House Judiciary Chairman Adam Schiff is calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign for allegedly giving “deliberately false and misleading” testimony to Congress last month.
“There’s no sugarcoating this: I think he should step down,” Schiff said in an interview on CBS News.
Schiff was responding to reports that Mueller sent a letter to Barr on March 27 expressing concern with Barr’s letter to Congress laying out the principal conclusions of the special counsel’s probe.
In that letter, dated March 24, Barr said that the special counsel found no evidence of collusion, while declining to make a decision on the question of whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice. Barr decided not to pursue an obstruction case after consulting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw Mueller’s probe.
The Washington Post and New York Times simultaneously broke the story of Mueller’s letter Tuesday night, on the eve of Barr’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was not clear exactly what concerns Mueller had with Barr’s March 24 letter, though he complained about how the media had interpreted it. The Post reported that Mueller told Barr in a follow-up phone call that he did not consider Barr’s letter to be misleading or inaccurate.
Democrats have argued that Barr’s letter downplayed Mueller’s findings in order to protect Trump, especially on the question of obstruction.
Schiff pointed to Barr’s statement in an April 9 congressional hearing in which he told Democratic Florida Rep. Charlie Crist that he did not know what concerns the special counsel’s office had with his March 24 letter.
“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?” Crist asked Barr.
“No, I don’t,” Barr replied.
Schiff called Barr’s response to Crist “deliberately false and misleading,” saying that the attorney general was aware of Mueller’s complaint at the time of the hearing.
“I think his statement is deliberately false and misleading, and yes, most people would consider that to be a lie. He’s a very smart man; he knew exactly what he was being asked by Congress,” said Schiff.
Attorney General Barr should resign.
He misled the American people with his inaccurate summary of Mueller’s report.
Then he misled the Congress when he denied knowledge of Mueller’s concerns.
How can he be trusted to impartially administer justice?
Short answer: He can’t. pic.twitter.com/aJpxHj1mc6
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 1, 2019
Schiff has faced calls of his own to step down as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Republican members of the committee unanimously called on him to step down as chairman because of his leading role in promoting the false claim that Trump and his associates conspired with Russia during the 2016 campaign. (RELATED: House Intel GOP Calls On Adam Schiff To Step Down As Chairman)
Schiff has claimed in the past to have seen “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion. Mueller found no evidence of a conspiracy between Trump associates and Russia.
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