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.
Flashback: April 9.
CRIST: Reports have emerged recently, general, that members of the Special Counsel's team are frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March 24th letter … Do you know what they are referencing with that?
BARR: No, I don't.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 30, 2019
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)
I note with interest AG Barr’s 4/10 Senate testimony. “Q: Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion? A: I don’t know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion.” Now it appears that Mueller objected in this 3/27 letter. https://t.co/IiK5zJYtAS
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) May 1, 2019
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
On April 20th, I asked Barr, “Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?” His answer was, “I don’t know whether Mueller supported my conclusion.”
We now know Mueller stated his concerns on March 27th, and that Barr totally misled me, the Congress, and the public. He must resign. pic.twitter.com/rod404BbYo
— Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) May 1, 2019
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Wonder what it looks like when the AG lies under oath? Watch the testimony of Barr below.
We should all be sick & tired of the repeated lying. If Barr does not provide the unredacted Mueller report tomorrow, I will push for contempt proceedings. We have to enforce our subpoenas. https://t.co/CRPNwuA8H2
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 1, 2019
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)
Bill Barr needs to resign. He needs to resign tomorrow. At some point we need to distinguish fact from spin.
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) May 1, 2019
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
In light of Mueller's letter, the misleading nature of Barr’s 4/10 testimony & 4/18 press conference is even more glaring.
Barr must bring the letter with him when he testifies in the Senate tomorrow.
And it’s time for Mueller to testify publicly. Now.https://t.co/d3lObZSQBE
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 1, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Attorney General Barr misled the public and owes the American people answers. It’s time for DOJ to release the full report & all underlying docs — and finally allow Mueller to testify. Americans deserve the facts. Barr must stop standing in the way. https://t.co/9mfIaKSOSj
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 1, 2019
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:
Major breaking news. And tomorrow Barr will have to answer for this at our hearing. Updating my questions! Mueller complained that Barr’s letter did not capture ‘context’ of Trump probe https://t.co/jaACIdGw1R
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) April 30, 2019
Another presidential candidate has already heard enough — and is ready to move forward on Barr’s impeachment:
Attorney General Barr willfully misled the American people to cover up attempted crimes by Donald Trump. He should resign his position or face an impeachment inquiry immediately. https://t.co/dTKCMccF7X
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) April 30, 2019