David N. Cicilline: Barr lied to Congress on Mueller report
Attorney General William Barr lied to Congress under oath, a top House Democrat said Wednesday in demanding he resign.
Rep. David N. Cicilline, chairman of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, leveled the weighty accusation after revelations of a new letter from special counsel Robert Mueller suggested Mr. Barr mischaracterized his findings in his original public letter.
“He lied under oath to Congress. That cannot be tolerated. He has to go,” Mr. Cicilline said.
The congressman didn’t say what, exactly, he considered to be the lies, but it’s likely he’s talking about Mr. Barr’s testimony to the House and Senate last month. While appearing to talk about the Justice Department’s budget, Mr. Barr was instead peppered with questions about his handling of the Mueller report.
Other key Democrats also found Mr. Barr’s behavior troubling, but didn’t yet say he “lied.”
“He seems to have testified non-truthfully to the Senate and to the House,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler.
Lying to Congress is a felony offense, as a number of persons have found out in recent years.
Mr. Mueller and his team have won cases against some of President Trump’s close associates after they misled lawmakers during myriad probes into the 2016 election, Russian activities and Trump campaign behavior.
The charges of lying and misleading come a day after the Justice Department acknowledged Mr. Mueller sent a letter expressing concern over Attorney General William Barr’s initial summary of his investigation.
Mr. Mueller said he found no proof that Mr. Trump conspired with Russia to subvert the 2016 election the chief reason for his probe but he found suspicious behavior by the president in attempts to try to thwart investigations into Russia’s activities, which in some lights could be viewed as obstruction of justice.
Mr. Barr’s initial publication was seen by many to downplay the adverse findings concerning obstruction of justice.