2020 Dems call on Barr to resign

2020 Dems call on Barr to resign
© Greg Nash

Several candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination are demanding Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrProsecutors are mainly to blame for the criminal justice crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE's resignation over his handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's report.

At least seven candidates have called on Barr to resign following revelations that Mueller wrote to Barr saying that the attorney general's characterization of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions." 

The calls also come as Barr testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his handling of the report.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-Mass.) called Barr a "disgrace" in a tweet, saying that the attorney general should resign over his "alarming efforts to suppress the Mueller report." Warren also repeated calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE.

After grilling Barr during his testimony to the committee, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-Calif.), a former prosecutor, told reporters: "Yes," Barr should resign.

“He made a decision and didn’t review the evidence," she said of Barr. "No prosecutor worth her salt would make a decision about whether the president of the United States was involved in an obstruction of justice without reviewing the evidence." 

“This attorney general lacks all credibility and I think compromised the American public’s ability to believe that the is a purveyor of justice,” she added.

Fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Sanders unveils plan to double union membership in first term The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll MORE (N.Y.) said that the attorney general is "more interested in protecting the president than working for the American people," in a tweet calling for his resignation. 

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-N.J.), who also questioned Barr during the testimony, sent a release to campaign supporters saying he is calling on Barr to resign "immediately."

"The Attorney General of the United States has a duty to the Constitution, the law, and the American people -- not to the occupant of the Oval Office," Booker said. "William Barr has shown with actions in his handling of the Mueller Report’s release and with words in his testimony to Congress today that he’s put his political loyalty to Donald Trump before his duty to our country."

"I have no confidence in Barr’s ability to continue leading the Justice Department," he added.

And in a Tuesday night tweet, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro accused Barr of a cover-up, saying he should either resign or face impeachment.

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Harris to appear in CNN climate town hall after backlash Castro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates MORE also tweeted that Barr should resign, saying he "has failed in his responsibility to our country" and "is not fit to serve as Attorney General."

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (I-Vt.), another 2020 candidate, has also criticized Barr, but said he was not sure whether the attorney general should leave his post. 

Sanders called Barr's handling of the Mueller report "outrageous" but said, “I don't know if he should resign or not."

"You don't need an attorney general who is not being honest or who is not being forthcoming in giving the American people what they need to know,” the 2020 presidential candidate said in an interview on SiriusXM. “This is outrageous, but I gotta tell you, this is nothing new for the Trump administration.”  

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTop adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' 'Forever war' slogans short-circuit the scrutiny required of national security choices MORE, who launched his 2020 campaign last week, said late Wednesday that Barr should resign, telling reporters that he has lost the "confidence of the American people."

Barr has faced scrutiny from Democrats over his four-page memo summarizing the Mueller report. In the memo, sent to members of Congress weeks before the public release of the redacted report, Barr wrote that Mueller did not find evidence of criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign. The attorney general also said that he would not pursue an obstruction of justice charge against the president.

It was revealed Tuesday that Mueller sent Barr a letter in March complaining that the attorney general's letter mischaracterized the investigation and created "public confusion about critical aspects of the results."

Barr told lawmakers during his Wednesday testimony that he did not review the underlying evidence in the report before making his determination on obstruction of justice. 

Justin Wise contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:50 p.m.