Sarah Sanders slams Nadler after Barr a no-show at hearing

White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah Elizabeth SandersBill Press: Mulvaney proves need for daily briefings White House correspondent April Ryan to moderate fundraising event for Buttigieg White House press secretary defends lack of daily briefings: Trump 'is the most accessible president in history' MORE Sanders on Thursday chastised Democrats over their efforts to question Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrSupreme Court denies Trump request to immediately resume federal executions Hillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC Biden gets in testy exchange in Iowa: 'You're a damn liar' MORE, who skipped a House hearing after Democrats pushed to allow staff attorneys to ask questions.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Sanders suggested House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerREAD: White House letter refusing to participate in impeachment hearings White House tells Democrats it won't cooperate in impeachment hearings Democrat says he expects to oppose articles of impeachment against Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) should consider resigning his post for demanding staff attorneys be allowed to question Barr.

"It’s surprising to find out he has actually lost confidence in himself and his capability to do his job,” Sanders said of Nadler. “If he can’t, and he’s not capable of asking the attorney general questions, maybe he should step down and resign and allow someone else to.”


Barr was scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee at 9 a.m. on Thursday, but he did not appear. Instead, Nadler conducted proceedings with a placard bearing Barr's name resting in front of an empty chair.

Asked on Fox News why Barr wouldn't just appear before the committee and "get it over with," Sanders again blamed Democrats for changing "the rules middle of the game."

"The attorney general sat for five hours yesterday, Bill, and he answered every question put in front of him," she told Bill Hemmer on "America's Newsroom." "He was willing to sit down and do that again with the House. But naturally the Democrats have changed rules middle of the game."

Barr's appearance was up in the air in recent days as Democrats had insisted that committee counsels be able to question the attorney general. After Barr indicated he may not show up if that was the format, Democrats argued witnesses should not dictate proceedings.

On Wednesday, the Judiciary panel voted along party lines to approve a measure allowing committee staffers to question Barr for an additional hour, despite fierce objections from Republicans.

The Department of Justice said Wednesday evening that Barr would not sit for questioning, saying Nadler had placed "unprecedented and unnecessary" conditions on the hearing.

Sanders called it "pretty pathetic" that Democrats sought to allow staffers to pose questions.

"If he and his committee aren’t capable of … asking questions themselves and need to staff it out, then it seems like a pretty pathetic moment for the chairman of that committee,” she said.

Barr's no-show further escalates tensions between House Democrats and the Trump administration, which has sought to slow-walk oversight investigations and subpoenas in recent weeks.

The attorney general endured a grilling Wednesday from Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who accused him of bungling the handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE's report and spinning a favorable narrative for the president.

Several Democrats have called on Barr to resign after it was revealed that Mueller criticized the attorney general’s four-page memo summarizing the report’s findings.