House Republican leaders went after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) for “harassing” President Donald Trump while demanding for the unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s report and its background materials.
During a press conference on Wednesday, top House Republican leadership — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), and House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) — blasted Nadler for his obsession around Mueller’s report.
Cheney began the lambasting by slamming the “behavior of the Democrats” on the House Judiciary Committee as “absolutely unhinged” before blasting Nadler as not “know[ing]” or “caring about the rules” in the House:
“Mr. Nadler either doesn’t know the rules, or doesn’t care about the rules, or both. That committee operated without a quorum. They refused to let Republicans speak. They refused to let Republicans offer amendments.”
“And Chairman Nadler actually mocked an amendment offered by our colleague, Congresswoman [Debbie] Lesko,” Cheney continued. “Which is behavior beneath the dignity of even Mr. Nadler.”
The House Republican Conference chair then accused the Democrats of “undermining our democracy and helping Vladimir Putin” as well as “abdicating their responsibility to uncover these very serious foreign efforts.”
Scalise was up next on the docket, pointing to the “kangaroo court” put on by Nadler as well as his “harass[ing] of President Trump, President Trump’s family, [and] President Trump’s Cabinet members.”
The House minority whip went on to call on Nadler’s committee to tackle issues like “solving the border crisis” before torching the Democrats as having their “heads in the sand”:
“The Democrats’ heads [are] in the sand. The committee of jurisdiction under Chairman Nadler’s mishandling of that committee has led to a kangaroo court where he just wants to focus on harassing the president and his family instead of focusing on the problems that our country is facing, including this crisis at the border.”
“We need to address those kind of problems instead of what we’re seeing out of Chairman Nadler and Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi’s other liberal lieutenants,” Scalise added.
McCarthy was the final House Republican leader to speak at the conference, destroying Nadler out of the gate by highlighting that the House Judiciary Committee chairman was “carrying out his personal beliefs” in the committee proceedings.
The House minority leader continued on to bring up Nadler’s history of “disagree[ment]” with Trump even “long before he ever ran for president” and slammed him as having decided that “he wanted to impeach this president” the night that Trump was elected.
McCarthy continued his full-court press on Nadler, saying:
“What’s telling to me and the American public: In the history of Congress, in the history of the Judiciary Committee — like every other committee that we have — at the beginning of every Congress, we adopt our rules for that committee. Never have we ever had a staffer interview a Cabinet individual in that committee.”
“After the Attorney General [William] Barr agrees to come to the committee to answer all the questions from those who are elected, Republican or Democrat, just as he did inside the Senate, Chairman Nadler decided to change the rules of the committee, to change history,” McCarthy continued.
“Attorney General Barr was correct not to come,” he added.
The California Republican went on to say that he has “never had so many questions from both sides of the aisle on the most basic motion of [Nadler’s] inability to understand the rules” before slamming Nadler as “ask[ing] the attorney general to break the law” and “hold[ing] him in contempt” if he refuses to do so.
Watch the press conference here:
The House Republican leaders’ comments came the same day that Nadler scheduled a vote in the House Judiciary to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas to turn over the unredacted version of Mueller’s report to lawmakers.
Trump invoked executive privilege over the report in a move to prevent it from being brought to Congress.