WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next month as Democrats express numerous concerns about his Department of Justice tenure, the committee said Wednesday.
"We are writing to confirm your agreement to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31, 2020," Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and 22 other Democratic members of the panel said in a letter to Barr on Wednesday.
Democrats wrote that they plan to ask Barr questions about the Justice Department's decision to overrule career prosecutors and propose a reduction in the sentence for Trump confidant Roger Stone. The backpedal, announced Tuesday, led to all four of the prosecutors withdrawing from the criminal case.
They also wrote that they plan to ask about the Justice Department's dealings with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as well as the removal of U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu who oversaw the prosecutions of Stone, Trump’s deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates and Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
They suggested they plan to press Barr about other issues as well, but said that these three issues “are enough to require our immediate attention."
"Since President Trump took office, we have repeatedly warned you and your predecessors that the misuse of our criminal justice system for political purposes is both dangerous to our democracy and unacceptable to the House Judiciary Committee," the Democrats wrote.
"In your tenure as Attorney General, you have engaged in a pattern of conduct in legal matters relating to the President that raises significant concerns for this Committee," they added.
Democrats have not had much luck in garnering information from Barr. Last May, the attorney general skipped a Judiciary Committee hearing on then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference. Last July, the House voted to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for obstructing a probe into the administration's failed bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.