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In late March, the long-running Mueller investigation ended. In this investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller sought to determine whether President Donald J. Trump and his associates colluded with Russia during the 2016 election cycle to sway the election in Trump’s direction. When Attorney General William Barr delivered the results of Mueller’s investigation, he stated that there was no proof of Trump or any other American citizen collaborating with Russia on its successful election interference campaigns.
However, Mueller has recently said Barr misrepresented the investigation’s findings — and some are calling on Barr to resign.
On May 1st, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-CA, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, publicly caled for Barr’s resignation. Their demands follow a new round of reports that Mueller has not only been privately expressing concerns that Barr misleadingly delivered the investigation’s findings to Congress, but that Mueller also contacted the Department of Justice — which Barr heads — to state that Barr failed to “fully capture the context” of the investigation.
In an interivew with CNN, Schiff labeled Barr as a biased attorney general whose loyalty to President Trump is outweighing his commitment to his work. Schiff also suggested that all of Trump’s colleagues are evenutally tainted by what he considers Trump’s constant unethical methods and preference for loyalty over sound policy. Warren followed Schiff’s interview by tweeting her support for Schiff’s mandate and added that Congress should begin drafting articles of impeachment for President Trump.
Although Mueller contacted the Department of Justice on March 27, merely three days after Barr reported the investigation’s findings to Congress, Barr has not addressed his communications with Mueller in his Congressional hearings. On April 10th, speaking in front of House appropriators, Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) asked Barr about the the rumors swirling about Mueller’s discontent. Barr denied having heard of any such feelings.
It now seems unlikely that Barr will ever address these rumors in front of Congress. Not long after Schiff’s calls for resignation, Barr backed out of a May 2nd testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee. However, on May 1st, Barr did testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which, unlike the House committee, boasts a Republican majority.
According to House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler, D-NY, Barr’s Justice Department has also refused to comply with the committee’s subpoena for the full, unredacted, final Mueller investigation report. Nadler has yet to rule out forcing Barr’s testimony via another subpoena, and he may schedule Mueller’s testimony before the committe for May 15.
As Congress awaits clarity on whether Barr will indeed testify before the House Judiciary Committee, some people have called not just for Barr to resign, but for Congress to impeach Barr, just as Warren has said Congress should impeach Trump. Indeed, Congress has the power to impeach any member of a presidential administration. However, given that all impeachment trials for cabinet members other than the president are overseen by the Vice President, who serves as the president of the Senate, experts claim that it is nearly impossible that Barr will be impeached. Nevertheless, calls for Barr’s resignation may well continue until definitive, final action regarding the Mueller report is taken.