The Democratics are at it yet again.
Now that they have spectacularly failed to remove President Trump through the most political impeachment process in history, they have set their eyes on his trusted and respected Attorney General: Bill Barr.
Make no mistake.
Their ultimate goal remains President Trump.
But by targeting the nation’s attorney general, they’re attempting to once again work their way to taking out a duly elected president.
Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler have asked the Justice Department’s independent monitor to investigate comments that Barr made concerning the firing of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.
So exactly what are Schiff and Nadler accusing Barr of doing?
They want the independent monitor to investigate “misleading” comments Barr made about the firing of Atkinson.
That’s right: they’re not making any accusations about the actual firing of Atkinson, but are attempting to investigate the nature of Barr’s comments.
More details on the latest politicized investigation below:
In their request, Schiff and Nadler are urging inspector general Michael Horowitz to investigate attorney general Bill Barr for defending Trump's decision to fire Atkinson.
As the head of the executive branch of government, however, many scholars believe that Trump has the right to fire and hire who he wants to work for him.
Politico has new details on the probe:
Two top House Democrats are asking internal Justice Department watchdogs to investigate Attorney General William Barr for recent comments they say misrepresented the facts about President Donald Trump's decision to fire Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community.
Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of California and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York say Barr's comments, in an April 9 interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham, may have violated DOJ's code of professional conduct, which requires officials to operate with "candor."
The lawmakers asked Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz to investigate whether Barr violated professional responsibilities in his comments about Atkinson and whether he improperly interfered in Atkinson's efforts to alert Congress to alleged misconduct by Trump last fall.
"The role of Attorney General Barr and other senior DOJ officials, in coordination with the White House, in attempting to prevent the whistleblower complaint from reaching Congress — as required by law — warrants your attention," they wrote, referring to the complaint that sparked Trump’s impeachment trial.
Trump abruptly fired Atkinson earlier this month, citing Atkinson's decision last fall to inform Congress about the existence of a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump sought to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate his Democratic adversaries. Atkinson deemed the complaint "urgent" and credible, triggering a legal requirement to inform Congress. The White House and Justice Department intervened, overruling Atkinson's determination and blocking him from sharing it with Congress.
Ultimately, Atkinson did not share the complaint with Congress, but the public pressure surrounding the incident prompted the administration to share the details with lawmakers in September.
Yet Barr, in his Fox interview, suggested Atkinson deserved to be fired because he violated Justice Department protocols, a characterization that Nadler and Schiff say falsely impugns the former inspector general’s actions.
Justice Department officials acknowledged receiving the letter from the Democratic chairmen.
A senior DOJ aide said despite the allegations, Barr's assessment of Atkinson's conduct was correct. Atkinson, the official said, should have deferred to the Justice Department's legal opinion that Congress was not entitled to the substance of the complaint and was incorrect to inform lawmakers of its existence and that he disagreed with DOJ's opinion to bar lawmakers from receiving it.
This isn't the first time that Democrats have targeted Barr.
Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Mark Warner also issued complaints, urging for a similar investigation into Barr's comments.
It is unclear what Horowitz intends to do.
While Schiff and Nadler attempt to politicize Barr's comments, the Department of Justice has come to Barr's defense.
It appears that Barr has the support of the DOJ, if early reports are accurate.
According to Fox News:
But the Justice Department on Friday responded to the calls from Feinstein and Warner and argued Barr's remarks were entirely accurate.
A Justice Department official told Fox News that the dispute between Atkinson and Maguire was based on his demand that the whistleblower complaint, which prompted the president's impeachment inquiry, be sent to Congress before it was sent to the Criminal Division of the Justice Department for review.
The seven-day period, according to the DOJ official, gave the DNI the time to review whether the allegations presented an "urgent concern," but they said it was not intended or provided the time to review the merits. The official maintained that Barr correctly described Atkinson as insisting that the complaint go immediately to Congress before “the executive branch [could] look at it and determine whether there was any problem.”
The official went on to state that Atkinson also ignored the opinion issued by the Office of Legal Counsel by notifying the intelligence committees that he personally disagreed with the DNI's conclusion that the allegations against the president did not meet the statutory definition of an "urgent concern." The DOJ official said that Atkinson insisted on informing the intelligence committees that he received the complaint.
But Schiff and Nadler on Monday cited the OLC opinion a “secret” one that “absurdly concluded that the statute…did not require acting DNI Maguire to forward the whistleblower complaint to Congress.”
“Notwithstanding Mr. Atkinson’s meritorious objections, the coordinated efforts by the White House and DOJ succeeded—temporarily—in preventing Congress from receiving the whistleblower complaint. Only after immense public pressure and a subpoena issued by the House Intelligence Committee did acting DNI Maguire produce the complaint to the congressional intelligence committees in late September 2019,” they wrote.
“The role of Attorney General Barr and other senior DOJ officials, in coordination with the White House, in attempting to prevent the whistleblower complaint from reaching Congress—as required by law—warrants your attention,” they continued.
Nadler and Schiff went on to state that Barr’s “recent remarks are part of a disturbing pattern of misrepresenting facts and falsely alleging misconduct by other government officials in order to defend the President’s own misconduct.”
Nadler and Schiff added that since the conclusion of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, “Barr has persistently sought to mislead the American public in an effort to undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation and findings, as well as those of the Department’s own Office of Inspector General.”
This new investigation comes as the country still grapples with fallout over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democrats are even investigation the president's response to the pandemic as it continue to rage on from coast to coast.
While Horowitz has not yet publicly responded to the requests, we expect his office to issue a statement soon.