House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Attorney General William P. Barr’s involvement in the Roger Stone case “deeply damaged” the justice system, but nothing he’s done merits impeachment.
Mrs. Pelosi accused Mr. Barr, who she’s called a “rogue” attorney general, of lying to Congress and the public, but she drew the line at taking formal action against him.
“That doesn’t mean that we’re going to spend all of our time going after every lie that the administration henchmen make to the Congress of the United States,” she said.
Earlier this week, top DOJ officials withdrew the department’s sentencing recommendation for Stone, an associate of President Trump, who was convicted in November of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.
Some Democrats, such as presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have called for impeaching the attorney general if he doesn’t resign.
Mr. Barr is set to testify in the House Judiciary Committee next month about the Stone case, marking an end to nearly a yearlong standoff with Democrats who subpoenaed him for their other probes prior to the impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump.
The president tweeted in support of Stone this week and against his criminal case, which was initially sought a sentence of seven to nine years. Four prosecutors resigned from the case — and one from the DOJ altogether — not long after the president’s post.
Mrs. Pelosi said the tweet was an “abuse of power” on Mr. Trump’s part, but she commended the four prosecutors for their “act of courage.”
“The president is again trying to get federal law enforcement to serve his political interest,” she said. “And the president is what he is. He thinks he’s above the law. He has no respect.”
She also called on Republicans to speak out, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended the administration at his own press conference Thursday.
He argued that Democrats were making far too big of a deal and were threatening to repeat the investigations that ultimately led to a bitterly partisan impeachment process.
“Have we not learned anything from what we went through the last two years?” he said. “You have the Department of Justice clarified that they made the decision before the tweet went out. Haven’t we jumped these hurdles enough these last two years?”
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