Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), who sits on the House Appropriations Committee and sparred with Attorney General Bill Barr on Tuesday, told CNN on Thursday that she was unhappy with Barr’s “dismissive, arrogant” attitude in refusing to discuss the Mueller report publicly — and that history and the American people would judge him harshly.
“I sat through that hearing and I questioned Barr. It was really compelling and intriguing, the amount of dismissive, arrogant interaction we had with him,” Lawrence said. “In the Mueller report, we have the support of the people. It’s been polled so many times, 80%, even the Republicans. We have bipartisan, 100% support via vote to have a clear, transparent process, and we have history on our side, starting with the Watergate investigation.”
“Somewhere along the line he’s gotten twisted because that comment about spying is a direct quote from the rhetoric of the president of the United States,” she went on. “You are the attorney general. You are supposed to operate on fact and law.”
“Would you support the attorney general being clear and transparent about any evidence he has of undue spying during the campaign?” asked host Jim Sciutto. “The question being, why not wait to see what he’s got before you dismiss what he says are legitimate concerns?”
“For an attorney general to just blurt out something as serious as spying by our own government without due process is a very serious accusation,” Lawrence replied. “If you are going to say that, and from all of the procedural requirements, you should have clear documents, there should be a charge, and is there an investigation? He backed back on that.”
“As the attorney general, your job is not to be a messenger for rhetoric for the president,” she continued. “His is to be the gate keeper of the law and the process of justice in our country. So I pray that he gets that, and if not, we need to take action in Congress.”
Watch the video below.
Republicans have ‘very little ground to stand on’ to attack Taylor and Kent: Ex-FBI deputy director
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe broke down why it was all but impossible for Republicans to attack the credibility of diplomats William Taylor and George Kent during their impeachment testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
"They have very little ground to stand on to attack these gentlemen," said McCabe. "Particularly in the case of Taylor, he is backed up assiduously by a contemporaneous record. He's got his handwritten notes and he's got the texts messages that he sent the time. So when he tells you, I was shocked by what I heard on the phone call, you know that's true because at the time, he sent a contemporaneous text."
White House is happy GOP lawmakers said Trump is too incompetent to do a quid pro quo: CNN’s Jim Acosta
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that the White House is happy with how Republicans defended President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill — even though their central talking point was that the president tried to engage in a quid pro quo with Ukraine but failed.
"The White House officials that responded back to the president said that they thought he had a great day when it comes to this hearing up on Capitol Hill," said Acosta. "They don't see any damage done to the president after this first day of testimony."
"I will tell you, though, Anderson, the talking points are shifting," added Acosta. "White House officials I spoke to this evening said that they were pleasantly surprised by the performance turned in by some of these GOP lawmakers who were essentially saying, well, this was an attempted quid pro quo, it wasn't a quid pro quo, so, therefore, it's not impeachable. So, Anderson, their talking points have shifted once again. They've gone from saying there was no quid pro quo to, well, an attempted quid pro quo isn't that bad after all."
Southern District prosecutors watched impeachment hearing to decide whether to charge Giuliani: CNN reporter
The first publicly televised impeachment hearing was aired to millions of people on Tuesday. But it wasn't just citizens who were watching, suggested justice correspondent Evan Perez on CNN's "The Situation Room" — it was federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, who are currently investigating President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"Both of [the witnesses], Kent and Taylor, they weighed in on the role of Rudy Giuliani in all this diplomacy," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What do you think?"
"Look, I think that's the key part of his testimony," said Perez. "I think we want to hear more from some of the other witnesses, including Ambassador Yovanovitch, and certainly Gordon Sondland, this is part of the story, the story Democrats are laying out for the impeachment inquiry. There is also another part of this, Wolf. I think the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York ... are watching this testimony today, no doubt, and trying to see whether it fits into the criminal investigation still ongoing in which Giuliani is the center of."