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

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFlynn urged Russian diplomat to have 'reciprocal' response to Obama sanctions, new transcripts show The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrVirginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests Pelosi scoffs at comparison between Trump and Churchill: 'I think they're hallucinating' Trump says removal of protesters 'handled very well' 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.

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“You can assign good people to do an illegitimate investigation,” Schiff said, referring to U.S. Attorney John DurhamJohn DurhamBarr asks US attorney to further investigate 'unmasking' in 2016 Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham's Russia investigation probe New FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification 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 ComeyMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Democrats aim to amend Graham subpoena to include Trump allies MORE and former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump tweets as tensions escalate across US Trump asserts his power over Republicans Comey, Rice, Clapper among GOP senator's targets for subpoenas amid Obama-era probe 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.