'Corrupt' senate Republicans would make impeaching Barr a 'waste of time,' top Democrat says

Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler's committee would be tasked with authoring impeachment articles

Griffin Connolly
Washington
Sunday 21 June 2020 16:55
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Crowd goes wild as Donald Trump successfully drinks a glass of water

House Democrats will not impeach attorney general William Barr because "corrupt" Republicans in the Senate would prevent his removal from office, judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler suggested on Sunday.

Democrats have sounded alarms over Mr Barr's decision to remove a federal prosecutor in New York overseeing multiple investigative inquiries into Donald Trump's associates, including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Mr Nadler, who chairs the House panel that authored impeachment articles against Mr Trump for abusing the power of his office in foreign policy with Ukraine, told CNN's Anderson Cooper Democratic lawmakers would be justified in trying to impeach the attorney general, but that the fight is not worth their time.

“No, I don't think calls for his impeachment are premature any more than calls for the president's impeachment were premature,” Mr Nadler said.

“But they are a waste of time at this point, because we know that we have a corrupt Republican majority in the Senate which will not consider an impeachment no matter what the evidence and no matter what the facts,” he added. “We’re instead going to do what we have to do without that.”

Mr Tapper then asked Mr Nadler whether he believed every Senate Republican who voted to acquit Mr Trump in February's impeachment trial was corrupt.

“I think in the sense of being corrupt against the interest of the country, yes,” Mr Nadler said.

Mr Nadler, whose committee oversees the Justice Department, has launched an all-out offensive against Mr Barr this summer. The chairman has called a hearing for next week where two DOJ whistleblowers will testify about “unprecedented politicization” and corruption at the department.

Mr Nadler has also proposed legislation to slash the budget of Mr Barr’s personal office at the DOJ by $50m, he announced earlier this month.

Earlier this month, Mr Barr was excoriated for ordering law enforcement to use violent means — rubber bullets, chemical gas agents, and flash bang grenades — to clear peaceful protesters who gathered at Lafayette Square just north of the White House to demonstrate against police brutality.

Shortly after the street clearance, Mr Barr, Mr Trump, and others walked to nearby St John’s Episcopal Church, where the president held up a Bible as photojournalists snapped pictures and TV crews captured video footage.

Mr Nadler has said his committee will investigate the DOJ's sudden firing of the New York prosecutor, Geoff Berman, over concerns of corruption.

"The whole thing smacks of corruption and incompetence, which is what we have come to expect from this President and his Attorney General," Mr Nadler said in a statement over the weekend.

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