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Did Bill Barr Lie to Congress?

First Robert Mueller rebuked Barr for his summary of the Russia probe. Then Trump’s attorney general played dumb in front of the House and Senate. Now Democrats are demanding his resignation

Attorney General nominee William Barr grimaces as he listens to a question during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonSenate Attorney General, Washington, USA - 15 Jan 2019

William Barr grimaces as he listens to a question during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Andrew Harnik/AP Images/REX/Shutterstoc

Robert Mueller wrote a scathing letter to Attorney General Bill Barr in late March, blasting Barr’s infamous four-page summary to Congress because it did “not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the special counsel’s findings. That is the takeaway from a bombshell report published Tuesday evening in the Washington Post.

Mueller’s letter, sent days after Barr’s cursory briefing of March 24th, blamed Barr’s communique for spurring “public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation” into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia and the president’s possible obstruction of justice. “This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel,” Muller wrote, “to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”

Mueller asked Barr to make the report’s introductions and executive summaries public as soon as possible. Instead, Barr sat on the report for weeks, until a redacted version could be released on April 18th.

In the intervening period, Barr testified before the House and Senate. And when he was asked about leaks that the Mueller team was upset by his characterization of their work, Barr played dumb.

Now several powerful members of the legislative branch are accusing Barr of misleading Congress — or even lying under oath. Some are calling for his resignation.

The roll call of concerned congresspeople includes:

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA)

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Barr is due to testify Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and at least one Democratic committee member (who is also running for president) can’t wait:

Another presidential candidate has already heard enough — and is ready to move forward on Barr’s impeachment:

 

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