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 BarrThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan House Intelligence enjoys breakthrough with Justice Department Schiff blasts Trump's 'un-American' order to intel agencies to cooperate with Barr probe MORE's resignation over his handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerGraham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' House progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller 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 WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Overnight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan 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 TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE.

After grilling Barr during his testimony to the committee, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCastro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Harris leads California Democrats in condemning HUD immigrant housing policy Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution 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 Gillibrand2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Fox News contributor Campos-Duffy compares abortion to slavery 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues 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 Booker2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign T.I., Charlamagne Tha God advocate for opportunity zones on Capitol Hill 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'RourkeButtiegieg backs NFL players' right to protest during anthem: I 'put my life on the line to defend' that Overnight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan CNN's O'Rourke town hall finishes behind Fox News, MSNBC 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 Sanders2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back 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 — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Castro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' 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.