On Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Attorney General William Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee on a wide variety of issues including recent civil unrest, the COVID-19 pandemic, and election security. During the lengthy hearing, nearly every Democratic member of the committee spent his or her time throwing accusations at Attorney General Barr without giving him the opportunity to respond.
Josh Holmes, former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, summed up the exchanges between Democrats and Attorney General Barr well:
It's an incredible mismatch between congressional Democrats who are basically forced to just sort of try to shout over him. They're asking questions, but not really. They're more like statements. . . And any time he tries to interject, they basically reclaim their time and don't allow him to speak. . . . I can only imagine that's because what he's about to say would refute most of what their question was.
Even some Democratic attorneys took to Twitter to criticize the way that the Democratic members conducted the hearing
One of the most poignant moments of the meeting came during Ranking Member Jim Jordan's (R-OH) opening remarks, which were accompanied by a video montage of the violence that the country has been experiencing in recent months, violence that has largely been denied by the Democratic members of the committee, including its chairman:
.@JudiciaryGOP play a video contrasting the media characterizing nationwide unrest as "peaceful protests" with scenes of riots, looting, and murder. pic.twitter.com/czklhusGpP— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 28, 2020
In his opening statement, Attorney General Barr focused predominantly on the recent surge of unrest throughout the country after the tragic death of George Floyd and reasserted his commitment to equal justice for all.
This theme continued throughout the hearing:
Under AG Barr, @realDonaldTrump's Admin has restored integrity, fairness and impartiality to @TheJusticeDept. I was happy to offer the opening questions for the Republican side in today's historic hearing and I am grateful for the Attorney General's clear and irrefutable answers. pic.twitter.com/ZdtI0Qnx25— Rep. Mike Johnson (@RepMikeJohnson) July 28, 2020
Attorney General Barr also expressed concern over the potential voter fraud that might occur should the country shift to a universal vote-by-mail system like many Democratic lawmakers are advocating for:
As Barr makes perfectly clear, there is a massive difference between making accommodations for those who need to vote absentee, and converting the entire system to mail-in voting.— John Cooper (@thejcoop) July 28, 2020
Pretending there's not a difference is plain dishonest. #BarrHearing pic.twitter.com/p4jO7GdJ9c
One thing is clear, House Democrats had no interest in hearing what Attorney General Barr had to say today. Despite this, the Attorney General's message to Americans remains the same: his Justice Department and the Trump Administration will stand for law and order.