Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, had an irritable exchange Wednesday with a Justice Department whistleblower who admitted during a House Judiciary Committee hearing that he tried to work with House Democrats during the trial proceedings Trump politician.
John Elias, a senior career official in the Justice Department’s antitrust division, is one of two whistleblowers who testified before the Democrats-led committee about alleged politically motivated overreaches by Attorney General William Barr and others named. During his testimony, Elias accused his supervisors of improperly investigating mergers involving cannabis companies due to “personal dislike for the industry.”
Collins questioned Elias about his own political background and asked the official if he considered himself nonpartisan at work. When Elias answered yes, Collins asked him if he had ever tried to work with Democratic leaders on the House Judiciary Committee.
READ: COURT OPINION REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL OF THE FLYNN CASE
“I, like people, have over time explored various career options,” Elias said, adding that he had a “very preliminary conversation” with House Democrats about a position.
Collins pressured Elias in his conversations with Democrats and whether he had sought a position to work with them during Trump’s impeachment. Initially, Elias said he had asked to work on an antitrust policy.
“Didn’t you ask for the committee’s work on oversight during the impeachment? That is not right? Refresh your memory, ”said Collins.
“He could also have asked for supervision at any given time, with the blessing of the assistant attorney,” Elias replied.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Democrats in the House of Representatives began reversing claims earlier this year that Barr became involved in a politically motivated rapprochement as attorney general. The second whistleblower, former Justice Department Aaron Zelinsky, testified that Barr and senior officials gave Roger Stone preferential treatment during sentencing proceedings because of his relationship with Trump.
Barr is expected to testify before the committee next month.