'It is over:' Republicans close ranks at Barr hearing


Barr: It’s ‘Not a Crime’ to Instruct White House Counsel to Lie to Cover Up Trump’s Order to Get Rid of Mueller

The House of Representatives panel's Republicans sided with Barr, saying Democrats' demands were unreasonable.

He defended his decision not to bring obstruction of justice charges against the president, despite the report exposing Trump having attempted to have Mueller fired.

"He lied to Congress", Pelosi said, apparently referring to Barr's testimony under oath before lawmakers in April.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec called Pelosi's allegation "reckless, irresponsible and false". "In a cordial and professional conversation, the Special Counsel emphasized that nothing in the Attorney General's March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading".

But Mueller also wrote that the document "did not fully capture the context, nature and substance" of his report and that it created confusion about some results of the investigation.

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Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler threatened Barr with contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena demanding delivery of the full, unredacted 448-page report. That could potentially lead to legal steps against the top US law enforcement official. I assure you, though, Barr's words were not lost on the Democrats.

Pelosi and other House Democrats previously had cautioned against launching the impeachment process, which would begin in the House but would face long odds of success in the Republican-controlled Senate and could alienate voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

"The president could terminate that proceeding, and it would not be a corrupt intent, because he was being falsely accused". Nixon resigned in 1974 over the Watergate scandal.

The White House signalled little appetite to cooperate. "That is the road to tyranny", the former secretary of state told Maddow. "And that if the president were not in office, he would have been indicted for obstruction of justice".

"If anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime", Pelosi said.

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This is no longer about the Mueller Report or even Russian Federation collusion.

Democrats have argued Trump waived the right to assert executive privilege - which allows a president to withhold information about internal executive branch deliberations from other branches of government - by allowing advisers to cooperate extensively with Mueller.

But he was a no-show at a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, after its leadership announced it would have lawyers cross-examine him following a round of questioning by the panel's elected members. Nadler said he would move forward with a contempt citation as soon as Monday.

Clinton warned that Barr's views placed America's democratic system under threat. Barr said he'd already assigned DOJ staffers to assist.

The story has increased concerns among Democrats about Barr's handling of the Mueller report.

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Mueller's report, the culmination of a 22-month probe yielding charges or convictions of 34 people and three companies, confirmed that Russian operatives tried to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The report also detailed a series of actions Trump took to try to impede the investigation.

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