusatory questions and then almost invariably refused to allow him to answer them. See, e.g., Dems swarm Bill Barr, Byron York, Washington Examiner,7/29/20.