House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Tuesday called to cut Attorney General Bill Barr’s budget, citing what his office called “continued defiance of Congress and improper politicization” of the Justice Department.
Nadler, D-N.Y., said the Judiciary Committee would “take steps to protect the integrity” of the DOJ, including introducing legislation that would slash the budget of Barr’s “personal office at DOJ by $50 million.”
Nadler said the committee would soon hear testimony from DOJ whistleblowers and former DOJ officials, who he said “are prepared to describe specific incidents of misconduct, as well as the unprecedented politicization” of the DOJ under President Trump and Barr.
Nadler also said he and Democrats on the committee would file an amicus brief in the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, which Justice Department officials moved to drop last month.
“The Attorney General’s behavior is unacceptable,” Nadler said Tuesday. “He continues to undermine his career staff in a flailing effort to erase the findings of the Mueller investigation.”
Nadler went on to claim that Barr “refuses to answer questions” about the DOJ’s actions related to coronavirus, and claimed that he “has shown contempt for Congress.”
“I am not going to spend months litigating a subpoena with an Attorney General who has already spent years resisting the courts and legitimate congressional oversight—but neither will we stand by and allow Mr. Barr to continue to corrupt the Department,” Nadler said in a statement. “We do not take these actions lightly or with any sense of joy.”
Nadler’s announcement Tuesday is just his latest swipe at Barr, amid a series of actions taken by the Justice Department.
Last month, the Justice Department moved to drop the case against Flynn, which Nadler called “outrageous.” He demanded an inspector general investigation.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to a single count of lying to investigators. Since that charge, Flynn has fought to withdraw his plea.
The Justice Department last month moved to drop the prosecution entirely, maintaining that the FBI’s interview was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.”