tv Attorney General Barr Testifies on Justice Department Mission Programs -... CSPAN July 29, 2020 6:39am-7:01am EDT
dean: in lafayette square, peaceful protesters gathered over days and hours to discuss civil rights and the heinous murder of george floyd call for equality and justice. when asked about the use of force displayed in the video against the protesters in lafayette square you stated that your attitude was to get it done . let's look at what you got done. if you take a look at the timeline we compiled, we can see that you were spotted there at 10 p.m. that monday evening. the president was scheduled to speak in the rose garden at 6:15. the park police began to disperse protesters at roughly 6:33. president trump started his speech at 6:43 and finished by 650 -- 6:50. when the president was ready to take a photo in front of st. john's church, the square was cleared and ready for him to go. am i correct?
yes.- mr. barr: rep. dean: the timing is clear. one safety official said that it was as if the plan from the park police to move the perimeter had been "hurried up" when the president needed to walk to church and just today we heard testimony from a national guard officer deployed at lafayette square confirming that he suspected the square to be clear after the curfew. mr. barr: who was that? rep. dean: adam dimarco, national guard. mr. barr: well -- rep. dean: i didn't have a question for you, sir. we were told that you learned of the president's interest in crossing the square to go to the church. is it your opinion the clearing protesters from the square, which local officials were told to hurry up moments before the president's photo op with a borrowed bible in front of the church was coincident? is this timing coincidence?
mr. barr: i believe it is. post hoc ergo proctor hock. rep. dean: never mind the latin. when asked about the use of pepper bombs -- mr. barr: it wasn't a coincidence in the setting, if you would permit me. as i said, i will use the analogy of macarthur. rep. dean: we heard that. -- mr.ttorney general attorney general, we will assume that was all coincidence. mr. barr: i have already explained that it had been planned all day. rep. dean: the time is mine and we have waited a long time for you to come here. mr. barr: you waited to talk to me like this? you didn't need to wait. rep. dean: when you fired pepper bombs -- when asked about firing pepper bombs at americans, you set pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. is barr: everything chemical, i was referring to a dichotomy in these kinds of
things between chemical compounds and naturally occurring substances. rep. dean: there are rules by which we operate and i would ask you to respect them, reclaiming my time. on the screen i have place for reference as you are aware how your department describes the pepper balls used on the americans in lafayette square. it hasnoted that accuracy when accompanying blunt trauma with impact making it an ideal chemical dispensing system so in a quote you said it wasn't chemical, today could -- today you confirmed it is chemical and you are aware of department policy, are you not? rep. dean: -- mr. barr: what policy? rep. dean: the what i just provided to you. mr. barr: what does it say? what's the policy? rep. dean: i showed it to you. perhaps you weren't listening. mr. barr: i didn't see the policy. what was the policy and there?
or not youwhether authorized the use of pepper balls -- mr. barr: the -- i did not ask you a question yet, sir, i ask you to please refrain from interrupting me. horrifying video showing chemical puritans used on protesters. yes or no, this is a yes or no, sir, have you begun an investigation into the use of excessive force in lafayette square? mr. barr: i think the ig is looking at anything related to antiriot. is. dean: so, the answer yes. let's hope he doesn't get fired. tragically, what happened there is no longer an isolated incident. use of chemical irritants has happened in more than 90 cities. we saw the video of the navy veteran being pepper sprayed and beaten, his phone broken. whether or not you thought this was appropriate at the time, have you called work
law-enforcement to stop using these chemical your tents on protesters? yes or no? mr. barr: pepper spray? no, it's an important nonlethal option. rep. dean: for protesters? mr. barr: no, for writers. rep. dean: my question was for protesters. mr. barr: no, america was founded on the principles of free speech. -- rep.: when americans dean: reclaiming my time. of surprised your lack politeness. fromny of my constituents -- fled from america -- fled to america from countries that used armed forces to suppress dissenting force it -- voices. they cherish our constitution as many americans have done for generations because of the incredible freedoms and rights
being an american citizen gives to all of us. it's externally personal to me because you probably know that i live by the american constitution. it's true that those who are not fortunate enough to always have these rights and freedoms sometimes cherish them even more than those who have always had them. when they see photos from portland, they don't see the american ideal for the america they know, they see and are reminded of what they left behind. you would agree with me on that? are you listening, mr. barr? mr. barr: who is the subject of that last sentence? rep. mucarsel-powell: just look at these videos for one second. we have seen violence in venezuela at the hands of maduro. firing tear gas that protesters. using brutal tactics to crush demonstrations.
