House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday accused Attorney General William Barr of lying to Congress about his interactions with the special counsel’s office regarding the release of the Mueller report.
“What is deadly serious about it is the attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That’s a crime,” Pelosi told reporters at a weekly press conference.
Pelosi did not directly answer when a reporter asked of Barr: “Should he go to jail?”
“There’s a process involved here,” said Pelosi. “The committee will act upon how we will proceed.”
Pelosi joins a growing chorus of Democrats accusing Barr of lying to Congress about the release of the Mueller report. Several lawmakers have called on the Trump appointee to resign from office.
On Tuesday, on the eve of Barr’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, it was reported that special counsel Robert Mueller sent a letter to Barron March 27 raising concerns about a letter that the attorney general submitted to Congress three days earlier laying out the core findings of the special counsel’s investigation.
Barr told lawmakers in that letter that Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. He also said that Mueller declined to make a decision on whether President Donald Trump obstructed the Russia probe. Barr said that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided against filing charges against Trump.
Democrats have claimed that Barr’s letter downplayed the extent of Mueller’s findings on the obstruction question. It remains unclear what concerns Mueller had with the letter. Barr testified Wednesday that Mueller told him in a phone call on March 28 that the letter was not inaccurate. Instead, Barr claimed, Mueller expressed concern with how the media was interpreting the March 24 missive.
But Democrats say that Barr’s letter conflicts with what he said during a congressional hearing on April 9.
Democratic Florida Rep. Charlie Crist asked Barr during a House Appropriations Committee hearing about news reports that members of the special counsel’s team were “frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March 24th letter.”
“Do you know what they are referencing with that?” Crist asked.
“No, I don’t,” Barr replied.
When asked about the prior testimony on Wednesday, Barr suggested that he believes he accurately responded to Crist’s question.
“Would you concede you had an opportunity to make this letter public on April 4 when Rep. Crist asked you a very related question?” Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse asked.
“I don’t know what you mean by related question. To me it seemed to be a very different question,” Barr said.
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