kamala harris william barr split senate hearing
See Kamala Harris stump William Barr during hearing
00:54 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris accused Attorney General Bill Barr on Thursday of stalling and refusing to answer her questions about the White House during a Senate hearing because he knew doing so would open himself up to perjury allegations.

Harris, along with many of her Democratic colleagues, have demanded Barr resign from office and that the Justice Department’s inspector general investigate Barr’s handling of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and report.

However, she has not called for Barr’s impeachment.

During Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Barr was unable to tell Harris whether President Donald Trump or anyone at the White House had asked or suggested he open an investigation into anyone.

“He did not answer the question, and I’m sure he didn’t because he knew he was under oath, and he knew that he could potentially expose himself to perjury if he didn’t answer honestly,” Harris told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” Thursday.

Harris argued that Barr was “clearly reluctant to share the truth” and that Barr’s request for her to repeat the question “impressed me as he wanted time to really think about how he was going to answer the question.” She argued that Barr had “obviously heard the question the first time.”

Asked if she wished she had pressed Barr for an answer, Harris said Barr “was clearly not going to answer the question.”

CNN has reached out to the Justice Department for comment on Harris’ allegation.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Harris asked Barr, “Has the President or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? … Yes or no?”

Barr paused before asking her to repeat the question.

“Umm, the President or anybody else?” Barr said.

Harris then said, “Seems you’d remember something like that and be able to tell us.”

“Yeah, but I’m trying to grapple with the word ‘suggest,’ ” Barr replied. “There have been discussions of matters out there that they have not asked me to open an investigation, but –”

Harris asked, “Perhaps they’ve suggested, hinted?”

Barr replied, “I don’t know, I wouldn’t say suggest. I don’t know.”

CNN’s Eli Watkins, Caroline Kelly and Maeve Reston contributed to this report.