Politics

AG William Barr won't attend House Judiciary hearing scheduled for Thursday

Key Points
  • U.S. Attorney General William Barr will not testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
  • The hearing is set to proceed as scheduled, starting at 9 a.m. EST.
  • House Committee Chairman Nadler does not plan to issue a subpoena on Thursday
U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee May 1, 2019 in Washington, DC. Barr testified on the Justice Department's investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.
Win McNamee | Getty Images News | Getty Images

U.S. Attorney General William Barr will not testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. The hearing is set to proceed as scheduled, starting at 9 a.m. EST.

This comes after Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday regarding his handling of the Mueller report.

Mueller sent Barr a letter in late March, stating that the summary Barr released "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance" of the full report.

VIDEO5:1205:12
Nadler: Compliance with Congressional subpoenas not 'optional'

Barr criticized the special counsel for not coming to a conclusion on whether President Donald Trump had committed an obstruction of justice offense.

The Department of Justice spokeswoman released a statement saying that the conditions Chairman Jerrold Nadler placed on the committee hearing are "unprecedented and unnecessary," and that Nadler's insistence on having staff question Barr is "inappropriate."

"The Attorney General remains happy to engage directly with Members on their questions regarding the report and looks forward to continue working with the Committee on their oversight requests," the statement concluded.

In a statement before the press, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler confirmed that Barr will not be appearing before the House Committee on Thursday.

"Given his lack of candor in describing the work of the special counsel, our members were right to insist that staff counsel be permitted to question the attorney general," Nadler said.

"When push comes to shove the administration can not dictate the terms of our hearing in our hearing room," Nadler continued.

Nadler also stated that the Department of Justice has refused to comply with the House's subpoena to release a full, un-redacted version of the Mueller report. Nadler also stated that he plans to continue to work with Barr in order to reach a "reasonable accommodation and access to the full report," but that compliance with congressional subpoenas is "not optional."

Nadler stated that if negotiations with Barr fail to result in a pledge of compliance within "the next day or two," Nadler's next step will be "seeking a contempt citation against the attorney general."

Nadler concluded his statement saying he "hopes and expects" that Barr will change his mind and attend the hearing, but he does not plan to issue a subpoena on Thursday.