House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) confirmed Monday night that his committee was preparing to subpoena Attorney General Bill Barr for his testimony, despite saying earlier this month that such a move was unlikely.
“We have begun the process to issue that subpoena,” Nadler told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in an interview. On June 2, Nadler shot down the idea of subpoenaing Barr, saying, “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.”
On Sunday, Nadler claimed that Barr “deserves impeachment” for his alleged politicization of the Justice Department, but said trying to do so would be “a waste of time” because “corrupt” Senate Republicans would not vote to convict.
“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,” Nadler said.
Nadler’s spokesman Daniel Schwarz first confirmed to Axios that the subpoena was in the works. Democrats have called to investigate Barr over the abrupt decision to oust Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor, Geoffrey Berman, who has been in charge of several investigations connected to President Trump.
House Judiciary ranking member Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) slammed the decision to subpoena Barr in a letter to Nadler, saying “however much you disagree with the Justice Department’s policy decisions—or agree with the Obama-Biden Administration’s targeting of the Trump campaign—those are not legitimate reasons to compel Attorney General Barr’s testimony at this time.”
Barr was supposed to appear in front of the House Judiciary Committee on March 31, but the hearing was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.