Attorney General William Barr is acting like the president's defense attorney and is the "second most dangerous man in the country," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said on Tuesday.
Schiff, while appearing at the Council of Foreign Relations, suggested that Barr took unprecedented action to defend the president.
“We find ourselves, I think for the first time, with an attorney general who really is the president’s defense lawyer and spokesperson, and who’s quite good at it and has the veneer of respectability to camouflage what he’s doing,” he said, according to Politico.
Schiff also argued that the president's actual attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, wasn't as threatening as Barr. "He's much more dangerous," Schiff said.
Schiff's comments came as he pressed the intelligence community to provide more information about Barr's declassification efforts surrounding the Russia investigation. Trump granted Barr that authority in order to help the attorney general in his efforts to better understand the Russia probe's origins -- a move that Schiff said would endanger national security.
Barr has received criticism from a number of prominent sources but in May, Schiff took the step of claiming he no longer deserved his title as the nation's chief attorney.
"I hesitate to call him the attorney general, he’s really more the personal attorney for the president," he told MSNBC host Ari Melber.
On Saturday, Former FBI Director James Comey accused the attorney general of "echoing" the president's conspiracy theories during an interview in which he indicated the Russia investigation started improperly.
"I think the activities were undertaken by a small group at the top which is one of the ... probably one of the mistakes that has been made instead of running this as a normal bureau investigation or counterintelligence investigation. It was done by the executives at the senior level, out of headquarters," he said.
As Democrats continued investigating the president, they faced roadblocks with both Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn refusing to comply with subpoenas. That could result in the House of Representatives, as House Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer, D-Md., indicated on Monday, voting to hold those two in contempt.