Harris demands Barr testify after memo ties him to Trump's call with Ukraine leader

Harris demands Barr testify after memo ties him to Trump's call with Ukraine leader
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris MORE (D-Calif.) is demanding that Attorney General William BarrBill BarrAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Milley moved to limit Trump military strike abilities after Jan. 6, Woodward book claims: report Former US attorney enters race for governor in Pennsylvania MORE appear before Congress and give her a definitive answer on whether President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE's administration ever requested he investigate anyone. 

The 2020 presidential candidate made the call just hours after the White House released a memo of a July phone call in which Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Barr and Trump attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRoger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview FEC finds Twitter didn't break law by blocking spread of Hunter Biden story Juan Williams: The toxic legacy of Trump's corruption MORE to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE and his son Hunter Biden over allegations of corruption.

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Harris, an outspoken critic of Trump and Barr, raised alarm over the developments, pointing to footage from May of the attorney general's congressional testimony regarding former 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's report. 

"I asked Attorney General Barr in May: did the White House ever ask him to investigate anyone? He wouldn't answer," she said on Twitter. "Barr needs to come back to Congress and answer that question again. Under oath."

During a Senate Judiciary Committee in May, Harris appeared to catch Barr off guard when she asked him whether the White House had ever asked or suggested he open up an investigation into anyone. 

Barr hesitated, before asking the senator to repeat the question. He later said he was being cautious because he was "trying to grapple with the word 'suggest.'"

“There have been discussions of, of matters out there that, uh — they have not asked me to open an investigation," he said.
 
Just days later, Harris wrote to the Department of Justice's (DOJ) inspector general calling for a probe into whether Barr had been pressured by Trump or White House aides to open criminal investigations. The senator called Barr's reply to her question an "alarming response" that threatened to undermine the agency's independence. 
 
Reports first surfaced last week that Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden and his son. A memo from the White House released earlier Wednesday showed Trump on multiple occasions talking with Zelensky about working with Barr to look into the Bidens. 
 
The phone call occurred around the same time that the White House delayed millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, raising speculation from Democrats as to whether the president used the aid as leverage. 
 
The Justice Department said in a statement following the memo's release that it declined to pursue an investigation into the matter because Trump's comments did not amount to a campaign finance violation. 
 
Trump has acknowledged speaking with Zelensky about Biden, but has denied addressing military aid in their talks. 
 
The July phone call is said to be at least part of an intelligence community whistleblower complaint.