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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 BarrBill BarrJustice Dept. blasts Mexico's decision to close probe of former defense minister Acting attorney general condemns Capitol riots, warns 'no tolerance' for violence at Biden inauguration Barr, White House counsel told Trump not to self-pardon: report MORE's resignation over his handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo 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 TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE.

After grilling Barr during his testimony to the committee, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris to be sworn in by Justice Sotomayor using Thurgood Marshall's Bible In calling out Trump, Nikki Haley warns of a more sinister threat On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits 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 GillibrandDemocrats looking to speed through Senate impeachment trial With Senate at stake, Georgia is on all our minds Build trust in vaccines by investing in community workers 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 BookerSunday shows preview: Washington prepares for an inauguration and impeachment; coronavirus surges across the US NCAA tables name, image and likeness vote after DOJ warns of potential antitrust violations Warren and other senators seek investigation into Trump administration resuming federal executions 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'RourkeBoebert appears to carry gun on Capitol Hill in new ad 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Mexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized 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 leery of nixing filibuster 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Biden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal 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 BidenMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Facebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP 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.