William Barr has suddenly found time to meet with Sen. Amy Klobuchar after she complained.
Democrats who want to speak with William Barr, President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, ahead of his confirmation hearing have had a harder time doing so than normal. But after the Justice Department initially said he was too busy for sit-downs because of the partial government shutdown, it now, at least in some cases, seems to be reversing course.
Barr will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, on Tuesday to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and current acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Some committee Democrats have complained that ahead of the hearing, Barr is declining invitations to meet, which is generally customary.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said on Wednesday that he learned he wouldn’t get a meeting with Barr ahead of the hearing, calling Barr’s refusal “entirely unprecedented and unacceptable.” He said he was offered a meeting after the hearing, but obviously, he’d much rather meet before.
“The Department of Justice’s attempt to excuse this gross break in the norms by citing a ‘truncated schedule’ is galling when they are the ones who have rushed it,” he said in a statement. “My Republican colleagues should share my outrage at this appalling violation of the Senate’s independent authority.”
Unprecedented & unacceptable, AG nominee Barr defies norms & degrades his stature by ducking individual Senate meetings. They help us & him prepare for hearings. DOJ pathetic excuses only deepen the embarrassment. https://t.co/DwqPtCbcW1
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) January 10, 2019
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Wednesday said that she, too, was denied a meeting with Barr