No cupboard secretary relishes testifying earlier than lawmakers conducting oversight, however Mr. Barr has been unusually profitable in avoiding journeys to Capitol Hill. He has by no means appeared earlier than the Home judiciary panel, which has oversight accountability for the Justice Division, together with throughout his first stint as legal professional normal below President George Bush. And he has not testified earlier than Congress in any respect since Might 2019, when he appeared earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee to reply questions in regards to the report by the particular counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
Lengthy lists of subjects for lawmakers to query him on have accrued within the meantime. The committee has about 40 members, every of whom will get 5 minutes to query Mr. Barr, so the listening to is more likely to final a lot of the day.
Home Democrats have lengthy wished to query him on his dealing with of the Mueller report. A federal decide has mentioned that in summarizing it himself earlier than releasing it, Mr. Barr put ahead a “distorted” and “deceptive” account that torqued public understanding of it in a means that favored Mr. Trump.
The Home Judiciary Committee voted to suggest holding Mr. Barr in contempt over his defiance of a subpoena for grand jury proof gathered by the particular counsel’s investigation shortly thereafter, although the total Home later determined to as an alternative struggle him in court docket for these supplies, and, extra lately, a few of its members have mentioned he must be impeached.
However many different flash factors have come and gone since then, and newer fights might dominate the listening to. For instance, Democrats are anticipated to attempt to press him on the Trump administration’s aggressive use of federal brokers at protests after the police killings of Mr. Floyd and a Kentucky girl, Breonna Taylor.
The Justice Division’s impartial inspector normal has introduced an investigation into the federal response, together with the disputed and violent clearing of protesters from Lafayette Sq. close to the White Home final month earlier than a photograph alternative for Mr. Trump in entrance of a church. The legal professional normal accompanied the president, and the White Home initially mentioned Mr. Barr had ordered the clearance, although he later mentioned he had not given a “tactical” order.
Mr. Barr has since develop into the face of a Trump administration vow to ship a surge of federal brokers into cities to battle violent crime for an effort he’s calling Operation Legend, which he has mentioned would come with 200 brokers in Chicago and Kansas Metropolis, Mo., in addition to three dozen in Albuquerque. In opposition to the backdrop of the disputed use of federal brokers to confront protesters and shield federal buildings in Portland, Ore., the announcement obtained main consideration.