Vice President Mike Pence blasted the Democrats for their behavior during Tuesday’s contentious committee hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr.
In his own characteristically polite way, Pence criticized members of the House Judiciary Committee for “[wanting] to be heard more than they wanted to listen,” as Fox News reported.
Pence slams treatment of Barr
Coming on the heels of riots in Portland, Democrats spent much of the hearing condemning Barr over the presence of federal agents in the city, which Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) claimed had been calculated to provide “footage for [Trump’s] campaign ads.” But Democrats also trod more well-worn ground, accusing the attorney general of acting like the president’s personal henchman in his handling of the Roger Stone case and other matters.
However, it was quickly evident that Democrats had more interest in simply leveling these attacks than in actually giving Barr a chance to respond to them. After lengthy questions that often sounded more like speeches, the Democrats on the panel made it a practice of interrupting Barr whenever he attempted to reply.
Echoing Barr’s very visible frustrations with the uncivil display, Pence said that the Democrats appeared to have come to the session in bad faith.
“Bill Barr is leading the Justice Department in this country with great integrity and brings a lifetime commitment to the rule of law,” the vice president said.
“But to see it today, in the little bit that I was able to watch, it was clear that the Democrats wanted to hear themselves talk more than they wanted to hear from the attorney general of the United States,” he added.
Pence’s comments echoed the protestations of the attorney general himself, who observed with some irony that there wasn’t much communication taking place at the “hearing.”
“This is a hearing, I thought I was the one who was supposed to be heard,” he complained.
On the issues, Barr defended his decision to seek a reduced sentence for Stone, affirmed President Trump’s concerns about voter fraud, and called proposals to defund police “extremely dangerous.” He said that federal agents were needed to defend the besieged courthouse in Portland and that Democrats are at fault for failing to condemn violence in the city.
“What makes me concerned for the country is this is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts,” Barr opined.
Like Pence, Barr has shown considerable forbearance in dealing with the unhinged left. Good for him.