Taking a cue from Bartleby, the Scrivener, the Department of Justice has announced that it would prefer not to send witnesses to testify before the House Judiciary Committee run by Jerrold Nadler and his fellow Democrats. Responding to a request from Nadler for testimony from Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal, and U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd tactfully recalled the treatment of Attorney General Barr by the committee Democrats. John wrote about the hearing in “The Democrats embarrass themselves again.” Recalling the treatment the Democrats accorded Barr at that hearing, Boyd declines Nadler’s request.
Here is a salient paragraph of Boyd’s letter to Nadler:
As the Supreme Court recently reiterated, the purpose of a hearing by the House is to obtain the information necessary to legislate “wisely and effectively,” and the questioning is required to serve a legitimate legislative purpose. See Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, 140 S. Ct.2019 (2020). Yet the House’s so-called oversight “hearing” of the Attorney General did preciously little to advance any legitimate interest since the Attorney General was repeatedly denied the opportunity to provide information to the Committee. We very much regret that the Committee did not elect to engage in a meaningful, good-faith effort to obtain information and views from the Attorney General while he was present and prepared to testify. Having squandered its opportunity to conduct a meaningful oversight hearing with the Attorney General, it remains unclear how further public spectacles with other Department officials would now—a mere 14 legislative days since the Attorney General’s hearing—advance the Committee’s legitimate oversight efforts.
It took me a while to dig up an embeddable copy of Boyd’s letter (below). If you’re looking for a sliver of sunshine somewhere in the disgusting news of the day, you may want to check it out yourself.