U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi castigated Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday for comments he made during congressional hearings this week about the federal probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“Let me just say I’m very, very dismayed and disappointed that the chief law enforcement officer of our country is going off the rails yesterday and today,” Pelosi told reporters at a Democratic Party retreat in Virginia.
“He is attorney general of the United States of America, not the attorney general of Donald Trump.”
Pelosi said Democrats want to see special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which dealt with Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links to the Trump campaign.
Russia’s activities were an assault on U.S. democracy — “there is no doubt about that,” Pelosi said.
During two congressional hearings this week, Barr defended his handling of the 400-page report Mueller submitted to him on March 22 after a two-year investigation.
The attorney general released a four-page letter to Congress providing a broad outline of its assessments. In the March 24 letter, Barr said that Mueller’s investigation did not establish that members of Trump’s election campaign conspired with Russia. He also said that Mueller presented evidence “on both sides” about whether Trump had obstructed justice, but did not draw a conclusion one way or the other.
Barr said he would make public a redacted version of the report next week. Democrats have been calling for full disclosure.
Barr, who was appointed by Trump, said Wednesday that he would look into whether U.S. agencies illegally spied on Trump’s 2016 campaign, but acknowledged under sharp questioning by lawmakers that there was no evidence of wrongdoing.