Schumer: Barr actions raise 'damning questions' about 'impartiality,' 'fitness'

Schumer: Barr actions raise 'damning questions' about 'impartiality,' 'fitness'
© Stefani Reynolds
 
"His confirmation occurred only a few months ago and yet in a short time Mr. Barr's conduct has raised damning questions about his impartiality and about his fitness," Schumer said, speaking from the Senate floor. 

Schumer's comments come after The Washington Post reported on Tuesday night that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE sent a letter to Barr late last month, saying his March 24 memo did not "capture the context, nature, and substance" of his findings on Russia's election interference and the Trump campaign.
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"There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations," Mueller wrote in the letter, according to the Post.
 
A Justice Department spokeswoman told The Hill that Mueller "expressed frustration" about media coverage but that Mueller emphasized that “nothing in the Attorney General’s March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading.”
 
Democrats have seized on the letter, arguing that it underscores their concerns that Barr has mischaracterized Mueller's findings from his two-year investigation into Russia's election meddling and the Trump campaign. 
 
Schumer put Mueller's letter into the Senate record, meaning it will be publicly published in the Congressional Record. 
 
Schumer added on Wednesday that the Mueller letter was a "stunning indictment" of Barr. 
 
"What a stunning indictment of the attorney general, whose principal job in all of this was to make sure that he wasn't mischaracterizing or spinning results. This letter shows what an awful, awful attorney general Barr has been so far," Schumer said. 
 
Schumer's remarks come as Barr is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his handling of the Mueller report. 
 
Barr defended his handling of Mueller’s report during the hearing, saying he wanted to release the report’s bottom-line conclusions as quickly as possible because the public was in a “high state of agitation” over the results of Mueller’s investigation.
 
“The body politic was in a high state of agitation for Mueller’s results,” Barr said in his opening remarks. “Former government officials were confidently predicting that the president or members of his family would be indicted.”