Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday accused Attorney General William Barr of committing a crime by lying to Congress, blasting him in a closed-door meeting and later at a news conference.
“We saw [Barr] commit a crime when he answered your question,” Pelosi told Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) during a private caucus meeting Thursday morning, according to two sources present for the gathering.
“He lied to Congress. He lied to Congress,” Pelosi said soon after at a news conference. “And if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime. Nobody is above the law. Not the president of the United States, and not the attorney general.”
The allegation comes as Democrats have intensified their criticisms of the attorney general over his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, his refusal to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and the Justice Department’s unwillingness to comply with a subpoena for the full unredacted report.
Pelosi’s comments were an apparent reference to Barr’s response to Crist last month during a House Appropriations Committee hearing, when the attorney general said he was not aware of any concerns that Mueller’s investigators might have expressed about his four-page summary of Mueller’s findings.
Barr’s response appeared to contradict the revelation earlier this week that Mueller himself wrote to the attorney general, saying he was worried that Barr’s summary “threatens to undermine … public confidence” in the Russia probe. Mueller also said Barr’s memo “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the investigation.