Rep. Jerry Nadler Threatens to Subpoena, Freeze Budget of AG Barr to Compel His Testimony Over Firing of SDNY Chief Geoffrey Berman


The chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, confirmed that he is planning on issuing a subpoena to Attorney General Bill Barr to compel his testimony about the firing of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman over the past weekend.

Speaking with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Monday night, Nadler said he wanted Barr to appear before his committee to answer questions about his surreal attempt at a forced resignation of Berman late last Friday night, which initially failed because Barr lacked the legal authority to remove him. Berman, who heads the Southern District of New York, ultimately stepped down under pressure on Saturday after President Donald Trump publicly endorsed his ouster. But the chaotic nature of the controversial move, and the ongoing contradictions over how it transpired, have raised numerous alarms from members of Congress.

“It’s been reported over the course of this evening, both Axios and now NBC news reporting that you are — that you intend to send a subpoena to the attorney general for his testimony in this investigation that you’re launching,” Maddow noted. “Is that true? And what do you expect will be the result?”

“Well, we have begun the process. It takes a process. We have begun the process to issue that subpoena. Yes, it is very much true, we are doing that,” Nadler confirmed.

“Do you expect that Attorney General Barr will respect the subpoena or do you expect that he’ll defy it?” Maddow followed up. Barr defied a House subpoena in 2019 that was aimed at probing his pre-emptive four-page press release summation of the Mueller report, which Democrats claims grossly misrepresented the investigation’s true findings.

“Well, we don’t know that,” Nadler said. “Subpoenas are supposed to be respected, obviously, but the corruption of the attorney general, of Barr, may lead him to try to defy it.”

“Let me say we have other remedies too, to try to force the attorney general,” Nadler pointed out. “We can — we can eliminate his office budget. There are a number of things we can do, which we will do.”

“His office budget, like his paper clips budget or does he have some sort of large discretionary amount of funding that you could cut off?” Maddow asked.

“No, we’re taking the budget in the Department of Justice.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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