Pelosi calls Barr 'despicable' after contentious appearance before House panel

Catherine Garcia

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) believes Attorney General William Barr accomplished one thing during his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Barr "demonstrated to the American people the contempt that he has for our democracy," Pelosi told MSNBC's Ari Melber. Throughout the hearing, Barr was on the defensive, as Democrats accused him of intervening in the criminal cases of people close to President Trump and questioned him about his role in sending federal agents to cities where anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests are taking place.

Pelosi was not impressed by anything Barr had to say, telling Melber, "I just thought he was despicable and so beneath the dignity of the attorney general." Pelosi called Barr out for his "inconsistencies" in "not sending law enforcement in when people invaded the legislature in Michigan" while carrying guns, but saying that in cities where "demonstrators are out on the streets, that's violent."

She also said Barr should be "answering for what he did at Lafayette Square," when he ordered that peaceful protesters be pushed out of the Washington, D.C., park ahead of a Trump photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church. Barr denied that tear gas was used against the protesters, and Pelosi called the entire incident "a disgrace. He was like a blob, just a henchman for the president of the United States, instead of the attorney general of the United States of America."

Pelosi told Melber she paid particular attention to questions "related to upholding the Constitution of the United States," and felt Barr "fell very short in that regard. He is there to support the president of the United States, Donald Trump, no matter what. He's not the president's lawyer, that was Michael Cohen, and you know what happened to him."

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