emocrats were so “insulting” to Attorney General William P. Barr during his last appearance on Capitol Hill that the Justice Department won’t send witnesses to two upcoming hearings, the department informed lawmakers on Monday.
Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler had asked for top officials to testify at hearings over the next 10 days on civil rights and on prison operations.
But Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd delivered a withering rebuke, writing Mr. Nadler to say the committee had a chance to ask Mr. Barr about those subjects when he appeared for a hearing in late July, and instead Democrats “devoted their time entirely towards scolding and insulting the attorney general.”
They also refused to give Mr. Barr a chance to respond, and indeed some made clear they didn’t want to hear what he had to say.
“All told, when the attorney general tried to address the committee’s questions, he was interrupted and silenced in excess of 70 times,” Mr. Boyd wrote. “One member interrupted him and admitted, ‘Well I don’t want you to tell your story.’”
Things got so bad that at one point Mr. Barr asked to take a five-minute break and Mr. Nadler refused that common courtesy. “You’re a real class act,” Mr. Barr chided him.
Mr. Nadler eventually agreed to the break.
But the experience left such a sour taste that the Justice Department says it’s not interested in any repeats.
“Having squandered its opportunity to conduct a meaningful oversight hearing with the attorney general, it remains unclear how further public spectacles with other department officials would now — a mere 14 legislative days since the attorney general’s hearing — advance the committee’s legitimate oversight efforts,” Mr. Boyd wrote.