Schiff: Barr 'weaponizing' DOJ 'to go after the president's enemies'

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Hillicon Valley — Hacking goes global Schiff calls on Amazon, Facebook to address spread of vaccine misinformation Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBarr-Durham investigation again fails to produce a main event Virginia governor's race enters new phase as early voting begins Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' MORE “is weaponizing the Justice Department to go after the president’s enemies.”

The House Intelligence Committee chairman said the criminal investigation the Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched to investigate the origins of the Russia probe shows Barr is “a tool of the president” and not “the representative of the American people.”

“If these reports are correct and now Bill Barr’s Justice Department is doing a criminal investigation of people who properly looked into Russian interference in our election in the FBI or the intelligence agencies, it means that Bill Barr on the president’s behalf is weaponizing the Justice Department to go after the president’s enemies,” Schiff told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week.”

The California representative added that the DOJ has not publicly explained why the investigation would be necessary, as an independent inspector general is already looking into the beginnings of the Russia probe.

ADVERTISEMENT
“You can assign good people to do an illegitimate investigation,” Schiff said, referring to U.S. Attorney John DurhamJohn DurhamBarr-Durham investigation again fails to produce a main event Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE, who is running the criminal investigation for DOJ. “You can assign good people to investigate the president’s rivals. It doesn’t mean it’s any less tainted.”

Schiff maintained that the investigation had a "political" motivation because the president asked DOJ to "investigate anyone who stood in his way," mentioning former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE and former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperAfghanistan disaster puts intelligence under scrutiny Domestic security is in disarray: We need a manager, now more than ever Will Biden provide strategic clarity or further ambiguity on Taiwan? MORE by name.

“So I think you can connect one dot to the other,” he said.

The New York Times reported Thursday about the DOJ’s shift from an administrative review on how the Russia investigation was conducted to a criminal investigation. The criminal investigation label enables Durham to subpoena witnesses and documents, assemble a grand jury, and file charges.