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CNN NEWSROOM

Live Coverage of Bill Barr's Testimony Before the House Judiciary Committee. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired July 28, 2020 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:00:00]

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, I think the only time you really -- you saw the attorney general really get defensive, and you saw the questioning get under his skin, is when it came to the accusations from Democrats that he's essentially the lackey of the president, that he only is intervening in cases that really matter to the president, to the president's friends, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn.

Those are the things that, frankly, need a little bit more exploring because Eric Swalwell, I think, is the representative who asked him, can you name a single other case in which you intervened?

And I think, you know, you could ask that question a couple of different ways and see what the attorney general's answer is because, you know, from talking to people inside this building, we hear repeatedly that, you know, the appearance that is given by the attorney general is that, you know, he's a micromanager, he gets involved but he really gets involved when something has to do with the president, and that's where these accusations come from.

I guess secondly, I'll just point out real quick, again, I think Laura Coates really talked well about the questioning that the attorney general was getting about the lack of African-Americans in leadership in this building. It's a big problem, and I think the attorney general, you know, shows that there is a lack of any such advice.

But the fact that, you know, you see his opening remarks, where he talks about black-on-black crime and begins the whole narrative that, really, police reform should not be tackled right now because it's leading to increased crime.

Now, the last time we had a conversation about this, after Ferguson, you know, Jim Comey and other people went out and claimed that there was something called the Ferguson effect. Some research has shown that it was really bogus. And so we're beginning to see some of that again this year, and I think the attorney general could use some challenging on that line of -- on that thought process as well.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: What would you like to hear him be asked about when it comes to that thought process, Evan?

PEREZ: Well, because he's -- in his opening remarks, he discusses how police are risk averse, and that as a result, they're essentially not doing their jobs.

And I've got to tell you, you talk to police officers -- I talk to officers, I talk to federal agents. And that's now what I'm hearing. You know, they realize that there's something that needs to change. And what you are seeing is sometimes in certain places, you have good leaders who are trying to help manage that change.

People are clearly saying that, you know, we can't do the type of policing that has been done for years, and I think the attorney general would be a good person to actually try to help that process happen around the country rather than just say, no, we shouldn't try to do that because it's leading to some increase in crime in certain places.

I think that's what -- I think one of the questions that I would have for him is simply, what data do you have to show that police are more risk-averse, that they're not doing arrests, that they're not doing their jobs essentially, and what do you plan to do about that?

KEILAR: Yes, is it real or is it something that --

PEREZ: Is it real.

KEILAR: -- he's just representing, right?

I want to bring in Anne Milgram, one of our CNN legal analysts as we await this hearing to get back under way here.

You know, one of the big topics of this -- actually, let me just -- let me listen in. I think we're getting started again, here we go.

[14:03:19]

(CROSSTALK)

REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Sir, in your opening statement, you continue with your sustained effort to undermine the finding of Russian interference in our election. In March 2019, you sent a letter to the committee, mischaracterizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's finding that Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion to benefit Donald Trump.

Mr. Mueller promptly sent you a letter, calling you out for your mischaracterization, and you never corrected it. You then delayed the release of the full report leaving the American people stewing with your misleading summary in support of President Trump's bogus claims that there was no collusion, no obstruction. You repeat these claims today. That there was no basis for this investigation and it was politically motivated by calling it the Russiagate Scandal.

But of course in December 2019 the Justice Department's own inspector general, your department, Michael Horowitz, found that the investigation had been initiated properly and without political bias, isn't that correct?

BARR: No. CICILLINE: It's not correct? That was not Mr. Horowitz finding?

BARR: No. He said ...

CICILLINE: You are -- you are wrong, Mr. (inaudible). He's found the investigation had been initiated ...

BARR: (Inaudible) he said that he found no evidence ...

CICILLINE: ... properly.

BARR: He said he found no ...

CICILLINE: Reclaiming my time. Without political bias.

BARR: He said from the evidence ...

CICILLINE: And in April -- reclaiming my time, Mr. Attorney (ph). In April of this year the republican led Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously found that Russia interred with our elections and attempted to undermine American democracy, correct?

BARR: I said so too.

CICILLINE: Is it ever appropriate, sir, for the president to solicit or accept foreign assistance in an election?

BARR: Depends what kind of assistance.

