House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, called for Attorney General William Barr to recuse himself from all Ukrainian investigation-related matters as Democrats scrambled to dissect President Donald Trump’s transcript of the call he made to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy less than a week ago.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized House Democrats for trying to abuse State Department officials by scheduling depositions about their involvement with President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president on little notice, according to CBS News.
“I am concerned with aspects of your request, described more fully below, that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State, including several career Foreign Service Officers,” Pompeo wrote in a letter addressed to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, for the committee had not allowed the officials enough time to prepare.
CNN contributor James D. Schultz, who is an American lawyer and was an Associate White House Counsel for U.S. President Donald J. Trump, serving from January 20, 2017, to November 24, 2017, detailed why Barr shouldn’t be targeted by the Democrats in a report.
“The reality is that anyone within Trump’s orbit who isn’t willing to deliver the goods on the President, or who stands in the Democrats’ way in their rush to judgment, is a target,” Schultz wrote. “Trump’s opponents would like Barr to help them make a case against the President, regardless of whether or not such a case exists.”
Nadler sent his tweet saying Barr must recuse himself before the whistleblower complaint was even made public. The whistleblower, who claims not to have any firsthand knowledge of Trump’s call to Zelenskiy, made the unsubstantiated claim, “Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well,” Schultz noted.
Barr himself however, strongly denied any involvement in the matter.
Schultz also made clear, “There is nothing in the rules of professional conduct for attorneys, or in the ethics laws governing U.S. public officials, that even comes close to grounds for recusal” based on what is known from the complaint and the transcript.
Since Nadler’s tweet framing Barr has gone viral, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday said Barr has “gone rogue,” and Rep. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said to CNN that “Barr must be held to account.”
But Barr has never before spoken to Trump about the Ukraine dealings, the Ukrainian government, or Rudy Giuliani about the Biden family, according to the Department of Justice.
“The president has not spoken with the Attorney General about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement on Wednesday, CNN reports.
“One of the ironies today is that people are saying it is President Trump who is shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that,” Barr told CBS News in May. “From my perspective, the idea of ‘resisting’ a democratically elected President and basically throwing everything at him, and really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this President. That’s where the shredding of our norms and institutions is occurring.”
“If mentioning the attorney general’s name in a conversation with a foreign leader is reason for recusal, Barr and all future attorneys general won’t have much to do,” Schultz wrote.