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 BarrLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Barr wrote 2018 memo contradicting Trump's claim that abuse of power is not impeachable MORE's resignation over his handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay 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.

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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Biden, Sanders tax plans would raise less revenue than claimed: studies 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 TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE.

After grilling Barr during his testimony to the committee, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCalifornia Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Steyer spokesperson: 'I don't think necessarily that Tom has bought anything' Biden wins endorsement of Sacramento mayor 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 GillibrandSanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 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 BookerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two Patrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' Booker ahead of Trump impeachment trial: 'History has its eyes on us' 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."

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"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'RourkeBiden calls for revoking key online legal protection Trump mocks Booker over suspended presidential campaign Julián Castro endorses Warren in 2020 race 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 SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' Tensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden 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 BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden 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.