Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) issued a joint statement Thursday evening accusing President Donald Trump of politicizing the Department of Justice (DOJ) through a criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.
Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, and Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement via Twitter: “If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.”
If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.
Joint statement w/ @RepAdamSchiff
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) October 25, 2019
The two Democrats were reacting to a report in the New York Times that the DOJ had “shifted an administrative review of the Russia investigation closely overseen by Attorney General William P. Barr to a criminal inquiry.” The inquiry has been conducted by U.S. Attorney John Durham.
There is no evidence that the inquiry is being used as “political retribution,” though the Times took a similar line: “The opening of a criminal investigation is likely to raise alarms that Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies. … Mr. Trump has made clear that he sees the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies,” it reported (original link).
Neither Nadler nor Schiff addressed the substance of Durham’s investigation.
For years, Schiff claimed that there was evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, but an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller turned up none.
Instead, Schiff and fellow Democrats sought to block or discourage investigations into the origins of the Russia investigation — including possible political bias by law enforcement and intelligence officials, and alleged criminal leaks of the names of Americans who were caught up in surveillance of foreign communications.
Nadler and Schiff did not acknowledge that their own efforts to press forward with an unauthorized “impeachment inquiry” might be seen as creating “a political narrative for the next election,” one that damages the rule of law.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.