While some of her fellow Democrats were questioning the credibility of Attorney General William Barr over his handling of the Robert Mueller report, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., took that criticism to another level.
The California Democrat trashed the attorney general Wednesday night on the eve of Special Counsel Mueller’s report being released to the public, calling Barr “a lackey and a sycophant” for President Trump.
“I never expected Barr to do anything that would be respectful to the members of Congress or to include us in any real way,” she told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, joining colleagues fuming over the decision by Barr to hold a press conference before releasing a redacted version of the report.
“He has proven himself. He auditioned for this job. He was chosen to protect the president of the United States and that’s exactly what he’s doing. I’m not surprised.”
She continued, blasting Barr as “basically a lackey and a sycophant for the president of the United States of America.”
The comments come after Waters attacked Barr during a speech earlier this month.
“I know that you are all worried about the special counsel and the fact that we have a report that has been described to us in a letter by the attorney general. We don't know what's in the report yet, and we’re going to demand it,” she said at a Woman’s National Democratic Club dinner.
In the same speech, the California Democrat said of Trump, “certainly, he conspired with the Kremlin and with the oligarchs of Russia.”
Barr's summary of the report, though, said Mueller found no evidence of collusion.
Nearly two years of fevered speculation surrounding the Russia probe, though, will come to a head in a dramatic television finale-like moment on Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET, when Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are set to hold a press conference to discuss the Mueller report's public release.
It was not immediately clear exactly when on Thursday the DOJ would release the redacted version of the nearly 400-page investigation into Russian election meddling, but the document was expected to be delivered to lawmakers and posted online by noon.
Barr has said redactions in the report's release are legally mandated.to protect four broad areas of concern: sensitive grand jury-related matters, classified information, ongoing investigations and the privacy or reputation of uncharged "peripheral" people.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Democrat New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, has said he is prepared to issue subpoenas "very quickly" for the full report if it is released with blacked-out sections, likely setting in motion a major legal battle.