House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference this morning, in which she criticized Attorney General William Barr for lying to Congress in previous testimonies.
According to CNN, the California politician accused Barr of committing a crime by lying to Congress. Her remarks come after Barr skipped out on a House committee meeting that took place Thursday morning.
“What is deadly serious about it is the attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That’s a crime,” she said. “He lied to Congress. 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.”
Just minutes prior during a closed-door meeting with House members, Pelosi made similar comments to her colleagues. While speaking with Florida Representative Charlie Crist, Pelosi pointed out that the attorney general had lied when he answered the Democrats’ questions during a hearing last month. Barr said that he didn’t know about any objections special counsel Robert Mueller’s team might have had to his characterization of the report.
It was later revealed that Mueller had in fact written a letter to Barr expressing concern about the way Barr summarized his findings, according to Politico.
“We saw [Barr] commit a crime when he answered your question,” she said.
Crist agreed with Pelosi that the lie qualified as a crime.
“It’s called perjury,” he said, adding, “We ought to have somebody who is in a law enforcement space charge him.”
Breaking News: “That’s a crime”: Nancy Pelosi said Attorney General William Barr testified falsely in April about Robert Mueller’s response to his letter https://t.co/2P2YUTm1UR
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 2, 2019
Pelosi and Crist’s comments come after Barr refused to appear at a hearing with the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, further inflaming tensions between the Justice Department and progressive Congress lawmakers.
Barr has refused to comply with a subpoena for an unredacted version of the Mueller report, causing some Congressional leaders to call for his resignation. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has said that Barr should be held in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with the subpoena.
Crist has said that he believes Barr could be impeached for his refusal to cooperate with Congress and that he supports contempt charges, which could take place as early as Monday as well.
Pelosi has also increased her criticism of Donald Trump, issuing a letter aimed at the president’s alleged obstruction of justice, according to Politico. In the letter, Pelosi argues that Trump has attempted to block congressional oversight and of attempting to cover up his administration’s behavior.