The White House is not letting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) off the hook for labeling Attorney General William Barr a “liar” following an intense hearing over the special counsel’s report this week.
After reports that Mueller wrote to Barr to complain about his summary of the Russia investigation’s findings, the Democrat leader claimed Barr committed a crime by lying to Congress, as IJR Blue reported.
Pelosi said the “deadly serious” thing about the attorney general is that he “was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That’s a crime.”
Her accusations stem from Barr’s testimony in April, which is when she believes “he lied to Congress” by saying he was not aware Mueller was concerned about his summary.
In case you missed it, see her comments below:
Appearing on MSNBC on Friday, White House deputy press secretary Steven Groves swiped back at Pelosi’s “really inappropriate” remark.
“The fact that the Speaker would take it upon herself to call him a liar is really, really inappropriate and beneath her office,” Groves said.
The network showed a video from Barr’s testimony on April 9, when Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) questioned Barr in regards to whether he knew Robert Mueller wasn’t happy with his summary of the final report. Barr said he was unaware of the concerns.
Watch the moment below:
Honest questions deserve honest answers. I'm very concerned that Attorney General Barr's answer on April 9, 2019 wasn't honest.
If that's true, there will be consequences. pic.twitter.com/CP9JHeKvqt
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) May 1, 2019
The White House deputy press secretary defended Barr and Mueller’s “private correspondence” at that moment.
“I mean, I don’t know what was going through his head, but one of the things might have been, ‘Hey that was a private exchange, maybe I’m not going to reveal that on national television.’ […] Watching that exchange in its totality, the idea that he would be called a liar or accused of perjury is just so outrageous that I don’t even know how to react to it.”
Furthermore, CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin pointed out to the network on Thursday that Barr went on to say, “But I suspect that they probably wanted more information to be released.”
“So he continues his answer. And it’s the continuation of that answer that I think undermines the possibility that this is a prosecutable offense,” Zeldin explained.