Pelosi throws cold water on impeaching Barr

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Top Republican: 'Outrageous' to extend National Guard deployment at Capitol Progressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday tamped down the possibility that House Democrats could pursue impeachment of Attorney General William BarrBill BarrPolitics in the Department of Justice can be a good thing Majority of Republicans say 2020 election was invalid: poll Biden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case MORE over accusations that he has politicized the Department of Justice.

Some Democrats have expressed interest in pursuing impeachment proceedings against Barr after the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday during which Justice Department officials alleged that the agency had taken in political considerations when handling cases against allies of President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE's.

But Pelosi suggested that any referendum on Barr should be done at the ballot box in November.


"A hundred and thirty-one days from now, we will have the solution to many problems, one of them being Barr," Pelosi said during a Washington Post Live event.

"Anyone who saw that testimony will know that Barr is a mess. He's a disgrace to the Department of Justice," Pelosi said.

The House voted last year to hold Barr, as well as Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossFormer Trump officials find tough job market 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 US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE, in contempt for defying subpoenas related to documents on efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Barr has drawn further ire from House Democrats since then, most recently over the Justice Department's moves to dismiss the criminal case against Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and recommend a lighter sentence for his former political adviser Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Third approved vaccine distributed to Americans DOJ investigating whether Alex Jones, Roger Stone played role in Jan. 6 riots: WaPo Nearly a quarter of Trump's Facebook posts in 2020 included misinformation: analysis MORE. They also strongly object to the firing of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who had been investigating people with ties to Trump.

But Pelosi indicated that she thinks the best path forward is for voters to kick Trump out of office in 4 1/2 months.


"So he is contemptible, there's no question about that. But at this point, let's solve our problems by going to the polls and voting on Election Day, 131 days from now," Pelosi said.

Her comments came a day after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill Jim Jordan calls for House Judiciary hearing on 'cancel culture' MORE (D-N.Y.) expressed openness to impeaching Barr, after initially dismissing the idea days earlier.

"We're looking into that, we may very well," Nadler said on Wednesday. "I think the weight of the evidence and of what's happened leads to that conclusion."

Nadler had previously said during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that he thought pursuing impeachment proceedings against Barr would be a "waste of time" given that Republicans still control the Senate.

Two other Democrats, Reps. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenIntelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Missouri man indicted for allegedly threatening two congressmen Tim Ryan: Prosecutors reviewing video of Capitol tours given by lawmakers before riot MORE (Tenn.) and Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellNJ lawmakers ask Gannett to stop 'union-busting' efforts at 3 state newspapers Biden cautious in making Trump tax returns decision Democrats hesitant to raise taxes amid pandemic MORE (N.J.), have called for Barr's impeachment.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Wednesday that Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee in late July, where he is likely to be repeatedly pressed on the allegations that the agency has been politicized during his tenure.