White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted Democratic members of Congress for refusing to question Attorney General William Barr, instead, demanding that their staff ask the questions.
As IJR previously reported, many Republicans were critical of Democrats for opting to have staff available to question Barr — a move that hasn’t been done since the “Iran-Contra Affair” during the Reagan administration.
Democrats not only wanted their staff to be available to question Barr, but they wanted to be able to interject their own spotlight questions as well. The attorney general declined to attend the questioning for those reasons.
During an interview on Fox News, Sanders mocked Senate Democrats for their Wednesday questioning of Barr and claimed that House Democrats knew they would “embarrass” themselves if they attempted to ask the questions.
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“The Democrats embarrassed themselves yesterday. The outrageous questioning that they laid out to the attorney general, frankly, was astonishing. You just showed a clip of Senator [Mazie] Hirono. The outrage that she came to the attorney general — who came there and sat for five hours of questioning — was just unbelievable. […] The Democrats are frankly — they saw what happened yesterday and they’ve decided that they’re incapable of actually asking questions of the attorney general.”
Sanders also called out House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) for pushing the staff questioning. She didn’t pull any punches in her summary of Nadler’s decision.
“I lost confidence in Jerry Nadler a long time ago but I was unaware that he had lost confidence in himself and his ability to do his job and that is to ask questions. The fact that he needs to staff that out is unbelievable, and frankly, it’s pathetic. Democrats have got to step up.”
Sanders defended Barr’s decision to skip the hearing, claiming that Democrats shouldn’t have “changed the rules” about the questioning if they wanted him to show up.
“Members of Congress should be able to ask those questions,” said Sanders. “They shouldn’t need to staff that out.”