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Pelosi accused AG Barr of committing a crime — but she won't like CNN's fact-check on that claim


The rhetoric is heating up

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hit U.S. Attorney General William Barr with a serious accusation, but even CNN couldn't find much substance in her claim.

"The attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States," Pelosi said. "That's a crime."

Pelosi was referring to statements Barr made while testifying to Congress about a letter he received from special counsel Robert Mueller about his report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

She claims that he made false statements while testifying, but the CNN fact-check found that she would have a tough time getting a court to charge him with the crime of perjury.

Here are the two statements allegedly in conflict

On April 9, Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) asked Barr if reports were true that members of Mueller's team were "frustrated" about his summary about the report, specifically, "that it does not adequately or accurately, necessarily, portray the report's findings.

"Do you know what they're referencing with that?," he asked Barr.

Barr responded, "No, I don't. I think, I suspect, that they probably wanted more put out."

It was later revealed that Mueller himself had sent a letter expressing his concerns to Barr about his summary.

When Barr was asked why he had testified that he didn't know about the frustrations of Mueller's team after receiving a letter directly, from Mueller, Barr answered in what CNN calls "less than fully forthcoming."

He responded that he did not "know what members (Crist was) talking about and I certainly am not aware of any challenge to the accuracy of the findings."

CNN's fact-checker notes that the standard for perjury is very high, and the two statements from Barr, while not completely in agreement, do not rise to the level of an "actionable lie."

"Is that perjury? Or just fine-tuned spin, by a trained lawyer?" asked CNN's John King.

Here's the report from CNN on Pelosi's claims:

Nancy Pelosi: William Barr committed a crimewww.youtube.com

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