CICILLINE: Is it ever appropriate for the president or presidential candidate to accept or solicit foreign assistance of any kind in his or her election?

BARR: No, it's not appropriate.

CICILLINE: OK, sorry you had to struggle with that one, Mr. Attorney General. Now let's turn to the 1st Amendment, Americans all across this country have been exercising their 1st Amendment rights to peacefully protest police brutality against black people. I've read your statement, I've listened to you this morning and we're certainly aware of certain individuals who have engaged in violent acts and we all agree that's wrong, but there was a lot missing from you statement.

For example, as I'm sure you've also seen the vast majority of the protesters are peaceful and despite that unidentified federal agents have attempted to prevent these mothers, veterans and peaceful Americans from exercising their 1st Amendment rights. Even using unmarked vehicles to grab protesters off the street and using teargas ammunitions against them. You've forcefully condemned protesters this morning but let me ask you sir, why have you not condemned the federal officers (ph) you're sending into cities without proper training or attempted to take away the constitutional rights of Americans peacefully protesting?

BARR: I haven't condemned protesters, protesters are good, demonstrations are good, they're part of the 1st Amendment.

CICILLINE: So let me ask you ...

BARR: What I'm condemning is people who commit crime.

CICILLINE: We agree. Do you think it's ever appropriate, Mr. Barr, for officers to use force against peaceful protesters? Yes or no?

BARR: Not against peaceful protesters.

CICILLINE: So you also don't mention in your statement today or your testimony that federal officers have even tear gassed elected representatives. County Commissioner Sharon Meieran confirmed firsthand, last night I was tear gassed by a federal occupying force. I saw throw canisters of poison without warning into non-violent crowd including elders and the vulnerable. And on July 23 the mayor, Ted Wheeler, was tear gassed, he called the tactics of the officers abhorrent.

These were elected representatives with grave concerns that officers are using abhorrent tactics including tear gassing elderly non-violent Americans. So let me ask you, sir, do you think it's ever appropriate to use tear gas on peaceful protectors? Yes or no?

BARR: Well the problem in these things sometimes occur because it's hard to separate people who ...

CICILLINE: Mr. Barr, my question is very specific. Do you think it is ever appropriate to use tear gas on peaceful protesters? Yes or no?

BARR: It is appropriate to use tear gas when it's indicated to disperse ...

CICILLINE: On peaceful protesters?

BARR: ... disperse an unlawful assembly and sometimes ...

CICILLINE: Sir?

BARR: ... unfortunately peaceful protesters are affected by it.

CICILLINE: OK, now I'm going to show you there's video evidence as well. I'm going to ask you to look at this video. Just so you know ...

(VIDEO BEGINS)

FEMALE: This is the video that's capturing the nation's attention this weekend. Shot by "Tribune" reporter ...

(VIDEO ENDS)

CICILLINE: That video is of Christopher David a Navy veteran being beaten and tear gassed by the officers. Do you think that was appropriate?

BARR: Well I didn't see him tear gassed. There was -- seems to be gas in the area, I don't know what kind of gas it was. And I don't know whether it was directed at him.

CICILLINE: Do you think what happened to Mr. David was appropriate, Mr. Barr?

BARR: The inspector -- the inspector general's reviewing that particular incident.

CICILLINE: Well do you think he deserved to get pepper sprayed and beaten to the point of broken bones?

BARR: As I said the inspector general is going to review the incident.

CICILLINE: So as the top law enforcement official in our country do you think Americans who show up to peacefully protest should expect to be beaten and pepper sprayed and have their bones broken by federal officers?

BARR: Well I don't think that what was happening immediately around the courthouse was a peaceful protest.

CICILLINE: That's not my question, Mr. Barr.

BARR: Well, that's where that ...

CICILLINE: My question is do you think as the Chief -- reclaiming my time

BARR: ... (Inaudible) video was from. That was where the video was from.

CICILLINE: Reclaiming my time. Mr. Barr, my question is do you think, as the top law enforcement office in this country that Americans who show up to peacefully protest should expect to be beaten, pepper sprayed and have their bones broken by federal officers? Yes or no?

BARR: I don't think peaceful protesters should face that.

[14:10:00]

CICILLINE: That's correct. And isn't protecting the 1st Amendment, freedom of American, at least as important as protecting a building from vandalism?

