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Barr warns House Dems he might not appear at hearing

Attorney General William Barr has warned House Democrats that he might not appear as scheduled this week in front of the Judiciary Committee, The Hill has confirmed.

Barr has told Democrats they need to change the proposed format for the hearing, CNN first reported Sunday, citing an unidentified source.

{mosads}In addition to five minutes of questioning for each member of the committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the committee, has proposed a round that would allow for each side to question Barr for 30 minutes, a source said. That round of questioning also would allow the committee counsels for both parties to question Barr.

Nadler also has proposed having the committee enter a closed session to discuss redacted sections of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the source added.

Barr has rejected the additional rounds of questioning, but it’s possible he and Democrats could reach a deal before Thursday, when the hearing is scheduled.

A Department of Justice spokesperson said in a statement that “members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning.”

“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,” said spokesperson Kerri Kupec.

Lawmakers are expected to grill Barr on the Mueller report, which was made public earlier this month. 

Barr held a press conference immediately ahead of the report’s release and has been accused of misrepresenting its findings.

Mueller’s report did not find evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia ahead of the 2016 election, but the report notes that the campaign believed it would benefit from Russia’s interference and that Russia believed it would benefit from a Trump presidency.

Mueller also outlined several instances in which the president potentially obstructed justice.

Olivia Beavers contributed to this report, which was updated at 2:20 p.m.

Tags Jerrold Nadler Mueller investigation Robert Mueller William Barr
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