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Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee and one of the more than 20 Democrats running for president, is calling for the removal of Attorney General William “Bill” Barr.
Barr, who has found himself in increasingly hot water over his handling of the Mueller Report, has furthered the controversy surrounding himself by refusing to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee as previously arranged.
“I think we should begin the proceedings to remove the attorney general. He is obstructing in realtime right now,” Swalwell said. “And the only way to fully understand what the president did and to hold him accountable is to see the full Mueller Report and to have an independent attorney general, not one who is acting as the president’s lawyer. And if he’s going to block our access to that information, if he’s going to obstruct, to not turn over information, and even go as far as to lie to Congress then he can’t be in that position.
“And we need to remove him but not take off the table beginning impeachment proceedings against the president as well,” Swalwell added. “But right now the person who is obstructing in realtime from holding the president accountable is William Barr. And I’m calling on my colleagues to join me in beginning proceedings against the attorney general.”
For failing to appear Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee is considering holding Barr in contempt of Congress.
Barr, who only came on the job as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer earlier this year, allegedly lied to Congress during a previous appearance. Barr had been asked if he was aware whether special counsel Robert Mueller had been frustrated with Barr’s handling of the Mueller Report. After that, it became public that Mueller had written Barr a letter expressing just that frustration.
Also, it appears that the four-page summary of the Mueller Report which Barr wrote and released misrepresented the seriousness of the facts Mueller alleged against Donald Trump in the area of obstruction of justice.
“Well, based on his performance to date, I don’t think he’s doing an adequate job. I don’t think he has been honest with the Congress,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.). “And I think we could do a lot better than him. I’d like to see him go. But on the other hand, we’ve had a series of inadequate attorney generals, including Mr. [Matthew] Whitaker, whose improper temporary appointment was a disappointment. So, I’m not sure President Trump is really interested in somebody who is interested in telling the truth and defending the rule of law.”