Attorney General Bill Barr was accused by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on Thursday of coming “awfully close to bribery.”
According to The Hill, Nadler’s remarks come amid allegations that Barr mishandled the recent dismissal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, a New York-based federal prosecutor.
It seems Democrats are already sowing the seeds of an impeachment attempt against the attorney general.
“Quid pro quo” 2.0?
According to the Washington Examiner, Nadler told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday that Barr “attempted to entice Mr. Berman” to resign.
“The attorney general repeatedly attempted to entice Mr. Berman to step down voluntarily, even after Berman made clear that his leaving would disrupt certain sensitive cases,” he said, as the Examiner reported. “We don’t know yet if the attorney general’s conduct is criminal, but that kind of quid pro quo is awfully close to bribery.”
Of course, Nadler’s speculation about bribery falls flat when the details of Berman’s dismissal are brought up.
“I told him [Barr] that while I did not want to get fired, I would not resign,” Berman said in a written statement, according to The Hill.
Resignation would have kept the firing from going on Berman’s record; Barr didn’t bribe the judge — he simply offered him an easier (and cleaner) way out.
Indeed, Berman was losing his job no matter what — and Barr was merely giving him options. “There was no circumstance where Mr. Berman outlined any wrongdoing, any description of any case, or any particular event that would indicate a desire to have Mr. Berman act in a particular way to keep his job,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) explained, as The Hill reported.
There have been rumblings among Democrats for weeks about an impeachment effort against Bill Barr.
But should Joe Biden win in November, he’ll swiftly replace the AG — and a months-long impeachment investigation would have been a waste. Are Dems willing to risk it?
As of late June, Nadler himself has said that it is a possibility that the House will pursue impeachment. Now, Nadler’s rhetoric suggests he is committed to the idea and is working to build a case. Only time will tell, however, if Dems ultimately make a move.