Julián Castro calls on DOJ to investigate Barr after Ukraine call memo

White House hopeful Julián Castro called on the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMilley discussed resigning from post after Trump photo-op: report OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ MORE in light of a burgeoning scandal surrounding President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s dealings with Ukraine. 

“The Attorney General has zero credibility, demonstrated by his handling of the Mueller Report,” Castro, a former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, tweeted Wednesday. “William Barr must recuse himself from any investigation involving Ukraine—and the DOJ’s Inspector General must investigate his conduct.”

The statement came in the aftermath of a five-page memorandum of a July call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump said he would direct Barr to speak with Zelensky about opening a probe into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and his son.

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“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said on the July 25 call. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

“I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out,” Trump added, referring to Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSunday shows preview: Protests against George Floyd’s death, police brutality rock the nation for a second week Piers Morgan, Rudy Giuliani in furious debate over Trump: ‘You sound completely barking mad’ Rudy Giuliani calls on Cuomo to remove Bill de Blasio MORE, his personal lawyer.

Trump’s gripes with Biden center around his claims that Biden abused his power when he lobbied Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating a natural gas company on whose board his son sat. No evidence has emerged that Biden was working with his son’s interests in mind.

The Justice Department was further thrust into the spotlight Wednesday when it announced it had declined to pursue an investigation into whether the call violated campaign finance law, determining that “no further action was warranted” after it received a whistleblower complaint expressing alarm over the conversation.

Democrats have panned Trump for requesting Ukraine investigate a political rival, with some suggesting he threatened to leverage military aid to Kiev contingent on Zelensky’s compliance and have called on Barr to testify in front of Congress over the scandal.

“I asked Attorney General Barr in May: did the White House ever ask him to investigate anyone? He wouldn’t answer Barr needs to come back to Congress and answer that question again. Under oath. This time, he better have an answer,” Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.), another White House contender, warned.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Pelosi: Georgia primary ‘disgrace’ could preview an election debacle in November MORE (D-Calif.) Tuesday announced that House Democrats would open a formal impeachment investigation into Trump over his conversation with Zelensky.

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