BARR: I think ...

CICILLINE: We fought for -- it's not posed (ph) as a question. We fought for a democracy for the right to speak freely and you are attempting to take that away. And what's worse you're doing it for the sole purpose of furthering the president's political agenda and generating footage for Trump campaign commercials. The Justice Department is responsible for protecting the constitutional rights of Americans not to serve as the president's personal bully or political director.

And speaking of protesters, it's worth remembering every suffragette, every person who marched to end child labor, every abolitionist who demanded an end to slavery was a protester. The revolutionaries who transformed (ph) us from colonists into a nation were protesters. Protesters aren't chaos, they're deeply American examples of values. A desire for this country to be at its best self, their righteous, sometime they're necessary (ph).

One of America's most beloved and effective protesters, John Lewis, lies in state a thousand feet from here in a deserved place of honor and sir your failure to respect the role of peaceful protest in this country is a disgrace, it's un-American and it's important to remember what these protests are about -- black lives matter, abuse at the hands of police by black Americans and I want to let you see now a video that fairly represents peaceful protests that is happening all across America that you conveniently omitted from your testimony and your statement.

(UNKNOWN): (Inaudible).

CICILLINE: Yeah, there was a nine minute video shown by the other side so I -- I -- it's not ...

JORDAN: Not all nine, only part of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALL: ... don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me -- don't shoot -- don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me -- don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me -- don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me -- don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me. Hands up, police, don't shoot me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): With that ...

JORDAN: Mr. -- Mr. Chairman ...

NADLER: The gentleman yields ...

JORDAN: Mr. -- Mr. Chairman, just -- just real -- real quick, I don't think we've got -- 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 -- attacks made, every -- not -- not just in this hearing, not just in this committee but every committee I've been on ...

NADLER: The gentleman -- the gentleman ...

JORDAN: ... particularly -- particularly when you think about the fact that we've got the Attorney General of the United States here.

NADLER: The gentleman does not have the time.

JORDAN: I don't want the time, I just want -- I want the Attorney General to be able to have enough time to respond to accusations and questions asked him (ph) and you guys not cut him off. NADLER: What you want is irrelevant -- wholly (ph) irrelevant to the rules. Mr. Steube is recognized.

STEUBE: Mr. Chairman, am I going to get an additional two and a half minutes that Mr. Cicilline had?

NADLER: The gentleman is recognized.

STEUBE: General Barr, thank you for your service to our country and your continued service to ensure that our country is safe. I encourage you to ignore the mob, these attacks from Democrats and the left wing, biased mainstream media. Be strong and courageous, for the mass majority of the country supports you and supports you rooting out corruption in the FBI and keeping our country safe from rioters, looters and anarchists.

I, for one, am very happy that you're at the helm of the DOJ and actually supporting the rule of law and fighting for justice. I want to touch on something that Mr. Jordan spoke about in his opening remarks. I want to focus on the Inspector General's December 9th FISA report on the FBI's unlawful surveillance of Trump Campaign associate Carter Page.

[14:15:00]

Isn't it true the Inspector General found the FBI under the Obama- Biden administration made 17 significant errors in FISA applications to surveil candidate Trump's campaign associate Carter Page?

BARR: I think that's right.

STEUBE: How many errors are acceptable when the FBI is targeting Americans?

BARR: Well none are acceptable.

STEUBE: Then there was the complete Woods Files failures the FBI operated under during the Obama-Biden administration. The Inspector General found that 51 factual assertions in the FISA applications to surveil Page one, lacked supporting documentation, two, the supporting document did not support the FBI's factual assertions, or three, the supporting document showed the FBI's factual assertion was inaccurate.

The Inspector General testified there should not have even been one error, yet he found 51 errors. Why is it so important for surveillance targeting Americans to be error-free?

BARR: Well especially under -- under FISA, which, you know, is a counter-intelligence tool and doesn't have the same built-in protections that the criminal justice process would have, it's very important, because you're going to be spying on Americans, that you have an -- you know, you've demonstrated an appropriate basis for doing that.

And therefore, there's a special burden on the investigative agency -- in this case, the FBI -- to have accurate information as to the basis of their surveillance. And, you know, I think the bureau is -- has been working very hard to correct those problems and to put in place a much more effective system of guaranteeing that the information is accurate.

