Barr refuses to return for 2nd day of testimony following heated hearing, Nadler calls him 'terrified,' 'dishonest'

1010 WINS Newsroom
May 01, 2019 - 5:40 pm
William Barr

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WASHINGTON (1010 WINS) — Attorney General William Barr has decided not to testify before House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Rep. Jerry Nadler announced late Wednesday afternoon.

He said at a press conference that Barr is trying to "blackmail" the committee and added that the committee is considering a contempt citation for Barr. 

The committee will still reconvene Thursday at 9 a.m., and hopes Barr is there, Nadler said. 

Nadler added, "He is terrified of having to face a skilled attorney. I can understand given how dishonest he’s been since March 24, at the latest, I can understand why he is afraid of facing more effective examination. We’re finished."

Nadler said the committee is "seeking to firm up" with the Department of Justice for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify May 15.

Barr's decision not to testify comes after private tensions between Justice Department leaders and Robert Mueller's team broke into public view in extraordinary fashion Wednesday as Attorney General William Barr pushed back at the special counsel's "snitty" complaints over his handling of the Trump-Russia investigation report.

Testifying for the first time since releasing Mueller's report, Barr said he was surprised Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether President Donald Trump had tried to obstruct justice, and that he had felt compelled to step in with his own judgment that the president had committed no crime.

"I'm not really sure of his reasoning," Barr said of Mueller's obstruction analysis, which neither accused the president of a crime nor exonerated him. "I think that if he felt that he shouldn't go down the path of making a traditional prosecutive decision then he shouldn't have investigated. That was the time to pull up."

Barr was also perturbed by a private letter Mueller sent him last month complaining that the attorney general had not properly portrayed the special counsel's finding. Barr called the note "a bit snitty."

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