Nancy Pelosi: Trump 'Has Demonstrated Obstruction of Justice on Daily Basis'
AG Barr is preparing to testify before the Senate and House Judiciary this week
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that President Donald Trump "has demonstrated on a daily basis his obstruction of justice" as the Democrats battle the White House over the terms of Attorney General William Barr's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee due this week.
Barr is preparing to testify before the Senate and House Judiciary this week on Robert Mueller's Russia report, which found no conspiracy by the Trump administration in the 2016 elections.
But the Justice Department said on Sunday that the Attorney general would not attend the scheduled Thursday if committee lawyers question him.
Pelosi was asked if she had a message for Barr Monday evening, she replied:
“Respect the constitution. Honor your oath of office. Honor the request of Congress. For the American people.”
Last month, Pelosi complained that Attorney General William Barr was "condescending" in his letter summarizing Mueller's report.
The Democratic leader blasted the AG’s four-page letter on Mueller's investigation Thursday, demanding that Barr releases the entire report.
“No thank you, Mr. Attorney General,” Pelosi said.
“I don’t need your interpretation.”
Democrats scheduled a committee vote for Wednesday proposing allowing both parties to turn over 30 minutes of questioning Barr per side to staff lawyers.
The Justice Department has refused the arrangement.
"The Attorney General agreed to appear before Congress," Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said.
"Therefore, Members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning. He [Barr] remains happy to engage with Members on their questions regarding the Mueller report."
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y said in response that "it's not up to anybody from the executive branch to tell the legislative branch how to conduct our business."
He warned that the panel "will take whatever action we have to take" if Barr does not attend the hearing.
Nadler's subpoena for an unredacted version of the special counsel Robert Mueller's report was called 'premature' and 'unnecessary' by the Department of Justice last week.
Trump vowed he would be "fighting all the subpoenas" issued by congressional Democrats, including a bid to obtain tax returns.
"The only way they [Democrats] can luck out is by constantly going after me on nonsense,” Trump told reporters Wednesday.
“But they should be really focused on legislation.”
According to Fox News: House Democrats have subpoenaed the Justice Department for the unredacted version of the Mueller report and underlying material gathered from the investigation.
In response, the Justice Department has said they will make the full report, minus grand jury material, available to a limited group of members — an offer that Democrats have so far refused. The dispute could eventually end up in court.
Pelosi has suggested that Congress will have more to say on impeachment after lawmakers — and the American public — digests the full findings of the years-long probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction by Trump.
Democrats have criticized Barr for drawing his own conclusion that Trump did not obstruct justice after Mueller found he couldn't exonerate the president on that point.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said Barr is involved in a "staggering public effort" by the Trump administration to put a positive face on Mueller's findings.
The Judiciary Committee's top Republican, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., accused Nadler of "doing everything he can to sabotage a perfectly good hearing in which the attorney general has volunteered to come and to talk about the report and its findings as he went along."
"I think more or less, they're wanting this to look like an impeachment hearing, to have the feel of an impeachment hearing," Collins said of committee Democrats.
"Because they don't want to go to an impeachment hearing, they just want people to think they are."
"At this point, I think the Democrats don't really know what they want to do," Collins added.
"The American people don't want to see an impeachment, but the Democrats, to feed their base, have to make it look like impeachment."