STEUBE: Isn't it true the FBI under the Obama-Biden administration cherry-picked favorable evidence to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page and ignore facts that cut against probable cause?

BARR: Well I don't want to characterize that -- I mean, this is part of what's under review. Some exculpatory information was not passed along to the court, let me just put it that way. That's evident in the Inspector General's report.

STEUBE: I will yield the remainder of my time to Mr. Jordan.

JORDAN: ... the gentleman for -- for yielding. Mr. Attorney General, do you -- do you deploy federal law enforcement to enforce federal law?

BARR: Yes.

JORDAN: Do you deploy federal law enforcement to protect federal property?

BARR: Yes.

JORDAN: Would the federal building in Portland be standing today if you had not deployed federal law enforcement?

BARR: I don't think so. There have been multiple attempts to set it afire.

JORDAN: Yeah.

BARR: And I -- and I -- you know, I have to say I don't understand why a small contingent of marshals inside the court poses a threat to anybody's First Amendment rights. They set up a fence on federal property, I am told, around the court and when people are arrested, it's because they're trying to come into the fence.

These aren't peaceful protesters, they bring power tools to cut through the wire and so forth to get in. This is a very strange occupation of a state (ph), when you have, you know, 100, 120 federal people behind a fence trying to protect a building and all these people are trying to cut their way in. That is the occupation of a city?

JORDAN: Thank you. Did the Chicago Fraternal Order -- Fraternal Order of Police Chief -- or President ask for your help?

BARR: Did who ask for my help?

JORDAN: The head of the FOP in Chicago, did they ask for your help?

BARR: I -- I think they did -- I think they did. JORDAN: Previous exchange, they talked about Mr. Horowitz's report. Is there anything you'd like to add? You didn't get a chance to respond to that.

BARR: Yeah, my understanding of -- of my recollection of the report is that it didn't find there was no bias. It -- and he made that clear in subsequent testimony. What he said was he couldn't find no documentary or other evidence demonstrating bias.

JORDAN: Yeah and -- well it'd be helpful if maybe Mr. Horowitz could come in front of this committee and the individual who was raising that concern with you, Mr. Attorney General, could ask Mr. Horowitz himself about what he found in that report and subsequent reports that we have not yet had a hearing on.

NADLER: The gentleman's time has expired. Mr. Raskin?

RASKIN: Thank you. Sir, did I hear you correctly to say that the purpose of unleashing this federal agent assault with tear gas and rubber bullets and pepper spray on 2,000 non-violent protesters in Lafayette Square was to secure and defend the St. John's Episcopal Church? Was that the purpose of it?

BARR: No, I didn't say that. I made very clear that the purpose was to move the perimeter to Eye Street, which had been the plan, as far as I'm aware, all day the night before.

RASKIN: So it -- it was legitimate in that case ...

BARR: I'm talking about the June 1st ...

RASKIN: Yeah, the June 1st assault on a lot of ...

(CROSS-TALK)

... including my constituents -- including my constituents and ...

(CROSS-TALK)

... bring them to your office to talk about it.

BARR: OK, well I don't think it was an assault. They were told by loudspeaker that the Park Police were preparing to clear A Street and could they move to (inaudible) Street?

RASKIN: Reclaiming my time. I think you said something to the effect of the St. John's Episcopal Church would've been overrun ...

BARR: No, that was on Sunday -- on Sunday night, I believe, and I hope ...

RASKIN: OK. Are you aware that the rector of the church, that the Episcopal Archbishop of Washington and the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church nationally, along with the Catholic Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington all denounced this police assault on the civil rights and civil liberties of the people? BARR: Did they do that before or after the fire was put out?

RASKIN: Well all -- all that -- all that I know is that they denounced what you did. And if you read what the Archbishop -- the Episcopal Archbishop of Washington wrote, said that "using police force to clear non-violent protesters without notice in order to conduct this grotesque photo opportunity was antithetical -- antithetical to the principles of Christianity."

But what I wanted to ask you about was COVID-19 because we now lead the world in COVID-19 case count and death count. President Trump, of course, promised the disease would magically disappear. He advertised quack medical cures, like injecting people with disinfectant. He told his people to slow down all the testing and refused for months to wear a mask.