that's what we see from dictators on the left and the right. but it is hard to distinguish these photos from those events and the videos we have seen by u.s. federal police in portland, tear-gassing and breaking the a peacefully protesting u.s. army veteran. very similar. how do you restore the confidence of my constituents and the valiant of this country when every night on television they see these images of violence used against peaceful protesters? we all denounce violence. how do you restore the trust in our democracy? i think that, i think that the force is being deployed against rioters or, in situations where protesters are not following police directions. most ofarsel-powell:
the protests have been peaceful, mr. barr. you know that. you are using language for political purposes. let me go now to one of the most important topics facing the nation right now, health care. you know in my district we have close to 100,000 people that get health insurance through the aca. 90,000 of them are living with serious pre-existing conditions. and yet you are working to strip their health care at the worst possible moment, when the coronavirus is killing thousands in my state. mr. barr: they will not be stripped of their health care. rep. mucarsel-powell: in the counties i represent, do you know how many people have died from covid-19? mr. barr: no, i don't. rep. mucarsel-powell: 1400 10 people. you were at the white house on march
23rd when the president said that governor desantis was doing an incredible job. do you agree that governor desantis is doing an incredible job? mr. barr: i have no reason not to believe that.
rep. mucarsel-powell: florida now has more cases than china. cuomo do and incredible job in new york? rep. mucarsel-powell: in florida we have more cases than most countries combined around the world, so no, he is not doing an incredible job. you pushed states to open too soon, threatened them with lawsuits -- mr. barr: i didn't ask states to open. rep. mucarsel-powell: you threatened states with lawsuits for stay-at-home orders. mr. barr: things like church. rep. mucarsel-powell: we have the facts. mr. barr: now the united states of america has more than 4.3 million covid cases alone. you, you, mr. barr, and president, working together, are letting my constituents down and it is something that you are going to have to live with. what am i
supposed to say to my constituents when they ask me if the government has done everything in its power to protect their loved ones from dying? you tell me, what am i supposed
to tell them? mr. barr: i would tell them that managing this kind of thing requires a lot of difficult choices to be made and different consequences. rep. mucarsel-powell: i'm not going to lie to my constituents. i'm going to let them know that president donald trump and the, working together, are not following health guidelines and are letting americans die needlessly for political reasons. that is what i will tell them. thank you. one last question, if i can, under oath, under oath do you commit to not releasing any reports by mr. durham before the november election? mr. barr: no. rep. mucarsel-powell: you don't commit to that. mr. barr: so you won't go by department of justice policy that you won't interfere in any political investigations before the november election? mr. barr: i have made it clear, i'm not going to tolerate it. rep. mucarsel-powell: under oath
you would not commit to not releasing the report. mr. barr: i'm not going to -- any report will be in my judgment not one covered by the policy that would disrupt the election. i have already made it clear. mr. barr: going against federal justice department policy. -- rep. mucarsel-powell: going against federal department policy. mr. barr: i know the policy. rep. mucarsel-powell: do you want me to repeat it for you? i yelled back. mr. barr: point of order -- >> point of order. is it permissible for a member of this committee to accuse the sitting attorney general of murder, because that is what we just heard. those words need to be struck from the record, this is outrageous. theycan just say whatever want? what about the rules of decorum? >> i have a clarification. escobar is recognized. >> was the video played by the
previous member, was that a video of things that happened in the united states for things that happened in venezuela? >> not a point of order, miss escobar is recognized. rep. escobar: mr. barr, the administration against the doj own memo is trying to exclude undocumented persons from the census, an action that harms american lives and immigrant communities and american communities. here's an example. many american children live with an undocumented -- undocumented parent or relative. the change in the census would mean that those children would receive less money for programs like the national school lunch program, headstart, or the state children's health insurance program. a simple yes or no, please, are you comfortable with the decision that would punish american children in immigrant communities in this way?
