The House Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that Attorney General William Barr has agreed to testify before the panel next month—a development that came the same day President Donald Trump praised Barr for his role in the Justice Department reducing the recommended prison sentence for Trump confidant Roger Stone.
In a letter to the attorney general from 23 Democratic committee members, the lawmakers said that they are confirming his agreement to testify March 31.
READ IT HERE: Letter from @HouseJudiciary confirming AG Barr will testify before the Committee on March 31st to address concerns regarding his leadership of the DOJ and the President's improper influence over the Department and our criminal justice system. pic.twitter.com/W5YHly85BL— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) February 12, 2020
The Democrats said Barr has "engaged in a pattern of conduct in legal matters relating to the president that raises significant concerns," including several actions over the past week. Those recent actions, the committee wrote, are:
- The ongoing developments following the removal of U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu, who oversaw the prosecutions of President Trump's deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, President Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and President Trump's longtime political adviser Roger Stone.
- The creation of a new "process" by which President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani can feed the Department of Justice information, through you, about the president's political rivals.
- The decision to overrule your career prosecutors and significantly reduce the recommended sentence for Roger Stone, who has been convicted for lying under oath, at the apparent request of the president—a decision that led to all four prosecutors handling the case to withdraw from the proceedings in protest.
Those actions, the lawmakers added, don't represent the full scope of the matters the committee will ask about during the hearing.
"The politicization of the department by President Trump—pressuring DOJ to go after his political enemies and help his allies who have committed serious crimes—is a clear threat to our democracy and totally unacceptable," the Democrats on the committee added.