U.S. Attorney General William Barr is set to accuse House Democrats on Tuesday of attempting to cover up abuses of power in the government’s investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and his administration, for Russia “collusion.”
Ultimately no “collusion” was found — and there is currently a criminal inquiry into the investigation itself.
In a blistering statement prepared for his House Judiciary Committee testimony Tuesday, Barr plans to accuse Democrats of attempting to discredit him because he has pursued the “Russiagate” scandal.
Ever since I made it clear that I was going to do everything I could to get to the bottom of the grave abuses involved in the bogus “Russiagate” scandal, many of the Democrats on this Committee have attempted to discredit me by conjuring up a narrative that I am simply the President’s factotum who disposes of criminal cases according to his instructions. Judging from the letter inviting me to this hearing, that appears to be your agenda today.
Barr was threatened with a subpoena and potential impeachment by Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) if he did not testify, and he agreed to do so.
The bulk of his prepared testimony deals with ongoing controversy regarding allegations of racism among police, and ongoing “Black Lives Matter” riots.
In his statement, Barr begins by acknowledging the legacy of the late civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who is lying in state in the U.S. Capitol this week. Later, Barr addresses the issues raised by the killing of George Floyd, noting that while “the overall number of police shootings has been decreasing,” recent events “strike a deep chord in the black community.” Barr says that the cause is not “deep-seated racism” among police, but rather “a complex mix of factors.”
In a pluralistic society like ours, composed of many races and ethnicities, we all must strive not to reduce each other to stereotypes or to allow those stereotypes to govern our treatment of our fellow citizens. Rather, we have a basic and overriding obligation to treat each other as individuals, created equal and entitled to the benefit of the doubt rather than assumptions based on skin color.
Demonizing police, he says, hurts black Americans, who are the primary victims of crime. “When the police are attacked, when they are defunded, when they are driven out of urban communities, it is black lives that will suffer most from their absence.”
Barr then comments on the ongoing riots:
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak 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 rioters has laid siege to the federal courthouse and other nearby federal property. The rioters arrive equipped for a fight, armed with powerful slingshots, tasers, sledgehammers, saws, knives, rifles, and explosive devices. Inside the courthouse are a relatively small number of federal law enforcement personnel charged with a defensive mission: to protect the courthouse, home to Article III federal judges, from being overrun and destroyed.
What unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be called a protest; it is, by any objective measure, an assault on the Government of the United States.
Remarkably, the response from many in the media and local elected offices to this organized assault has been to blame the federal government. To state what should be obvious, peaceful protesters do not throw explosives into federal courthouses, tear down plywood with crowbars, or launch fecal matter at federal officers. Such acts are in fact federal crimes under statutes enacted by this Congress.
As elected officials of the federal government, every Member of this Committee – regardless of your political views or your feelings about the Trump Administration – should condemn violence against federal officers and destruction of federal property. So should state and local leaders who have a responsibility to keep their communities safe. To tacitly condone destruction and anarchy is to abandon the basic rule-of-law principles that should unite us even in a politically divisive time. At the very least, we should all be able to agree that there is no place in this country for armed mobs that seek to establish autonomous zones beyond government control, or tear down statues and monuments that law-abiding communities chose to erect, or to destroy the property and livelihoods of innocent business owners. The most basic responsibility of government is to ensure the rule of law, so that people can live their lives safely and without fear. The Justice Department will continue working to meet that solemn responsibility.
Nadler raised eyebrows Sunday when he denied that there was violence associated with ongoing riots in Portland, which Barr describes in his statement in detail.
Nadler — a key figure in Trump’s impeachment — called the riots a “myth.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.