Greg Nash

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) called on Thursday for Attorney General William Barr to step down after the top law enforcement official defended President Trump at a news conference previewing the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

In a lengthy statement, Swalwell, one of more than a dozen Democrats running for president, said that Barr’s news conference was only the latest piece of evidence of bias within the top ranks of the Justice Department

{mosads}“Barr never should have been confirmed, but once confirmed, he should have recused himself from all oversight of the Mueller investigation,” Swalwell said in a statement.

“Today, he made a show of allegiance to the President over the American people by declaring ‘no collusion’ and excusing the President on the basis of his emotional state,” he added. “He has proved that he’s an embedded Trump ally who puts this President’s political future above of the rule of law. That makes him unfit to serve. He must resign.”

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Barr asserted that investigators “found no evidence” that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential election and explained his decision not to pursue an obstruction of justice case against the president for his conduct related to probe.

A redacted version of the report on Mueller’s investigation was released later Thursday morning.

Swalwell, a member of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, has long been one of Trump’s most vocal critics in Congress, frequently chiming in on allegations of impropriety by the president and his campaign.

His demand on Thursday makes him the first 2020 Democrat to call for Barr’s resignation in the wake of the Mueller report’s release.

Tags 2020 election Democratic primary Donald Trump Eric Swalwell Eric Swalwell Mueller report Robert Mueller Robert Mueller William Barr William Barr

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