Attorney General William Barr (AG Barr) appeared at a contentious hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to give his testimony and answer questions from representatives. The hearing quickly descended into chaos with frequent interruptions and little of substance to show for it.
The Daily Citizen reported on the AG Barr’s opening remarks earlier in the day.
Here are the top five moments you may have missed from the hours-long committee hearing.
1. The Most Frequent Phrase Was “Reclaiming My Time.”
Usually, committee hearings are held with the purpose of learning information from the one giving testimony, which was AG Barr in this case. However, some committee members seemed intent on making statements without giving AG Barr time to answer questions that they posed to him.
Dozens upon dozens of times, after posing a question to AG Barr, the Democrat House member asking the question would tell the attorney general that they were “reclaiming my time.” Several times, Republican House members ceded their time to Attorney General Barr so that he could answer the questions that House Democrats had posed to him.
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said “reclaiming my time,” no less than 12 times in his five minutes of questioning AG Barr.
2. I’m Going to Answer the “D*** Question.”
In one of the most contentious parts of the hearing, AG Barr sparred with House member Joe Neguse, D-Colo., telling the representative he was going to “answer the d*** question.”
Rep. Neguse had asked AG Barr, “On April 18, 2019, you stated, ‘the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation.’ You’re aware of that?”
“Mmhm,” AG Barr responded.
“Today, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ Mr. Barr, under the penalty of perjury, do you testify that that statement was true at the time you made it?”
“I thought it to be true at the time I made it. Why isn’t it true?” AG Barr asked.
“Mr. Barr!! I will get to that! Reclaiming my time! You answered the question. I have another question for you,” Rep. Neguse shouted.
AG Barr then said, “Actually I need to answer the question.”
“Mr. Attorney General, you did answer the question,” Rep. Neguse said.
“No, you said under penalty of perjury, I’m going to answer the d*** question,” AG Barr stated as chuckles could be heard.
“Reclaiming my time! Reclaiming my time!” Rep. Neguse yelled shortly after that.
3. AG Barr Asked to Take a Five-Minute Break, Chairman Nadler Said “No.”
One of the most bizarre moments occurred toward the end of the hearing when AG Barr asked Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., for permission to take a five-minute break.
“No,” Rep. Nadler initially replied.
“That’s a common courtesy,” ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, replied.
“I waited an hour for you this morning, I haven’t had lunch, I’d like to take a five-minute break,” AG Barr responded. The attorney general was referring to Rep. Nadler being one hour late to the committee hearing due to being in a minor car accident earlier in the morning.
Rep. Nadler reversed course and then said, “We’re going to be finished in a few minutes. We can certainly take a break.”
“You’re a real class act Mr. Chairman, a real class act,” AG Barr responded while chuckling.
4. House Democrats Repeatedly Refer to Rioters as “Peaceful Protesters.”
Continuing the mainstream media’s narrative, many House Democrat members referred to rioters, who have been attempted to burn down the Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, as “peaceful protesters.” The rioters have started fires around the courthouse, launched fireworks at the building, pointed lasers at federal law enforcement officers (potentially permanently blinding three of them), and have thrown bricks and ball bearings at officers using slingshots.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said towards the beginning of the hearing, “It’s clear that the president’s playbook is to divert attention… what is the playbook? It’s to create the impression that there is violence that he must send in federal troops and that the American people should be afraid. People are showing up because the troops are there, and I’d like to say that so many of them, I would like to say most of them, are non-violent. We’ve all heard about the wall of moms.”
“I think your characterization of Portland is completely false,” AG Barr responded.
5. Congressmen Says it’s “Disappointing” After AG Barr Said He Would Follow the Law
Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., used his time to ask AG Barr hypothetical questions about what he would do if President Trump asked him to intervene and stop states from counting ballots after election day.
“If, in this upcoming November election, the president asks you to intervene and try to stop states from counting legal ballots after election day, will you do the right thing and refuse? Yes or no?” Rep. Stanton asked.
“I will follow the law,” AG Barr replied.
“You won’t say no sir?” Rep. Stanton asked.
“I will follow the law,” AG Barr repeated.
“It’s very disappointing,” Rep. Stanton responded.
6. Barr Confirms Separate Unmasking Investigation
In questioning from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, AG Barr confirmed that there is currently a second investigating into the unmasking of the names of Trump campaign officials by government officials.
“38 people unmasked Michael Flynn’s name 49 times in a two-month timeframe. Seven people at the Treasury Department unmasked Michael Flynn’s name. Is this an issue Mr. Durham is looking into?” Rep. Jordan asked.
“I’ve asked another U.S. attorney to look into the issue of unmasking because of the high number of unmasking’s and some that do not readily appear to be in the line of normal business,” AG Barr replied.
“Wait a minute, so I want to be clear, so there is another investigation on that issue specifically going on in the Justice Department right now?” Rep. Jordan asked while appearing surprised.
“Yes,” AG Barr said.
Shortly thereafter, Rep. Jordan said, “Thank you, I appreciate that. That’s information the committee did not know.”
Unmasking refers to the practice by U.S. intelligence officials of requesting the release of a name of a U.S. citizen that is incidentally collected over the course of an investigation. The name of the citizen is “masked” to protect their privacy, but can be revealed upon request from a government official.
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Photo from POOL/REUTERS
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