The US Department of Justice has rebuked allegations made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who claimed that Attorney General William Barr committed a crime by lying to Congress.
"Speaker Pelosi’s baseless attack on the Attorney General is reckless, irresponsible, and false", Kerri Kupec, a spokeswoman for the department, said in a statement.
"He lied to Congress. If anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime," Pelosi said. "Nobody is above the law. Not the president of the United States, and not the attorney general".
Meanwhile, some House Democrats apparently resorted to using props to attack Barr when he skipped Thursday’s House Judiciary hearing on Mueller’s report, with CNN noting that "the atmosphere still took on a circus-like show" at the proceedings.
While House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler threatened to hold Barr in contempt of Congress, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) arrived at the hearing with a bucket of KFC, which he shared with his colleagues, and a ceramic chicken.
"Chicken Barr should have shown up today and answered questions", he told reporters while holding the statuette.
Following Wednesday's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr notified the House panel that he would not attend Thursday's scheduled hearing.
Upon the release of a redacted version of Mueller’s report, Barr said there was no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. Barr also said Mueller’s report did conclude that Moscow tried to influence the US election, but no American was part of those efforts.
Russia has repeatedly refuted any claims of interference in the US political system, saying the allegations were made up to excuse the election loss of Trump's opponent as well as deflect public attention from actual instances of election fraud and corruption.