The House Judiciary Committee went forward with a hearing on the special counsel report Thursday without scheduled witness Attorney General William Barr, his empty seat at the witness table a sign of a broader separation of powers battle ahead.
"That's a crime", Ms Pelosi said, though she did not specify which comment she was referring to. But the letter made it clear that Barr has not told Congress the full truth about the Mueller investigation, King said. "Nobody is above the law".
A number of Democrats specifically focused their questions on the late-breaking Tuesday report that Mueller sent a letter and later spoke to Barr by phone, complaining that the attorney general's memo "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance" of the special counsel's conclusions.
"You still have a situation where a president essentially tries to change the lawyer's account in order to prevent further criticism of himself", Senator Feinstein tells Attorney General Barr. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) accused the attorney general of abusing his office and lying to Congress, and many others demanded his resignation.
Yet Barr, who dropped some interesting tidbits in yesterday's hearings, seems willing to investigate the impetus of the Russian Federation "collusion" investigation, the role of the infamous dossier, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants used by the previous administration for "spying".
Nadler said Barr refused to testify on Thursday to the House Judiciary Committee on his handling of the Mueller report.
"No, I don't", Barr answered.
That's not what the Justice Department does, Barr said. Mueller did not find the Trump campaign conspired with Russian actors, and the special counsel did not make a recommendation on whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation.
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It emerged on Tuesday however that when Mr Barr said this he was already in possession of a 27 March letter from Mr Mueller outlining the special counsel's frustrations.
"I'm not going to abjure the use of the word "spying.' I think, you know, my first job was in Central Intelligence Agency". "And then I think ultimately the president is going to be held accountable at the ballot box".
While Mueller made this request on 25 March 2019, the day after Barr released his four-page summary of the report, Mueller's summaries weren't available to the public until the full, redacted version of the report was publicly released on 18 April 2019.
But Ms Pelosi said the Trump administration was continuing to ignore congressional subpoenas and noted Congress launched impeachment proceedings against president Richard Nixon in the 1970s after he resisted similar demands.
Mueller also laid out a damning pattern of obstructive behaviour by the president and suggested Congress itself should investigate. Challenged by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) as to whether the term "spying" is used commonly in the Department of Justice, Barr retorted: "It's commonly used by me".
"I really lost sleep last night after watching over and over again the testimony of the attorney general of the United States", Pelosi said.
"Because they do not belong to our criminal justice vocabulary, the [special counsel's office's] inverted-proof-standard and "exoneration" statements can be understood only as political statements, issuing from persons (federal prosecutors) who in our system of government are rightly expected never to be political in the performance of their duties", Flood wrote to Barr.