Attorney General William Barr let loose on Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday, during a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Mueller report.
“We have to stop using the criminal justice process as a political weapon,” Barr exclaimed as Blumenthal’s time expired. (RELATED: Lindsey Graham Drops F-Bomb On National Television During Live Coverage Of Barr Hearing)
Blumenthal cited the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn, in which he claims Trump directed him to have Mueller removed as special counsel, asking Barr whether he believed that the president had characterized their interactions truthfully. “In your view did President Trump on those occasions and others recite is in the report, lie to the American people?” he asked.
“I’m not in the business of determining when lies are told to the American people,” Barr responded. “I’m in the business of determining whether a crime has been committed … We’re not in the business of exoneration, we’re not in the business of proving they didn’t violate the law.”
Blumenthal then argued that Barr, in both his press conference and his four-page summary of the Mueller report’s conclusions, had “in effect exonerated or cleared the president.”
“No, I didn’t exonerate,” Barr disputed the claim. “I said that we did not believe there was sufficient evidence to establish an obstruction, a defense which is the job of the Justice Department. And the job of the Justice Department is now over. That determines whether or not there is a crime. The report is now in the hands of the American people. Everyone can decide for themselves. There is an election in 18 months. That’s a very democratic process. But we’re out of it. We have to stop using the criminal justice process as a political weapon.”
Blumenthal, upon recognizing that his time had expired, attempted to reassert his point.