House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff on Wednesday called for William Barr to resign, joining other Hill Democrats who believe the attorney general is biased toward defending the Trump administration and thus can’t fairly carry out his duties.
Barr, “in the interest of the department, should step down, but I have no expectation that he will,” Schiff, a California Democrat, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day,” responding to a question about reports that special counsel Robert Mueller expressed concerns to Barr in a letter that the attorney general’s four-page summary to Congress didn’t fully capture Mueller’s report.
Barr testified Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a highly anticipated hearing about the Mueller report.
Some Democrats have pushed for Barr to be impeached if he refuses to leave his job as the top Justice Department official.
Schiff said Congress is “having that conversation” whether impeachment is warranted or if it can “conduct the same oversight through a nonimpeachment process.”
“We could certainly try to remove (Barr) from office, that would face the same difficulty and obstacle as removing the President through an impeachment proceeding. Look, we are going to consider all of the options here,” Schiff told CNN.
Schiff argued that Barr “willingly misled the Congress” during a April 9 hearing when he appeared to seem unaware of reports that several members of Mueller’s team have expressed frustration about the way the investigation findings were summarized by Barr.
“For an ordinary citizen, we might consider whether that’s perjury, but it’s worse when it comes from the attorney general of the United States, because it means the public cannot have confidence in what he says,” Schiff said. “It means we cannot have confidence in how he administers justice and I think that’s going to be very much a subject of today’s hearing.”
Democrats have accused Barr of cherry-picking lines from Mueller’s report to make it sound as rosy as possible for President Donald Trump, when Mueller detailed numerous contacts between Trump’s team and Russians and instances where Trump sought to interfere in the investigation.
The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee argued that Democrats “didn’t find what they wanted to in the Mueller report, and they now have to make it a sideshow to blame Barr.”
This story has been updated.
CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Laura Jarrett contributed to this report.