House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday accused Attorney General William Barr of lying to Congress a day after his Wednesday testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“He lied to Congress, he lied to Congress, and if anybody else did that it would be considered a crime,” Pelosi said during a Thursday morning press conference. “Nobody is above the law, not the president of the United States, and not the attorney general.”
Pelosi did not detail what specifically Barr said that was not truthful, but he was questioned by several Democrats on Wednesday about his statements at a prior congressional hearing.
They pressed him on whether he had misled Congress last month when, at an unrelated congressional hearing, he professed ignorance about complaints from the special counsel’s team. Barr suggested he had not lied because he was in touch with Mueller himself and not his team.
Unswayed, Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont said Wednesday, ‘‘Mr. Barr, I feel your answer was purposefully misleading, and I think others do too.’’
At Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee session, Barr spent hours defending his handling of Mueller’s report against complaints from Democrats and the special counsel himself. Mueller sent Barr a letter several weeks ago expressing concern that Barr’s summary of his findings had created “public confusion.”
Barr skipped a House hearing on Thursday after a disagreement with the House Judiciary Committee over questioning. He testified for several hours on Wednesday before the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.