Democrats ramp up pressure on Trump as Pelosi accuses Barr of ‘crime’


WASHINGTON – Democrats intensified their pressure on President Donald Trump’s administration yesteday as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Attorney General William Barr of committing a crime by lying to lawmakers and a key committee chairman threatened to hold Barr in contempt of Congress.

Even as Democratic lawmakers accused the Trump administration of a growing attack on U.S. democracy and the authority of Congress, the White House showed no sign of backing down. White House legal counsel Emmet Flood said in a defiant letter that Trump had the right to tell advisers not to testify to congressional panels on the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry.

The dueling statements marked a sharp escalation in the conflict between the White House and Democrats who control the House of Representatives. With Trump seeking re-election next year, Democrats are weighing whether to try to remove the Republican president from office using the impeachment process while pressing forward with demands for information on his taxes, businesses and other topics.

Shortly after Barr refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, Pelosi accused him of lying to lawmakers about interactions with Mueller after the special counsel ended a 22-month investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election to boost Trump’s candidacy. “That’s a crime,” Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, told reporters, referring to Barr’s congressional testimony.(Reuters)…[+]