House Speaker Nancy Pelosi alleged Thursday that Attorney General Bill Barr “lied to Congress” and reportedly told colleagues in a closed-door meeting that he committed a crime — prompting a fiery rebuke from the Justice Department.
Pelosi, D-Calif., addressed the issue publicly during a press conference late Thursday morning, hedging a bit on the question of whether he committed a crime with his prior testimony.
“He lied to Congress. And if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime,” she told reporters. “Nobody is above the law. Not the president of the United States. Not the attorney general.”
But Pelosi’s public comments came after she, according to Politico, told Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., during a private caucus meeting Thursday: “We saw [Barr] commit a crime when he answered your question.”
She was referring to an April 9 hearing, where Crist had asked whether Barr knew what prompted reports that prosecutors on the special counsel team were frustrated with his initial summary. Barr said he did not.
But this week, The Washington Post first reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller contacted Barr, both in a letter and in a phone call, to express concerns after Barr released his four-page summary of Mueller’s findings in March. Mueller pushed Barr to release the executive summaries written by the special counsel’s office.