Nadler arrived for the judiciary hearing delayed after a minor car accident. He immediately put the rhetorical pedal to the metal, facing Barr.
“In this Justice Department, the president’s enemies will be punished and his friends will be protected no matter the cost, no matter the cost of liberty, no matter the cost of justice,” Nadler said.
“What enemies have I indicted? Who, who, could you point to one indictment that has been under the department that you feel is unmerited, that you feel violates the rule of law? One indictment,” Barr said.
Nadler and Barr clashed over unrest in Portland and other cities. Nadler says federal officers sent to confront rioters are a political show of force.
“The president wants footage for his campaign ads, and you appear to be serving it up to him as ordered,” Nadler said.
“Throw kerosene balloons in and start fires in the court, is that OK? Is that OK now? No, the U.S. Marshals have a duty to stop that and defend the courthouse and that’s what we are doing in Portland,” Barr said.
Nadler was trending on Twitter after an exchange with a YouTuber who asked about Antifa in Portland.
“That’s a myth that’s being spread only in Washington, D.C.,” Nadler said.
CBS2’s Tony Aiello asked Nadler’s office for clarification but has not heard back. He previously referred to Antifa as “imaginary.”
Barr told the committee he believes Antifa is real, an “umbrella group” for radicals.
“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction,” Barr said.
Some Democrats on the committee have filed articles of impeachment to remove Barr from office.
Nadler has called that a “waste of time” given Republican control of the Senate.
Barr also said the president gives him independence over all criminal prosecutions.