[14:20:00]

Last night, he re-tweeted a number of messages claiming that Dr. Fauci misled the American people by dismissing hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the disease. So now we have 150,000 dead Americans, 4 million infected, 40 million jobless. We lose more than 1,000 people every day -- one American every 90 seconds.

But you called his public health leadership superb, and you threw the weight of the Justice Department behind his campaign to shut down state public health orders in March and April. Now, if you look at the screen you will see two tweets from the President of the United States, "liberate Michigan," "liberate Virginia."

On April 17th, he retweeted the slogans of right-wing protesters that are blocking access to hospitals and trying to overthrow public health orders in those states. And you snapped attention, on April 27 th, you designated a prosecutor to try to bring down those very public health orders in Michigan and Virginia.

Two days later, armed right-wing protesters and white supremacists disrupted the Michigan legislature, leveling death threats against Governor Whitmer. Confronting police, taunting lawmakers and forcing the legislature to shut down as they brandished their long guns and shouted in the faces of police officers.

But you didn't send in a secret paramilitary police force on horseback to unleash teargas, pepper spray, billy clubs, and rubber bullets against these protesters storming the state capital in Michigan -- no, you embraced their cause by joining litigation against the governors of Michigan and Virginia.

Now of course your side lost your motions for emergency and junctions (ph), but you got to spread Trump's message that it was time to call off the stay at home orders, the masking and social distancing. Here's what you said on national T.V., echoing the claim in April that the cure was worse than the disease. "You can't just keep on feeding the patient chemotherapy and say, well, we're killing the cancer because we were getting to the point where we're killing the patient."

Do you remember saying that?

BARR: Yeah.

RASKIN: And what did you mean by that?

BARR: Exactly what it says. You have to balance the cure with the danger, which we leave to governors. I know everyone likes ...

RASKIN: Well, no, you ...

BARR: ... I know everyone likes to lay everything (ph) -- but the thing is ...

RASKIN: (Inaudible).

BARR: ... but this is a federal republic, and the president respected that, and our response ...

RASKIN: Reclaiming my time.

BARR: ... has been largely run by governors. Now, for someone who claims to be so concerned about executive overreach, I haven't heard anyone talk about just keeping an eye on what the governor's (ph) doing.

RASKIN: Mr. Barr, with no vaccine ...

BARR: And that's all the Department of Justice has (ph) been doing.

RASKIN: Excuse me, the time is mine.

BARR: (Inaudible) religious liberty ...

RASKIN: No vaccine ...

(UNKNOWN): (Inaudible).

RASKIN: The Supreme Court rejected your position on religious liberty five to four and said there was nothing wrong with applying public health orders to churches.

BARR: That was on an injunction.

RASKIN: Did you accept that or you don't accept it? We'll talk about it later. Mr. Barr, with no vaccine, no treatment, no cure in sight you worked to disarm the states of the only weapon we have against this disease, public health measures. And now, we pay the price of this policy in overrun intensive care units and morgues, a shortage of coffins and refrigerated trucks and an out of control pandemic which makes us a global pariah state whose citizens cannot enter dozens of foreign countries, including Canada.

Do you know what Dr. Fauci was saying at the same time that you were moving to take down those public health orders? Here's what Dr. Fauci was warning us about three months ago, about the premature abandonment of health orders, if only you had listened. [14:25:00]

He said, "I feel if that occurs there is a real risk you will trigger an outbreak, and you may not be able to control it," which in fact, paradoxically ...

BARR: We were not taking down public health orders, we were making ...

NADLER: Gentlemen's time ...

BARR: ... narrow ...

NADLER: ... gentlemen's time has expired.

BARR: ... we were calling attention to the fact ...

RASKIN: Will your restore my time because this witness is speaking over my time?

(UNKNOWN): No, you went over time let the witness respond.

(UNKNOWN): He's trying to answer.

NADLER: Gentleman's time has expired. Who seeks recognition?

CLINE: Mr. Chairman.

NADLER: Gentleman is recognized.

CLINE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We do have a governor in Virginia who is engaged in overreach, particularly regarding the civil rights of Virginians and their expression of their religious faith. So I want to give the attorney general the opportunity to respond to the gentleman from Maryland.

BARR: We adopted a very narrow approach of calling to the attention -- usually by letter, not by lawsuit of situations where they were treating religion worse than they were other kinds of organizations and gathers, and the Constitution requires that it be treated the same. And we were calling those to the attention of the governors, and most of the governors that we called attention to voluntarily changed their own orders.

