Across the country, sporting events, conferences, and movie premieres are being canceled or postponed because of the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Now the virus has started to force changes to Congress’ schedule. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Monday that a scheduled March 31 hearing for Attorney General William Barr is being postponed until “the crisis abates.”
“Due to overwhelming health and safety concerns, the [House Judiciary] will postpone our March 31st oversight hearing with Attorney General Barr. DOJ has made a commitment to rescheduling the hearing for when the crisis abates, and the Committee is able to reconvene.”
Due to overwhelming health and safety concerns, the @HouseJudiciary will postpone our March 31st oversight hearing with Attorney General Barr. DOJ has made a commitment to rescheduling the hearing for when the crisis abates and the Committee is able to reconvene.— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) March 23, 2020
In February, Barr agreed to testify before the Committee about a variety of issues, including the decision by the Justice Department to seek a lighter prison sentence for Roger Stone, as IJR has previously reported.
A letter to Barr, from Nadler, asked for information regarding the department’s decision to seek a lighter sentence for Stone and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
He also sought information regarding “a series of inquiries into the conduct of career law enforcement officials and investigations related to President Trump and the 2016 election.”
Additionally, Nadler said his committee wanted information on “the President’s apparent efforts to deploy the Antitrust Division for political or personal interests.”
Nadler gave Barr a deadline of March 13 to respond to his letter, but it is unclear if the requested documents were provided to the Committee.
Nadler said that the Justice Department “made a commitment” to reschedule the hearing. However, it’s unclear how long the hearing will be delayed for as some health experts have predicted that the coronavirus outbreak could last for months.
Politico notes that the hearing would have been Barr’s first appearance before the House Judiciary since he began his tenure as attorney general in 2019.