AG Barr 'lied to the American people' and downplayed the threat of Russia: Judiciary senator
Attorney General nominee William Bar. Image via screengrab.

On Tuesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) excoriated Attorney General William Barr on CNN following reports that special counsel Robert Mueller rebuked him over his representation of his Russia findings.

"This letter is unquestionably an unprecedented, stunning rebuke of the attorney general of the United States," Blumenthal told host Anderson Cooper. "Very significantly undermining, in fact devastating his credibility now in the Department of Justice and likely tomorrow in our hearing."

"There is going to be some tough questioning of him tomorrow about not only his four-page summary, which then Mueller said, in effect, mischaracterized his report, but then why he doubled down three weeks later in a press conference and, in effect, lied again to the American people," said Blumenthal. "I realize that characterization sounds harsh. We said it at the time. Now we have Bob Mueller himself saying, in effect, that William Barr's characterization was deceptive and misleading, in effect a lie to the American people, and that's going to be reframing and adding a new dimension entirely to the questioning tomorrow."

"I can think of no prior instance of this kind of very severe rebuke to the attorney general of the United States from a career prosecutor with this kind of respect within the Department of Justice," said Blumenthal. "He, in effect, lied to the American people, saying that Bob Mueller concluded there was insufficient evidence of obstruction."

"The fact of the matter is Bob Mueller said nothing of the kind," Blumenthal continued. "In effect, he said that this report is an indictment in all but name. If Donald Trump were any other official, if there were no Office of Legal Counsel memorandum saying a sitting president cannot be indicted, he would be under indictment right now. And, in fact, he is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Southern District of New York prosecution."

Asked by Cooper whether Barr should resign or be impeached, Blumenthal said, "I voted against William Barr. I said then he was unfit to be attorney general. I believe he is unfit even more so today ... in effect, he harbored obstruction of justice and he is continuing to do so. He is also belittling and demeaning the real threat from the Russians. He is downplaying the kind of continuing attack that we're seeing from the Russians."

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