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Nancy Pelosi is done talking about Bill Barr: ‘I don’t even want to address him’
When a reporter asked Nancy Pelosi about Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday, the California Democrat snapped.
“I don’t even want to address him,” the House Speaker told reporters, according to The Washington Post. “He has lied to Congress as the attorney general of the United States. He’s lied under oath. I’m not speaking to anything more that he has to say.”
Pelosi has long accused Barr of being a criminal, an untrustworthy person, and President Donald Trump’s toady amid an effort by Democrats to muddy Barr’s credibility. The speaker attacked Barr early and often over his handling of Robert Mueller’s final report, which cleared Trump of allegations of collusion.
Apparently, Pelosi did not take kindly to the suggestion that her party isn’t prosecuting President Trump in good faith. Her stinging response came in response to a question about Barr having accused Democrats, appropriately, of staging a “public spectacle” by inviting Robert Mueller to testify before Congress on July 17.
Mueller previously indicated that his brief remarks at a May press conference closing out his investigation would be all, but Democrats are apparently desperate for another soundbite with impeachment momentum flagging.
“I’m not sure what purpose is served by dragging him up there and trying to grill him,” Barr told the Associated Press. “I don’t think Mueller should be treated that way or subject himself to that, if he doesn’t want to.”
Mueller did not charge Trump with collusion, but he rendered an unclear judgment on whether Trump obstructed the investigation. Mueller’s statement that indicting Trump was “not an option” led many Democrats to see his remarks and report as an invitation to impeach Trump.
Democrats will likely press Mueller on alleged obstruction of justice — despite Mueller already saying that his report, and his remarks, covered all the bases — so the Mueller hearing sounds very much like a spectacle.
Fanning the flames
Pelosi’s claim that Barr lied under oath seems to be a repeat of an allegation she made in May, when the Democrats’ war with Barr was overheating and led to contempt citations against Barr. Pelosi had then accused Barr of criminal perjury over comments he made to a House Appropriations subcommittee in April about Mueller’s report.
Barr claimed that he was unaware that Mueller’s team took issue with his summary of the Mueller investigation, but it was later reported that Mueller had called Barr and sent him a letter to express concerns.
The notion that Mueller didn’t trust Barr’s summary played perfectly into the Democrat narrative that the Mueller report did not exonerate Trump. However, while Pelosi is convinced that Barr is a liar, the special counsel said at his press conference in May that he trusted Barr’s “good faith” in handling his report, according to the Washington Examiner.
For its part, the Justice Department called Pelosi’s allegation in May that Barr committed perjury “reckless, irresponsible, and false.”
Backlash over Barr
Pelosi has led a charge among Democrats to frame Barr for a mythical “cover-up” of the Mueller report ever since Barr released his summary of the report in late March. Last month, Pelosi said that she was “afraid” of Barr and didn’t trust him.
But while claiming that Barr and Trump are flouting the rule of law, the Democrats have shown consistent disrespect for the White House and attorney general amid an effort to pursue bad-faith investigations of the president. The Democrats have abused Congress’ oversight power to insist that the White House comply with numerous disingenuous subpoenas, which have the apparent purpose of investigating Trump for one reason or another until 2020, while treating the president and the attorney general like their inferiors in the process.
For his part, Barr has responded to the Democrats’ juvenile disrespect with unflappable contempt. The attorney general jokingly asked Pelosi at a Washington event in May whether she had brought handcuffs to arrest him.
Barr indicated previously that he had no problem with Mueller testifying, but he rightly sees the Democrats’ invitation for him to testify as a political circus act, especially after Mueller indicated that he had already said his piece.
“After I said that, [Bob Mueller] indicated that he was not interested in testifying, and he held a press conference and issued a press statement making it clear that his testimony really was the report itself and that it wasn’t going to go beyond the report,” Barr said.
On Monday, Barr also said that the Trump administration can legally add a citizenship question to the 2020 census as the White House looks for ways to include it, despite the Supreme Court rejecting it last month, The Hill reports. Pelosi has threatened to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt “soon” over their refusal to cooperate with subpoenas having to do with the census.
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