Nancy Pelosi retakes the gavel as the newly elected Speaker of the House
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, on Thursday accused Republican Attorney General William Barr of lying to Congress in his descriptions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.
But Pelosi didn’t stop there.
“Attorney General Barr’s decision to mislead the public in his testimony to Congress was not a technicality — it was a crime,” the speaker wrote in a tweet Thursday.
Her remark appeared to reference testimony Barr gave to a House committee last month after the public release of a redacted version Mueller’s report. Mueller’s report found that President Donald Trump’s campaign did not coordinate political activities with Russian actors, but it did not exonerate Trump of attempting to obstruct Mueller’s investigation into the election.
In her tweet, Pelosi was referring to Barr’s response to questions from Florida Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, according to reporting from the Los Angeles Times.
Crist asked Barr whether he knew why Mueller and his team of investigators were “frustrated at some level with the limited information included” in the initial letter on the report which Barr sent to Congress, according to the Miami Herald.
“No, I don’t,” Barr answered, later prompting several Democrats, including Hawaii Sen. Maizi Hirono to accuse him of lying.
It didn’t take long for the Department of Justice, led by Barr, to respond to Pelosi’s accusation.
“Speaker Pelosi’s baseless attack on the Attorney General is reckless, irresponsible and false,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Barr testified before a Senate committee on Wednesday. He declined to attend a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, and Democrats have threatened to charge him with contempt of Congress for refusing to appear at the hearing.