i don't make the policy, i provide legal advice on legal issues. both this issue and the issue of the aca, the question that you presented to the department is the law. yes orcobar: a simple no, does the constitution say that only citizens should be counted in the census? mr. barr: no. rep. escobar: correct, it does not. the framers explicitly confronted this question and provided that persons in each state be counted. mr. barr: they wouldn't have confronted it because there were no illegal aliens. rep. escobar: among other things, i'm alarmed by your refusal in the department to comply with key supreme court rulings. june 18 of this year the court in an opinion authored by chief justice roberts ruled that the trump administration must attempt to rescind doc was arbitrary and capricious and required the administration to process new applications.
despite that ruling, zero applications have been processed. that's not the only supreme court decision that your administration has ignored. in 2017 your department issued a memo saying that transgender workers were not protected by civil rights laws. the supreme court struck that down, too. saidarr: no, i'm sorry, we the 64 act -- rep. escobar: reclaiming my time, sir. in the docket and transgender decisions, your department has aca and-- d transgender decisions, your apartment has yet to comply. mr. barr: i guess we are. rep. escobar: you are now processing daca applications? mr. barr: we are trying to restore the administrative process and i think that dhs out a rule today. at least that's what i was told. testify that you
you discuss to the president's reelection campaign with him. does the president tell you what he thinks the winning issues for him would be in his reelection? mr. barr: i can't discuss my discussions with the president. rep. escobar: i'm not asking you to dive all jenny think private or classified. mr. barr: i think that my discussions with the president are confidential. but it shouldn't surprise you that in an election year that the topic of the election comes up. mr. barr: it surprises -- rep. escobar: it surprises me that the doj has become so politicized, that's what surprises me. have you ever discussed the fact that anti-immigrant and anti-lgbt from -- policies excite his base? mr. barr: no. rep. escobar: you've never had that conversation? he's never told you that his anti-immigrant, anti-lgbtq policies june up his base? mr. barr: i haven't discussed that with him, but i think a lot of his base does care about
immigration policy. mr. barr: does that motivate -- rep. escobar: does that motivate some of the work that you do? mr. barr: like what? rep. escobar: that position was taken on the transgender that you are talking about was taken before i arrived in litigation, i believe. mr. barr: and you can -- rep. escobar: you can reverse it any day. mr. barr: it was a legal question as to whether -- rep. escobar: i'm running out of time, one more question. you keep telling us that you are not aware of the president's tweets. are you aware that your department has stated that the president's tweets are white house statements? mr. barr: i wasn't. i don't pay attention to them unless they are brought to my attention. for escobar: thank you being here today. i want to remind you of something you probably don't remember but some months ago you were outside my office, coming out of my neighbors office, doug collins. i tap you on the shoulder and in a friendly reminder i handed you a copy of the constitution and i
defend the help us constitution. there is nothing more dangerous to our republic than an attorney general who refuses to uphold his oath, refuses to uphold and defend the constitution, and swears allegiance to just one person, donald trump. sadly, that's where we are. my loyalty is the constitution -- >> the lady just accused him of not adhering to his oath of office. let them talk. she just accuse the attorney general of the united states of not adhering to his office. >> the gentleman will suspend, the gentlelady yields back. the ranking member asked if the video shown from florida took place in the u.s. or ecuador. >> venezuela. >> the u.s. or venezuela -- >> that, sir, is precisely the point. this concludes the point. thank you, attorney general, for
participating. without objection, all members have five legislative days to submit additional materials to the witnesses for the record and for that objection -- and with that -- and without objection, the hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020]
>> here's a look at our live coverage wednesday. on c-span, the house is back at 9:00 a.m. a 2020 onean work on spending package that covers several departments, including defense, health and human services, transportation, and housing. c-span two, the senate returns at 10:00 a.m. eastern to vote on nominations. c-span3 at 9:30 a.m. eastern, the house judiciary committee holds a hearing on immigration services.
at noon, the ceos of facebook, google goal -- google, amazon, and facebook testify about competition in the tech industry. there are several ovens today on our website. at 9:00 a.m. eastern, the casket carrying congressman john lewis departs from the capital after lying in state for two days. the house oversight and reform the 2020 examines census. the house armed services committee examines harassment issues at the fort hood military base. coming up on "washington journal," republican representative ken buck of colorado talks about his book capitol of freedom.
remainders the life and legacy -- remembers the life and legacy of john lewis. ♪ host: good morning, everyone. facebook, amazon, apple, and google will be on testifyingl for before the house judiciary committee about their market power. this morning, we will begin with your take on this. -.mocrats, (202) 748-800 republicans, (202) 748-8001.