CNN panelists derided Attorney General William Barr on Thursday, heavily criticizing his conduct after Thursday morning's press conference in which he previewed special counsel Robert Mueller's controversial report on the Russia investigation.
Legal analyst Carrie Cordero argued that Barr "blew" his chance to "rise above the politics" surrounding the investigation. She pointed to his "gratuitous statements" about the media and how the investigation impacted the president.
"That was completely inappropriate for the attorney general," she said.
"The attorney general had an opportunity this morning to rise above the politics, and to adhere to institutional Justice Department — just sticking to what the process was that he was supposed to talk about, and which he said he was actually talking about.
"And he blew it."
She also criticized Barr for saying that the president engaged in "no act" that deprived the investigation of witnesses and documents. "It's just not a true statement," Cordero said, citing how Trump never interviewed with Mueller and made comments that could be perceived as aggressive towards people involved with the investigation.
Since Barr released his initial summary of the Mueller report, he's taken heavy fire from Democrats and media figures who impugned his ability to act as an impartial arbiter. During his press conference on Thursday, he said that all Americans should be "grateful" to have confirmation in the special counsel finding no evidence of collusion.
For CNN anchor Jake Tapper and legal analyst Laura Coates, the attorney general wrongly "pound[ed]" that fact over the "American people's head."
"It was excessive and suspicious to be pounding the table, and pounding it over the American people’s head, particularly the looming question for many is: Okay, if that was the case, why were there so many lies after the fact?" Coates said.
Coates also compared Barr to McCarthy-era attorney Roy Cohn whom the New York State Supreme Court disbarred in 1986.
"I thought to myself, didn’t the president first once ask, ‘Where’s my Roy Kohn?’ Oh, well I guess he may have found him today because he should be pleased with the person who now serves at his pleasure," Coates commented.