Dem lawmaker says Barr will be subpoenaed if he fails to show for House hearing

Dem lawmaker says Barr will be subpoenaed if he fails to show for House hearing
© Greg Nash

Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings House chairman: Pompeo not complying with impeachment inquiry Sunday shows - Second whistleblower grabs spotlight MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that Democrats would issue a subpoena against Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrMulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe Mulvaney ties withheld Ukraine aid to political probe sought by Trump Matthew Shepard's parents blast Barr's LGBTQ record in anniversary of hate crime law MORE if he skipped Thursday's House Judiciary Committee hearing. 

“We plan on subpoenaing him if he decides not to show up. He can run but he can’t hide,” Jeffries told reporters, according to Reuters

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The comments came just hours after Barr wrapped up his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on his handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE's report. Barr was scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee a day later. 

However, the Justice Department said Wednesday night that Barr would skip the hearing due to what it described as "unprecedented and unnecessary" conditions imposed by committee chair Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing Barr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday MORE (D-N.Y.). 

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

"Congress and the Executive branch are co-equal branches of government, and each have a constitutional obligation to respect and accommodate one another’s legitimate interests. Chairman Nadler’s insistence on having staff question the Attorney General, a Senate-confirmed Cabinet member, is inappropriate," Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement.
 
The statement added that Barr "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 Judiciary Committee is expected to hold the hearing despite the attorney general's absence. Nadler, who accused the Trump administration of trying to dictate the terms of the hearing, told reporters that he hopes Barr will think over his decision tonight and appear before the committee. 
 
Nadler told CNN earlier this week that Democrats would have to subpoena Barr if he skipped the hearing. 
 
Barr has faced increased scrutiny from Democrats ever since he released a four-page letter in March summarizing the findings of Mueller's investigation into Russian interference and whether Trump committed obstruction of justice. 
 
Mueller's probe did not uncover evidence to conclude that conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow took place. However, the report noted that Mueller could not “conclusively determine” that no criminal conduct occurred in regard to obstruction of justice. It was revealed Tuesday evening that Mueller wrote to Barr twice in March to raise concerns about his characterization of the report in his letter to Congress.