House Dems ask DC, Virginia bar associations to investigate Barr

Two House Democrats have sent a letter to bar associations in Washington, D.C., and Virginia asking them to open an ethics investigation into Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrParnas attorney asks William Barr to recuse himself from investigation Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Pentagon to place new restrictions, monitoring on foreign military students MORE.

Democratic Reps. Ted LieuTed W. LieuDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Paralysis of nations is empowering cities MORE (Calif.) and Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceHouse Dems demand answers regarding holding of Iranian-Americans at border Buttigieg picks up third congressional endorsement from New York lawmaker Democratic lawmaker introduces bill to tackle online terrorist activity MORE (N.Y.) wrote to the associations on Thursday, a day after Barr's contentious hearing on Capitol Hill during which he defended his handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE's report.

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"By deceiving Congress and the American people, who vested their trust in both the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice at large, Attorney General Barr must be subject to a professional review for the sake of the legal profession and the public," the lawmakers wrote.

Lieu and Rice, who are both former prosecutors, invoked rules that prohibit obstruction of another party’s access to evidence, making a false statement to a tribunal and engaging in dishonesty or misrepresentation that reflect adversely on a lawyer’s fitness to practice law.

The Democrats referenced in their letter to the D.C. and Virginia bar associations the attorney general's handling of the Mueller report. Barr has come under fire from Democrats in recent days after it was revealed that Mueller had written to him expressing concerns that the attorney general's four-page memo to Congress in late March summarizing the probe's principal findings lacked vital context.

In the letter dated March 27, three days after Barr sent a summary of the report to Congress, Mueller accused the attorney general of creating "public confusion about critical aspects of the results."

Lawmakers grilled Barr over the letter during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The attorney general defended his handling of the report, including his decision to not pursue an obstruction of justice charge against the president.

The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department and both bar associations for comment.