Nancy Pelosi just raised the stakes in Democrats' criticism of Attorney General William Barr: The House speaker accused him of breaking the law. "He lied to Congress," Pelosi said at a news conference, reports the Washington Post. “The attorney general of the United States was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That’s a crime.” The reference is to Barr's appearance in April before a House panel, when he told Rep. Charlie Crist that he wasn't aware of concerns from Robert Mueller's team about the four-page summary Barr had released. By that time, however, NBC reports that Barr already had received a letter from Mueller complaining that Barr's summary "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the full inquiry.
The April exchange in question, per NBC:
- Crist: "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 that it does not adequately or accurately necessarily portray the report's findings. Do you know what they are referencing with that?"
- Barr: “No, I don't. I think, I think, I suspect that they probably wanted, you know, more put out.”
Crist tells Politico
that he now views Barr's response as "perjury." But the Justice Department says this "baseless attack on the Attorney General is reckless, irresponsible and false," per Axios
. When a reporter asked Pelosi if Barr should go to jail, she said, "There's a process involved here, and as I said, I'll say it again, the committee will act upon how we will proceed." (Barr told a Senate panel Wednesday that Mueller's letter was "snitty,"
and he opted not to appear
before a House panel on Thursday.)