The head of the House Judiciary Committee told Attorney General William Barr on Friday that committee Democrats want interviews or testimony from four career Justice Department prosecutors who quit the case of Trump political associate Roger Stone after Barr overruled their sentencing recommendation.
Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who as a House impeachment manager unsuccessfully urged the Senate to remove President Donald Trump from office, requested that Barr make a total of 15 current and former Justice Department officials available for testimony or interviews on four topics, including the handling of the Stone case.
Barr holds expansive views of executive power, and the Trump administration has generally resisted oversight from House Democrats ever since they took power following the 2018 midterm elections. It is unusual for the Justice Department’s line prosecutors, who are not politically appointed, to testify before Congress.
The attorney general himself is scheduled to testify before the committee on March 31. Nadler’s letter requests a reply from Barr by March 13 about other officials testifying. A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
In a related statement on Friday, Nadler said that the Judiciary Committee “needs to examine a range of recent actions that smack of political interference” and that “strict adherence to the rule of law” is what separates the United States from other countries.
“Attorneys General have supported this principle on a bipartisan basis throughout our history, but that principle is now under assault,” Nadler said. “There is also a long history of Attorneys General cooperating in oversight inquiries led by both Democrats as well as Republicans, and given the stakes for our nation, we expect Attorney General Barr’s full cooperation here.”
Nadler’s letter notes that a number of former Justice Department officials have called on Barr to resign and points to Barr’s recently remarking that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.”
Nadler’s effort was announced a day after Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate political interference within the department.
Read Nadler’s letter below.