ARIZONA NEWS

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema confronts AG William Barr about ‘political games’

May 22, 2019, 4:30 PM
(Getty Images and AP photos)...
(Getty Images and AP photos)
(Getty Images and AP photos)

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said she confronted Attorney General William Barr about “partisanship and political games” during a one-on-one meeting in Washington on Wednesday.

“I urged Attorney General Barr to work with Congress and provide access to all portions of the Mueller report not prohibited by law — including working with the relevant committees of jurisdiction on access to the report’s underlying documents,” the first-term Democrat from Arizona said in a statement about the meeting.

Sinema said she also told Barr “that I expect him to be fully candid and clear when questioned by Congress, and that he should rise above partisanship and political games in service of a higher duty to our country.”

Congressional Democrats have been pushing for greater disclosure since April’s redacted release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and the possibility of collusion with then-candidate Donald Trump.

The president has maintained that the report cleared him of wrongdoing, but Democrats have pointed out that Mueller found evidence of obstruction of justice.

“The redacted version of the report contains highly concerning details of foreign interference with our democracy, as well as American individuals whose conduct was disturbing,” Sinema said.

“Access to the full report will help Congress take action to protect America from foreign meddling in the future.”

Sinema was one of three Democrats who voted in favor of Barr’s confirmation in February.

During an Arizona Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week, she said it was the right decision based on what she knew at the time, but there have been “troubling reports” that Barr may have lied to Congress.

She said she requested Wednesday’s meeting “so that he and I can discuss these troubling discrepancies, and so that I can find the truth of the matter to the best of my ability.”

Here is the complete text of Sinema’s statement after the meeting:

I urged Attorney General Barr to work with Congress and provide access to all portions of the Mueller report not prohibited by law — including working with the relevant committees of jurisdiction on access to the report’s underlying documents.

The redacted version of the report contains highly concerning details of foreign interference with our democracy, as well as American individuals whose conduct was disturbing. Access to the full report will help Congress take action to protect America from foreign meddling in the future.

I also told Attorney General Barr that I expect him to be fully candid and clear when questioned by Congress, and that he should rise above partisanship and political games in service of a higher duty to our country.

As Arizona’s senior senator, I will continue to fulfill the Senate’s appropriate constitutional role of providing advice and consent on executive branch nominees — and I will not hesitate to hold administration officials accountable when they fail to meet their obligations. While other investigations are ongoing into the issues raised in the report, I will remain focused on getting things done for everyday Arizonans.

No other details about the meeting were released.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema confronts AG William Barr about ‘political games’