Attorney General William Barr may have spent most of his Wednesday being hammered with questions by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but he will be skipping out on an invitation to appear before Congress on Thursday.
House Democrats are not too pleased with Barr’s decision and now subpoenas are being threatened.
Barr’s main objection to testifying before the House Judiciary Committee is that members of Congress would not be the ones questioning him. Barr would instead have been questioned by committee staff.
“He’s trying to blackmail the committee into not following what we think is the most effective means of eliciting the information we need,” Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) told reporters on Wednesday evening. “We cannot permit the administration to dictate to Congress how we operate.”
Nadler went on to accuse Barr of being “terrified” of appearing before the committee, despite Barr appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
“He is terrified of having to face a skilled attorney,” said Nadler.
Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) told press that he plans on subpoenaing a testimony from Barr if he does not show up.
“He can run but he can’t hide,” said Jeffries.
In a public statement, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Doug Collins (R-GA) said Nadler’s handling of the upcoming hearing is a “shame.”
“It’s a shame Members of the House Judiciary Committee won’t get the opportunity to hear from Attorney General Barr this Thursday, because Chairman Nadler chose to torpedo our hearing,” he said.
He added that Barr gave “clear” and “informative” testimony before members of the Senate on Wednesday.
Source: Fox News
“The attorney general gave clear, informative testimony in the Senate Wednesday, as he offered to do more than a month ago in the House tomorrow,” Collins said.
The Republican senator said the hearings are merely a way to “prolong” an investigation that has already cleared the president of any wrongdoing.
“By rejecting the chance to question Attorney General Barr or read the materials he’s provided, Democrats are trying to prolong an investigation the special counsel completed. Ultimately, though, they’re ignoring the will of the majority of Americans who want Congress to move on and secure our border and continue to strengthen our economy,” he said.
Department of Justice spokesman Kerri Kupec called Nadler’s hearing demands “inappropriate” in a public statement.
“Today, the Attorney General testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee for over five hours,” Kupec said. “The Attorney General also voluntarily released the Special Counsel’s confidential report with minimal redactions to Congress and the public, made an even-less redacted report available to Chairman Nadler and congressional leadership (which they have refused to review), and made himself available to the Committee by volunteering to testify this week. Unfortunately, even after the Attorney General volunteered to testify, Chairman Nadler placed conditions on the House Judiciary Committee hearing that are unprecedented and unnecessary.”
Barr’s time being questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee added little to no new substance to the Mueller investigation. It was instead a chance for Democrats to make baseless accusations and to showboat for the cameras. There is no reason for Barr to think the hearing for the House Judiciary Committee would have been any different.
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