Attorney General William Barr testified in front of Congress Wednesday morning in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing had a number of tense moments throughout. Here are some of the reactions to the hearing.
Asha Rangappa, former FBI Special Agent and CNN analyst, had some strong words on Barr's response to the committee.
Donald Trump Jr. responded to Barr's comment on his use of the word "spying" in a different congressional hearing earlier this year by bringing up the claim that the Obama administration spied on President Trump's campaign.
Former Presidential candidate Evan McMullin was disgusted by how Barr failed to say he was troubled by the Trump campaign's willingness to receive Russian help in the 2016 election.
Barr himself shot back at the Democratic members of the committee during a tense conversation between himself and Connecticut Democratic Sen. Dick Blumenthal.
- “The job of the Justice Department is now over," Barr said. "We have to stop using the criminal justice process as a political weapon."
After the hearing Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the head of the committee, said unless something came up, there would be no more hearings about the Mueller probe.
- "It's over. If there's any dispute about a conversation, then (Robert Mueller will) come but I'm not going to retry the case. I'm not calling (former White House counsel Don) McGahn. It is over."
Amber Phillips of The Washington Post wrote that Graham forsook the facts to play politics and defend the president.
- "In the opening moments of this hearing, Graham made his allegiances clear. He’s going to use his significant weight as head of this committee not to investigate whether the president committed a crime or obstructed an independent investigation or lied to the American people, per the Mueller report. He’s going to put all that aside and dig into conspiracy theories about how the investigation got started in the first place."
CNN's Chris Cillizza noted how interesting he found Barr's response to Sen. Kamala Harris' question.
- "Harris asked Barr a simple question: Did anyone in the White House ask or suggest that he open an investigation into a person or people? Barr was taken aback, asking Harris to repeat the question. He then said he wasn't entirely sure what she meant by the word 'suggest.' All of that potentially suggests — ahem — that someone in the White House has either asked or suggested that Barr and the DOJ look into a matter. Which is interesting, to say the least."
Sen. Mike Lee defended Barr by calling the Mueller probe a weapon used by Democrats aimed at Trump.
- "Time and time again," Lee said. "The president’s political adversaries have exploited the Mueller probe, its mere existence, to spread baseless innuendo in an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the 2016 election and the effectiveness of this administration."
Former FBI Director James Comey lamented in a New York Times op-ed how far Barr has fallen.84 comments on this story
- "How could he write and say things about the report by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, that were apparently so misleading that they prompted written protest from the special counsel himself? How could Mr. Barr go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and downplay President Trump’s attempt to fire Mr. Mueller before he completed his work?"
Barr was scheduled for another hearing with the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday but announced that he will no longer attend.