House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NJ) said Wednesday that Attorney General Bill Barr should recuse himself in light of the revelation Wednesday that Trump told the Ukrainian president he should contact Barr to discuss dirt on Joe Biden.
During a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, the memorandum of which the White House released Wednesday, Trump repeatedly brings up Barr and says he will put Zelensky in touch with Barr to discuss an effort to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
“The President dragged the Attorney General into this mess,” Nadler wrote on Twitter after the transcript was released. “At a minimum, AG Barr must recuse himself until we get to the bottom of this matter. #UkraineTranscript.”
The Justice Department said in a statement after the transcript was released that Trump “has not spoken with the Attorney General about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son.”
Still, Barr is involved in the continuing legal battle over Trump’s actions — namely, in the fate of a still-unreleased whistleblower’s complaint that reportedly mentioned the July 25 call, among other matters.
The complaint, now in possession of Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, would normally have gone to congressional intelligence committees for review. However, the Trump administration has refused to hand it over.
The Justice Department provided the legal justification for stonewalling: In a memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, the whistleblower’s complaint was deemed not to be an “urgent concern” and therefore not subject to the requirement that it be given to Congress.