Roughly 20 Democrats — including at least four presidential candidates — have publicly called for Attorney General William P. Barr to resign from the Justice Department.
They went on the attack Wednesday night after Mr. Barr’s contentious hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those calls had stepped up by Thursday afternoon in the wake of the attorney general skipping an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.
The calls were spurred by revelations that special counsel Robert Mueller told Mr. Barr in a letter that his summary of the report did not capture its “context, nature, or substance.” Mr. Barr told lawmakers Wednesday that Mr. Mueller’s complaint was about press coverage of his summary and that the special counsel had no qualms with his handling of the report.
Still, the explanation has done little to tamp down the heat rising around the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Mr. Barr further inflamed Democrats when he refused to show up to a House Judiciary hearing because panel lawyers planned to ask him questions.
Democrat front-runner Joseph R. Biden was among the first to call for Mr. Barr’s exist
“I think he’s lost the confidence of the American people. I think he should,” he said in response to a question over whether Mr. Barr should resign.
And he’s not the only 2020 candidate seeking to push the attorney general out the door.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris, California, left Mr. Barr tongue-tied after a particularly brutal round of questioning during Wednesday’s hearing. She said he “lacks all credibility.”
Another candidate, Sen. Cory A. Booker, New Jersey, also questioned Mr. Barr during the hearing. He echoed his colleague’s sentiments.
“He’s burnt through any credibility he’s had in the role, and he should resign,” Mr. Booker said.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, California, went one step further than his 2020 rivals, calling for Mr. Barr’s impeachment.
“I think there is only one thing left for us to do and that is to commence impeachment proceedings against him,” he said. “I think we should begin the proceedings to remove the attorney general. He is obstructing in real time right now.
Only one senator, although not a 2020 candidate, told the attorney general to his face that he should resign. Sen. Mazie Hirono, Hawaii, pointedly told Mr. Barr to leave office in a contentious exchange Wednesday.
“You have betrayed that trust. The American deserve better,” she said. “You should resign.”
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