WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham wrote Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Friday to ask whether Attorney General William Barr’s testimony about a conversation he said he had with Mueller is accurate.
“Please inform the Committee if you would like to provide testimony regarding any misrepresentation by the attorney general of the substance of that phone call,” Graham (R-S.C.) said in the letter.
CNN first reported Graham’s letter.
Barr was grilled for eight hours Wednesday during testimony before the committee.
Barr said Mueller had informed him in a phone call that he did not dispute the accuracy of the contents of a four-page memo Barr wrote that summarized the key findings of Mueller’s 400-plus page report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Barr said Mueller told him he was unhappy about the way the media reported on the memo and that that was the reason Mueller sent him a letter of objection on Mar. 27. Mueller also wanted executive summaries released with the memo; hence, two reasons he sent the letter of complaint.
The Washington Post first reported the existence of the letter on Tuesday night. Congress released the letter on Wednesday morning.
Barr told Congress on April 9 that he did not know if Mueller had any misgivings about the memo.
Since the release of Mueller’s letter, many high-profile Democrats, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have accused Barr of lying to Congress.
Department of Justice spokesperson Keri Kupec blasted Pelosi’s comments on Thursday. She said in a statement to media outlets: “Speaker Pelosi’s baseless attack on the Attorney General is reckless, irresponsible and false.”
Barr’s memo was sent to the chair and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees on March 24.
The Justice Department released a redacted version of the report on April 18.
The report said Mueller did not find any evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Mueller did not make a determination as to whether obstruction of justice had occurred.
Graham told reporters following Barr’s testimony on Wednesday that he would write Mueller to ask him if Barr had mischaracterized the alleged conversation. Graham said if Mueller were to inform him that Barr did not mischaracterize the conversation, he would consider the matter closed and there would be no need for Mueller to testify.
Democrats have insisted that Mueller testify. They have floated May 15 as a potential date for him to appear.