There were a few occasions where we pointed out anomalies in the regulation -- differential regulation of business, and again, mostly they were voluntarily changed by the governors.

So this was not a wholesale attack on stay at home orders, it's just that these are very broad powers that have been seated (ph) basically telling everyone to stay at home and only work if you're in essential business and so forth, and therefore someone has to keep an eye on that and make sure there's no overreach. And as time went by there were times where you have these crazy rules in effect that were overly burdensome and raised Constitutional problems.

CLINE: Thank you for raising those points early, and particularly with regard to Virginia and the church out on the eastern shore. I want to thank you also for being here, and for returning to lead the Department of Justice, and right the ship, and root out (ph) the rank, partisanship, and bias that had corrupted the Administration of Justice.

For many years the Democrats alleged that Attorney General Barr has politicized the Justice Department doing the personal bidding of President Trump, but it's not only unfounded, it's especially hypocritical in light of the politicization that occurred during the Obama-Biden administration and led by President Obama's self-described wingman, Attorney General Eric Holder, the Obama-Biden Justice Department investigative journalists shut out career prosecutors and flouted Congressional oversight.

I want to ask, particularly, even after President Trump assumed office, FBI lawyers exhibited bias against Trump while working for both Mueller and the FBI's Russia investigation. And the inspector general couldn't rule out political animus (ph) against candidate Trump as influencing FBI abuse, correct?

BARR: That's my understanding.

CLINE: The inspector general found that an FBI lawyer altered evidence to support a FISA application to surveil Carter Page, and criminally referred this lawyer to Durham for federal prosecution, the same lawyer who also worked on the investigations in the Clinton's misuse, classified information, and Russia collusion expressed bias against President Trump, and the inspector general testified back in December that he can't rule out bias.

Mr. Attorney General, I'd ask, what would the consequences be to one of your Justice Department lawyers if they've doctored underlying documents so they could support evidence submitted to a federal court?

BARR: You know, in the abstract talking generally that lawyer would be fired.

CLINE: Would they likely be disbarred as well?

BARR: Yes.

CLINE: And isn't it true that the IG found that an FBI lawyer doctored an e-mail to support probable cause against candidate Trump's campaign aid?

BARR: I think that's right.

CLINE: And the same FBI lawyer worked on the Russia investigation targeting candidate Trump's campaign and was on the Special Council Mueller team investigating President Trump, correct?

BARR: I'm not sure about that.

CLINE: And while working on those investigations the inspector general found several texts showing that animus, correct? BARR: On that particular lawyer, I believe so.

CLINE: Yes.

BARR: I can't remember the timeframe of the text, but I know there were other texts.

CLINE: I talked to you about the unmasking that occurred where Mr. Grenell released a list of 39 officials who submitted a request to unmask the identity of General Flynn from November 8, 2016 to January 31, 2017. Forty-nine requests were submitted, is that a normal number of requests for unmasking?

BARR: I mean, historically that seems to be a high number, and the other question you have to ask is why was this after the election?

CLINE: And seven Treasury officials, including Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, Deputy Secretary Sarah Raskin, is that a normal occurrence?

BARR: You know, there are times where high level officials can do it. I don't know enough about the specifics ...

CLINE: Yield the remainder of my time to Mr. Jordan.

JORDAN: Mr. Attorney General what's more important, going to church or going to a protest?

BARR: It depends on the individual.

JORDAN: Both are covered under the First Amendment, right?

BARR: Right.

JORDAN: Yeah, what's more important going to work or going to a protest?

BARR: Again, it depends on the individual. We're all free, we can all make our choices.

JORDAN: I'm talking about government -- limits on those activities. What's more important government putting limits on protesting, or government putting limit on attending church?

BARR: They're both First Amendment.

JORDAN: Exactly.

BARR: Right.

JORDAN: Exactly. And we should treat them the same, shouldn't we?

BARR: Correct (ph).

NADLER: Gentleman's time has expired. Ms. Jayapal. JAYAPAL: Mr. Barr, on June 1st, there were protests against the murder of George Floyd and police brutality in Lafayette Park. Let us not be distracted by you or my GOP colleagues as to what these powerful and massive protests were actually about.

[14:30:01]