Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerProgressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan Collins says she supports legislation putting Roe v. Wade protections into law Biden should seek some ideological diversity MORE (D-N.Y.) wants Attorney General William BarrBill BarrJan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official Appeals court questions Biden DOJ stance on Trump obstruction memo Michael Cohen officially released from prison sentence MORE to explain if he thinks President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE can end an investigation that he believes is based on "false allegations," warning that such a belief would disqualify him.
Schumer sent a letter to Barr on Thursday raising alarms over the attorney general's rhetoric during his appearance before the Judiciary Committee the previous day, including Barr's comments about a president's ability to end an investigation.
Barr, speaking before the panel, said that if an investigation "is based on false allegations, the president does not have to sit there constitutionally and allow it to run its course."
"The president could terminate that proceeding and not have it be corrupt intent because he was being falsely accused," the attorney general told lawmakers.
Schumer said in his letter that of the "many disturbing things" Barr said during the hearing he was "particularly troubled" by his rhetoric on Trump's ability to meddle in investigations.
The Democratic leader's remarks come amid calls from a number of Senate Democrats, including several seeking the party's presidential nomination in 2020, for Barr to step down from his post.
Democrats have stepped up their criticism of the attorney general in an effort to sideline him from making future decisions about investigations involving Trump.
Schumer on Thursday included a litany of questions for Barr, including asking if his comment during Wednesday's hearing was a mistake and, if not, what limits Barr believes are in place on a president's ability to end an investigation.
Schumer also wants to know who determines if a president is being falsely accused, and if a president could end investigations involving his family members or business associates.
"Do you believe that President Nixon, who certainly believed he was falsely accused, could simply have terminated the Watergate investigation? Who was right in the Saturday Night Massacre — President Nixon or Elliot Richardson?" Schumer asked.
Schumer's letter comes after he lashed out at Barr on the Senate floor on Thursday, saying the attorney general's rhetoric "would probably send shivers down the spines of the Founding Fathers."