House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler warned Attorney General William Barr that he would be left facing the consequences if he failed to acquiesce to the demands made by the committee, according to The Hill.
Congressional Democrats have been massively critical of Barr for his handling of the Mueller report. As a result, the House Judiciary Committee has scheduled hearings this week, which Barr is supposed to attend. But Barr has indicated that he could skip the hearing.
During an appearance on CNN, Nadler warned Barr that the committee would force the attorney general to attend the hearing and would likely subpoena him if he fails to make it to the hearing scheduled for Thursday this week.
“The witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period,” Nadler told CNN.
“Then we will have to subpoena him, and we will have to use whatever means we can to enforce the subpoena.”
Barr has previously indicated that he would want the House Judiciary Committee to change the proposed format of the hearing. Usually, each member of the committee would get five minutes to question Barr, but Nadler has proposed for another round which would allow each side to question Barr for another 30 minutes. Nadler has also said that he would like a closed-door session to discuss the redacted parts of the Mueller report, which has been a controversial topic in Barr’s handling of the report.
"The attorney general shouldn't be afraid to answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee counsel unless he's concerned about criminal and legal liability for his actions."https://t.co/AqOyU1ePI0 @politicususa
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 28, 2019
House Democrats and Barr have been on a warpath ever since the Mueller report was first submitted to the attorney general’s office. Barr was much criticized for providing Congress with only a cursory summary of the report at first, which indicated that Mueller had not made the recommendation to indict the president. Following weeks of back and forth, the attorney general released a redacted version of the special counsel report, but Democrats want to know the precise reasons for the redactions. Critics have alleged that Barr has gone out of his way to protect President Donald Trump, but he denies the allegations.
Kerri Kupec, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, said that William Barr is still open to the idea of attending the hearing, but it is up to the House Judiciary Committee to make it work.
“The Attorney General agreed to appear before Congress. Therefore, Members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning. He remains happy to engage with Members on their questions regarding the Mueller report,” she said.