Harris demands Barr clarify if Trump has asked him to investigate anyone
© Getty

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWhat to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much Biden compares Trump to George Wallace CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race MORE (D-Calif.) is asking Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDemocratic lawmaker calls asylum, refugee programs 'crown jewel' of immigration system Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony Cummings asks prosecutors about decision not to charge Trump in hush money probe MORE to clarify if President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE or White House staff have asked him to investigate anyone after the president floated prosecuting former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryJohn Kerry: Pressley's story 'more American than any mantle this president could ever claim' Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence Trump threatens Iran with increased sanctions after country exceeds uranium enrichment cap MORE

Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who is running for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination, sent Barr a letter on Thursday asking him to "supplement" his testimony to the Judiciary Committee last week, when Harris asked him if he had been pressured to open investigations.  

"In order for the American people to retain trust in the Department of Justice, the public must have confidence that the women and men who enforce our laws act with fairness and impartiality. Your failure to categorically respond to my question in the negative undermines that confidence," Harris wrote in her letter. 

ADVERTISEMENT

She added that she was seeking answers to her follow-up questions in light of Trump saying he believed Kerry should be prosecuted under the Logan Act for speaking with Iranian officials and criticizing Trump's policies in Iran. 

"What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me," Trump said. "John Kerry speaks to them a lot, and John Kerry tells them not to call. That’s a violation of the Logan Act, and frankly he should be prosecuted on that."

Harris called Trump's remarks "deeply disturbing." 

The letter comes after Harris initially asked Barr whether Trump or White House staff had suggested he use his authority as attorney general to open investigations. Barr, who appeared to be caught off guard, hesitated, asking Harris to repeat the question and saying that he was “trying to grapple with the word ‘suggest.’"

Harris repeated her question to Barr in Thursday's letter, asking if Trump or White House staff members had ever requested or made a "suggestion, whether implied or explicit," that the Justice Department should investigate a particular individual, or if Barr has had a chance to think about the question since his appearance before the Judiciary Committee. 

Harris said she wants to know, specifically, if Trump or White House staff have asked him or the Justice Department to investigate whether Kerry violated the Logan Act, or requested an opinion of whether or not Kerry's conduct constituted a violation of the Logan Act or other federal laws.

Kerry hit back at Trump on Thursday, with a spokesperson telling CNN, "Everything President Trump said today is simply wrong, end of story."