Wednesday on CNN’s “Newsroom,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Attorney General William Barr had “virtually disqualified himself” to serve as the U.S. Attorney General.

Partial transcript as follows:

WOLF BLITZER: Did Barr lie to Congress?

DICK DURBIN: And if you go the day before on April the 9th congressman Crist of Florida at a House Appropriations meeting asked virtually the same question and, again, Attorney General Barr said, no, he wasn’t aware of any concerns by the Mueller investigative team about his earlier statement. Let’s follow from start to finish, Wolf. This started off as a matter of grave national importance, Russian interference in a presidential campaign. Then we had a recusal of a sitting attorney general Jeff Sessions because of his involvement in the same campaign and undisclosed contact with the Russians. Third, we appointed a special counsel, Bob Mueller, we gave him $25 million and two years and said find out what happened here. Before his report was public for the American people to reach their own conclusions, in steps the new Attorney General Bill Barr and whitewashes the report. Comes to a conclusion that there’s no collusion, there’s no conspiracy, there’s no obstruction of justice. Now we know that Bob Mueller made it clear at the beginning that his conclusions, Barr’s conclusions, did not reflect the reality of that report.

BLITZER: So do you believe he lied? Did Barr lie in front of Congress which, of course, would be perjury, that’s illegal?

DURBIN: Well, I’m not going to say a crime was committed, but he clearly misled both Congressman Crist and Senator van Hollen. He knew sitting there he had received a letter from Bob Mueller saying that his report, his letter of March 24th to the American people, failed to provide the context and the substance of the report that Mueller had worked on for two years.

BLITZER: Do you believe he should resign or be impeached?

DURBIN: I will say this, I’m gravely concerned that the 14 remaining referrals, criminal referrals for investigations related to this same matter are really under the supervision and control of Attorney General Barr. He has virtually disqualified himself to be the kind of person we expect to stand back and make sure that justice is served when it comes to these 14 referrals.

BLITZER: He will be sitting in front of your committee in a few moments. What will you ask him?

DURBIN: Well, clearly I’m going to go into this matter because it gets down to the bottom line here. Bill Barr has told us not just this time when he came after the position of attorney general, but previously that attorney generals should not show any political favoritism. He did exactly that with the March 24th letter. He did exactly that with the press conference before the release of this report. It’s inconsistent with his promise to the American people and to the Judiciary Committee, the conduct that followed.

(h/t RCP Video)

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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