McCarthy says Nadler lied, not Barr

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyAfter police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi Capitol Police asked to arrest the maskless 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Calif.) on Thursday rejected Democrats’ assertion that Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Native Americans are targets of voter suppression too MORE had lied to Congress last month and committed a crime.

Instead, McCarthy accused House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBiden backs effort to include immigration in budget package Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Britney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator MORE (D-N.Y.) of being a liar.

“I do not believe Attorney General Barr lied; I believe he’s been very transparent in all of this,” McCarthy told reporters Thursday afternoon. “I think if people are looking at who has lied in the process, simply look at Chairman Nadler.”

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The combative remarks from McCarthy, a close ally of President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE, came after Nadler staged a Judiciary Committee hearing with an empty chair. Barr backed out of the hearing after objecting to Democrats’ demand that staff attorneys be allowed to question Barr in addition to lawmakers.

“Chairman Nadler asked the attorney general to come and he said yes. After the attorney general said he would come to the committee, to speak to every member, they moved to change the rules,” McCarthy said. “The only time an individual, a staffer questioned somebody was during Watergate. Nadler has been wanting to impeach the day after the election.”

A Nadler spokesman did not immediately provide a comment.

Earlier Thursday, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris MORE (D-Calif.) accused Barr of committing a crime when he testified before House lawmakers in April that he wasn’t aware of any concerns from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE about the attorney general’s four-page summary of the report on Russian interference.

In fact, Mueller had written a letter to Barr nearly two weeks earlier expressing concerns about the attorney general’s summary.

“What is deadly serious about it is the attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That's a crime,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday.

“He lied to Congress; he lied to Congress,” Pelosi continued. “And if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime.”

Many Democrats are now calling on Barr to resign or be impeached by the House. They also want to hear directly from Mueller and have invited him to testify before the Judiciary Committee on his 448-page report examining Russian interference, conspiracy and obstruction of justice by the president.

McCarthy, however, said he had read the massive report and did not think it was necessary for Mueller to appear before Congress.

“I don’t need to” hear from Mueller, McCarthy said.