Attorney General William Barr defended his past political donations during congressional testimony on Tuesday.
“Are you surprised I’m a Republican?” Barr responded when pressed by Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon on political donations he and his wife made to Republican candidates over the years, which Scanlon said total over $700,000.
Scanlon was referring to a comment Barr made several years ago that “prosecutors who make political contributions are identifying fairly strongly with a political party” in response to reports about political donations made by the Mueller team.
Barr said the comment was directed at career prosecutors and implied he hasn’t tried to hide the fact he votes Republican.
Barr’s testimony during the House Judiciary Committee was often contentious, and the attorney general was frequently interrupted shortly after being asked a question by Democratic members, who often justified the interruption by saying they were “reclaiming” their time.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a hearing where the witness wasn’t allowed to respond to points made, questions asked, and attacks made,” ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan said. “Not just in this hearing, not just in this committee, but in every committee I’ve been on. Particularly when you think about the fact that we have the attorney general of the United States here.”
“I want the attorney general to be able to have enough time to respond to accusations and questions asked him, and you guys not cut him off.”
House Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, who earlier said, “Shame on you,” to Barr, called Jordan’s complaint “irrelevant.”