- Democrats are telling Attorney General William Barr to resign following news reports indicating that the special counsel Robert Mueller had misgivings about Barr’s characterization of Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation.
- Mueller reportedly wrote a letter saying Barr and his four-page summary of the Russia investigation “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions.”
- Barr concluded in his summary that President Donald Trump did not obstruct justice, but he did not detail the numerous potential examples of obstruction Mueller had provided.
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Democrats are incensed at Attorney General William Barr following news reports indicating that the special counsel Robert Mueller had misgivings about Barr’s characterization of Mueller’s Russia investigation.
On Tuesday, The New York Times first reported that the special counsel wrote to Barr in late March saying he disagreed with the attorney general’s public summary of Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation.
Days after Barr submitted his “principal conclusions” on the investigation, Mueller wrote a letter saying Barr “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” according to The Washington Post.
“There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation,” the letter said, according to The Post. “This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
In March, Barr summarized Mueller’s 448-page report with a four-page letter. In the summary, Barr deduced that the special counsel could not prove a conspiracy between members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.
Barr also concluded in the summary that Trump did not obstruct justice – though he did not detail numerous potential examples of obstruction that Mueller uncovered. He also did not fully describe Mueller’s rationale in declining to issue a judgment on obstruction.
Following the reports of Mueller’s frustration, Democratic lawmakers have amped their calls for Barr to resign. Here’s what they had to say:
Former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“I am really disappointed in [Barr]…I think he’s lost the confidence of the American people. I think he should,” Biden told local Iowa news station KCCI when asked if Barr should resign.
“This is what happens when you get caught up in this administration, you get pulled down,” he added.
Rep. Adam Schiff of California
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Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, described the sequence of events as “serious business.”
“Frankly, after getting that two or three misleading summaries from the Justice Department [and] the attorney general, I don’t think we can rely on the Justice Department to be summarizing what Bob Mueller said in that conversation to Bill Barr,” Schiff said in an interview with CBS on Wednesday.
“There’s no sugarcoating this,” Schiff added. “I think he should step down.”
Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland
- Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Van Hollen mentioned a previous Senate hearing on Barr’s principal conclusions.
“I asked Barr, ‘Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?’ His answer was, ‘I don’t know whether Mueller supported my conclusion,'” Van Hollen said on Twitter.
“We now know Mueller stated his concerns on March 27th, and that Barr totally misled me, the Congress, and the public,” Van Hollen added. “He must resign.”
Rep. Maxine Waters of California
- Alex Wong / Getty Images
“I think that Barr should resign,” Waters said during an MSNBC interview on Tuesday. “And if he does not resign, he should be facing impeachment proceedings also. He has abdicated on his responsibility. He has lied, he has used the very words coming right out of the president’s mouth: ‘no collusion.'”
“It is outrageous and he needs to go,” Waters added.
Rep. Ro Khanna of California
“Bill Barr needs to resign,” Khanna, a member of the House oversight committee, said on Twitter. “He needs to resign tomorrow. At some point we need to distinguish fact from spin.”
Rep. Ted Lieu of California
“Why would Bill Barr flush his reputation & credibility down the toilet? I don’t care,” Lieu said on Twitter. “What we should care about is that he is still in charge of @TheJusticeDept.
“Bill Barr should resign and then apply to be the next White House press secretary, where he can lie all he wants,” Lieu said.
Lieu also said he wanted to hold a hearing and interview Mueller. The attorney general is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
“We certainly want to give Bill Barr the opportunity to perjure himself,” Lieu said during a CNN interview on Tuesday. “But we’re also going to want to hear from Robert Mueller.”
“But at this point, based on what I know, Bill Barr needs to resign,” he added on CNN. “He took an oath to the Constitution, not to Donald Trump. He is supposed to be America’s attorney, not Trump’s stooge.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii
“Clearly Barr has lied to both the House and Senate Committees,” Hirono said during an MSNBC interview on Tuesday.
“It’s a lie, let’s call it what it is,” she added.
Hirono described Barr’s description of Mueller’s report as “spin” and accused him of “acting like the president’s lawyer.”
She also called on the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate whether Barr “misled the public to protect” Trump.
Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts
- Craig Walker/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
Rep. Seth Moulton, a retired infantry officer in the US Marine Corps, referenced his service in the military.
“One of the first lessons I learned in the Marines was the importance of integrity,” Moulton said. “You can drop out of a run or fail a test, and they’ll give you a second chance.”
“But if you lie about anything, you’re gone that afternoon,” Moulton added. “If Barr has any integrity, he’ll resign.”
Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York
“AG Barr clearly and deliberately misled the American people about the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation – more than once,” Rice tweeted. “He needs to resign or be impeached.”
Rep. Eliot Engel of New York
“[Attorney General] Barr had the opportunity to tell the truth,” Rep. Eliot Engel said, following a round of questioning at a Senate hearing on Wednesday. “He didn’t. He needs to resign.”
Sen. Kamala Harris of California
“What I just saw from the Attorney General is unacceptable,” Sen. Kamala Harris, a 2020 Democratic candidate, said on Twitter after the Senate hearing. “Barr must resign now.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
“[Attorney General] Barr is a disgrace, and his alarming efforts to suppress the Mueller report show that he’s not a credible head of federal law enforcement,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter.
Warren, a 2020 Democratic candidate, went further and called for impeachment proceedings against Trump: “[Barr] should resign – and based on the actual facts in the Mueller report, Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against the President.”
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
- Alex Edelman/Getty Images
“It’s become increasingly clear that Attorney General William Barr is willing to put his loyalty to President Trump before his duty to our country,” Sen. Cory Booker, a 2020 Democratic candidate, said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
“He shouldn’t hold the position as the highest law enforcement officer in the US, he doesn’t deserve our nation’s trust, and he should resign.”
Former Housing and Urban Development secretary and 2020 Democratic candidate Julián Castro
“Attorney General Barr willfully misled the American people to cover up attempted crimes by Donald Trump,” Castro tweeted. “He should resign his position or face an impeachment inquiry immediately.”