'Nobody Is Above the Law.' Nancy Pelosi Accuses William Barr
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accused Attorney General William Barr of lying to Congress when he said last month that he was not aware of any concerns from the Special Counsel#8217s office over his summary of its report.
#8220He lied to Congress,#8221 Pelosi said at a news conference. #8220And 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.#8221
The accusation came as Democrats blasted Barr for refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee following a dispute over the questioning process.
The Department of Justice informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Wednesday that Attorney General William Barr would not appear for his scheduled testimony the following day. But, as Rep. Nadler said in a statement after he received the news, he still had an inkling of hope mdash at least publicly mdash that Barr would change his mind.
But as the hearing convened Thursday morning, Barr was nowhere to be seen. A white name tag emblazoned with ldquothe honorable William P. Barrrdquo sat on an empty wooden table as Nadler began the proceedings. House Democrats chomped on Kentucky Fried Chicken, a gift from Rep. Steven Cohen, who later explained the unusual breakfast by referencing #8220Chicken Barr.#8221 A hearing that should have encompassed hours worth of testimony concluded within 30 minutes.
#8220At this point we would introduce the witness,#8221 Nadler, a Democrat, said after both he and ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, a Republican, gave their opening statements. #8220But instead we will close proceedings.#8221
The end result produced nothing but more foreshadowing of further clashes between the legislative and executive branch. The Department of Justice had also told Nadler Wednesday evening that it would not comply with his subpoena request for an un-redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller#8217s report on Russia#8217s role in the 2016 presidential election, leading the chairman to again raise the prospect of holding Barr in contempt of Congress #8220if he stalls or fails to negotiate in good faith.#8221
ldquoHistory will judge us for how we face this challenge. We will all be held accountable, one way or the other,#8221 Nadler said in his statement. #8220And if he does not provide this Committee with the information it demands and the respect that it deserves, Mr. Barrrsquos moment of accountability will come soon enough.rdquo
Barr had volunteered to testify before both the Senate and House judiciary committees about Mueller#8217s report; he testified before the Senate on Wednesday. But negotiations between the House Judiciary Committee and the Department of Justice broke down after committee Democrats requested to have staff attorneys question Barr mdash in addition to the questions Barr would face from committee members mdash arguing that the five-minute time limit allotted per member was insufficient. (No staff attorneys questioned Barr during his Senate testimony, although committee members said the rules allow it).
- 'Nobody Is Above the Law.' Nancy Pelosi Accuses William Barr