Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement on the President’s Intent to Nominate Bill Barr to be the Next Attorney General

Dec 7, 2018
Press Release

PRESS STATEMENT HEADER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Contact: Robin Chand

December 7, 2018                                                                                               202-228-3816

 

Press Statement

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement on the President’s Intent to Nominate Bill Barr to be the Next Attorney General

 

Jackson Lee – “The president has announced that he intends to nominate an individual who, if confirmed, will serve as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.  He will have domain over a wide range of critical legal issues, including civil rights, voting rights, our criminal justice system, and many others.  This nomination should be subjected to the same rigors as any other nominee to assess his fitness for this position.  And, when his confirmation hearings begin, I plan to attend those hearings and submit testimony concerning this nomination.  Yet this nominee must also make clear his impartiality and objectivity with respect to one critical additional issue: it is vital that any Attorney General confirmed by the Senate only receive his/her commission after pledging not to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation.  Anything short of this assurance amounts to a tacit endorsement of the President’s now three-year assault on the rule of law.”

 

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Budget and Homeland Security, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, issued this statement following news that the President intends to nominate William Barr to serve as Attorney General:

 

“Earlier today, the President announced his intention to nominate William Barr to be the next Attorney General of the United States.  This would be his third Attorney General—the first drew the President’s ire and was unceremoniously forced out of the position for failing to reverse his recusal from the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether that crime was aided and abetted by members of the Trump Campaign.  The second and current Attorney General does not possess the background, training and experience for the position, is not Senate confirmed, is of a dubious appointment which is currently the subject of many legal actions in federal court.

 

“While Mr. Barr is undoubtedly qualified for the position, it is not his educational pedigree which is problematic.  Instead, Mr. Barr has made a series of statements touching upon the Special Counsel’s investigation that call into question his objectiveness, and whether he can be relied upon to successfully execute the mandates of the Special Counsel’s investigation.  For example, Mr. Barr has questioned—implicitly—the impartiality of the team assembled by the Special Counsel, implying that there must be more balance in the political affiliations of the members of the Special Counsel’s team.  This is not a benign statement.  It, and others he has made, directly bear upon critical issues, witnesses and cross-sections of the Special Counsel’s investigation. 

 

“Indeed, the work done by the Special Counsel is critical to Americans’ confidence in our election systems, to ensure that the interference by a hostile, foreign adversary does not ever again occur, and bring those nefariously involved in the 2016 election to justice.   I have long been concerned with ensuring the Special Counsel is permitted to continue his investigation.  This is why over a year ago, I introduced H.R. 3654, the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act, which garnered the support of over 150 members of Congress.  I am also proud that substantial portions of H.R. 3654 were incorporated into H.R. 5476, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, which I introduced with Congressman Jerry Nadler, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, and Congressman Steve Cohen, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.  If enacted into law, H.R. 5476 would permit an affected Special Counsel to require judicial ratification of any termination, during the pendency of which the investigation would be stayed, and immune from any interference from the President, or others. If the President proceeds with his intention, I encourage the United States Senate to conduct a fulsome and searching inquiry of this candidate, and his fitness to serve in this position.

 

“The timing of this news is also noteworthy.  Today, a number of critical events are scheduled to occur: former FBI Director Comey is to testify in a transcribed interview before the House Judiciary Committee; also, sentencing memoranda from the Special Counsel as they relate to Michael Cohen, the President’s former trusted personal attorney, and Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager are also due to be filed today.  If past is prologue, these filings are sure to shed more light on exactly how and the extent to which Russia interfered with our election in 2016. 

 

“The president has announced that he intends to nominate an individual who, if confirmed, will serve as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.  He will have domain over a wide range of critical legal issues, including civil rights, voting rights, our criminal justice system.  This nomination should be subjected to the same rigors as any other nominee to assess his fitness for this position.  And, when his confirmation hearings begin, I plan to attend those hearings and submit testimony concerning this nomination.  Yet this nominee must also make clear his impartiality and objectivity with respect to one critical additional issue: it is vital that any Attorney General confirmed by the Senate only receive his/her commission after pledging not to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation.  Anything short of this assurance amounts to a tacit endorsement of the President’s now three-year assault on the rule of law.”

 

 

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Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas, is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and the Budget. She is a Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

 

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