2020 Democrats blast Barr's defense of Trump before Mueller report's release

2020 Democrats blast Barr's defense of Trump before Mueller report's release
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Democratic presidential hopefuls raced on Thursday to condemn Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham Barr10 questions for Robert Mueller Democratic lawmaker calls asylum, refugee programs 'crown jewel' of immigration system Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony MORE’s news conference ahead of the highly anticipated release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE’s report.

The Democrats accused him of mounting a campaign to defend President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE in the face of potentially damaging revelations.

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A redacted version of Mueller’s report detailing the findings of the special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 election was set for release on Thursday morning.

But less than two hours before it was expected to be made public, Barr held a news conference in which he offered a robust defense of the president and explained his reasoning for not pursuing an obstruction of justice case against Trump.

“It's a disgrace to see an Attorney General acting as if he's the personal attorney and publicist for the President of the United States,” Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters MORE (D-Mass.) wrote on Twitter after Barr’s press conference.

“Yet again Attorney General Barr has tried to spin the Mueller report before providing the actual report or the evidence underlying it,” Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Cory Booker talks about 'geeking out' over Rosario Dawson's Marvel role Harris faces pressure to define policy proposals MORE (D-N.J.) tweeted. “This is undermining the independence of this entire process.” 

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage Protect American patients and innovation from a harmful MedTech Tax increase MORE (D-Minn.), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, demanded that Mueller himself appear before the panel, asserting that only he could offer answers about the findings of his investigation.

“He should be able to give us his own views of what happened here so we can answer questions,” Klobuchar said in a video posted online. “He’s the one that conducted this major investigation and he’s the one — not Attorney General Barr — that should answer the questions of America.”

Among the most vocal of the 2020 contenders was Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Moulton campaign makes formal case to DNC to be added to debate stage Bullock makes CNN debate stage MORE (D-Calif.), who unleashed a flurry of tweets on Thursday decrying Barr’s news conference as a partisan defense of Trump.

“Very interesting press conference by Trump...I mean, Barr,” Swalwell tweeted.

“If Barr believed in the rule of law, he’d let the report speak for itself, not hold a news conference to spin it on the President’s behalf,” he wrote in another tweet.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage MORE (D-N.Y.) also weighed in.

"AG Barr’s press conference was a farce and an embarrassing display of propaganda on behalf of President Trump," Gillibrand said. "Barr works for the people, not the president. They deserve to know Mueller’s full findings because nobody—especially not the president—is immune from accountability."