Congressman slams Barr's involvement in Ukraine scandal: 'That stinks to high heaven'

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Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) noted that Trump's attorney general, William Barr, was the one who decided to make the whistleblower complaint disappear.

A partial "transcript" released by the White House on Wednesday revealed that Donald Trump made a likely illegal request for aid for his 2020 reelection in a July phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But, a Democratic Congressman pointed out, it also implicated his attorney general, William Barr, who has not recused himself from the matter.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) was on MSNBC and was asked about the document. First, he noted that it clearly demonstrates that Trump "was soliciting help from a foreign leader to drudge up dirt on his political appointment," which he described as "an impeachable offense."

Maloney then noted that the second headline should be that Barr was involved in the scandal itself.

"We didn't know that before," Maloney observed. "Remember, it was the attorney general who provided the opinion that said you don't have to hand over the whistleblower complaint to Congress. That's a conflict. That's a screaming red light. The attorney general of the United States needs to immediately recuse himself from any further activity on this matter."

Maloney was referencing controversial advice by Barr's Department of Justice that the administration need not send Congress a whistleblower's complaint if it deems it not credible — the first time such a complaint has been kept from congressional oversight committees. Maloney called this "a clear conflict of interest."

"And now we know that the head of the Department of Justice is implicated in the effort to smear the Bidens using a foreign government and threatening the withdrawal of American assistance as leverage," Maloney concluded. "My God, that stinks to high heaven."

Barr has denied any involvement, flatly contradicting the call summary in which Trump repeatedly asked Zelensky to coordinate with Barr to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family and the origins of the Robert Mueller investigation.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.