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Dems ask bar association to punish William Barr for 'despicable' testimony

Dems ask bar association to punish William Barr for 'despicable' testimony

Robert Mueller, the man who led the almost two-year investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election, has been asked to testify to Congress on May 15, a lawmaker said Sunday.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller's full report on Russian election meddling, while not finding criminal behavior, detailed a disturbing number of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016, and a deep pattern of obstruction by the president.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has also persisted in his requests for the full unredacted Mueller report.

The feud with Mr. Barr has animated Democrats and temporarily shifted attention away from impeachment - and by extension, the party's divisions over whether to pursue it.

The special counsel's office declined to comment.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accused the top law-enforcement officer in the USA of committing a crime by lying to Congress, escalating the showdown between Donald Trump's administration and the Democrats investigating him.

There is a sense of "Mueller fatigue" among many voters and even though elements of the investigation are damaging for President Trump, his approval ratings have risen in recent days.

"I think we are truly in a new phase of this entire situation, that is deeply, deeply destructive to the Constitution, and the foundations of our democracy", she said Thursday.

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Barr canceled his House testimony after clashing with Nadler over the hearing's format, particularly having staff lawyers question him in addition to committee members. He said Mueller "was very clear with me that he was not suggesting that we had misrepresented his report".

Increasingly, Democrats like Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who sits on Judiciary panel, say they're not interested in hearing from Barr anymore. Mueller's report, the culmination of a 22-month probe that led to the charges or convictions of 34 people and three companies, confirmed that Russian operatives tried to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

A Justice Department spokeswoman called Pelosi's allegation "reckless, irresponsible and false". Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) declared "it's over" and said he had no plans to invite Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify.

Pelosi said that "if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime".

Meanwhile, the Democratic-controlled House approved a bill that would prevent President Trump from fulfilling his pledge to withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement and ensure the U.S. honours its commitments under the global accord.

The calls to impeach Bill Barr keep getting louder.

However just this week, Pelosi declared that Trump 'demonstrated on a daily basis his obstruction of justice'. Barr said that he accepted the statements as they were, saying, "We accepted the statements in the report as the factual record". "What we are witnessing is the slow loss of our democratic republic and we can either allow it to happen or we can stand up against it", said Representative Hakeem Jeffries of NY, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

After that, Graham invited Mueller to dispute Barr's claims. Barr made that assertion despite a letter he received in March from Mueller complaining Barr's summary didn't fully capture the "context, nature and substance" of his almost 400-page report.