House Democrats subpoena whistleblowers over allegations of politicization at DOJ

The whistleblowers will testify on June 24, alongside for Deputy AG Donald Ayer

Updated: June 16, 2020 - 3:38pm

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced Tuesday that he has issued two subpoenas for Justice Department whistleblowers as part of the committee's investigation into the alleged politicization of the agency under the Trump administration and Attorney General William Barr.

Aaron Zelinsky and John Elias will testify before the committee on June 24, alongside former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer. 

Zelinksy quit the team that was prosecuting Trump campaign adviser and associate Roger Stone following the intervention of Barr. Elias was reportedly investigating a fuel-efficiency deal between automakers and the state of California. 

Barr has consistently denied that his office is responsible for conducting "the president's bidding," maintaining the stance that "partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice."

During his tenure, Barr has led the effort to investigate the origins of the FBI's Russia probe. He is currently reviewing the investigation led by longtime prosecutor John Durham, which may lead to criminal charges prior to the November presidential election.

In a statement on the subpoenas, Nadler wrote:

“Again and again, Attorney General Barr has demonstrated that he will cater to President Trump’s private political interests, at the expense of the American people and the rule of law.  He has abruptly reversed course on prosecutions against the President’s allies and friends.  He has pursued pretextual investigations against the President’s perceived political enemies.  He has failed to defend the Affordable Care Act, and he has helped to roll back important civil rights protections. ...

The Attorney General – who cites his busy schedule as a basis for refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee but has made time for multiple television interviews – may have abdicated his responsibility to Congress, but the brave men and women of our civil service have not."