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Preet Bharara: Barr's excuse for not testifying to House 'rhymes with snitty'

Preet Bharara: Barr's excuse for not testifying to House 'rhymes with snitty'
© Greg Nash

Former U.S. Attorney Preet BhararaPreet BhararaNew York Times in discussions to acquire The Athletic: report Vox Media acquires podcasting company co-founded by Preet Bharara Reimagining the role of the next SEC chair MORE joked Wednesday that Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says DOJ to probe Trump-era subpoenas of lawmaker records Democrats demand Barr, Sessions testify on Apple data subpoenas MORE's "excuse" for not testifying before the House Judiciary Committee rhymes with "snitty."

"Bill Barr’s excuse for not testifying in the House tomorrow rhymes with 'snitty,'" tweeted Bharara, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York before being fired by President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE.

Bharara's tweet appeared to reference Barr's description of a letter sent to him by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE in March. Barr said while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that Mueller's letter to him voicing frustrations with Barr's summary of the special counsel’s principal conclusions was "a bit snitty."

"And I think it was probably written by one of his staff people," he told the panel.

Mueller expressed in a March 27 letter to Barr that his initial memo "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office's work and conclusions," according to a letter released by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. 

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Barr has been the subject of increased scrutiny from Democrats over his handling of Mueller's report on his investigation into Russia's election interference and whether Trump obstructed justice. 

The attorney general was expected to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for a second round of questioning from lawmakers on Thursday, but the Justice Department said Barr would not appear for the hearing because of the "unprecedented and unnecessary" conditions imposed by the committee's chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). 

A Justice Department spokesperson said Nadler's insistence on having committee counsels question Barr after members grilled him was "inappropriate."

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Democrats would subpoena Barr if he failed to show up for the hearing.