WASHINGTON – Attorney General William Barr has backed out of a scheduled hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Wednesday evening.
“He’s trying to blackmail the committee,” Nadler (D-N.Y.) told reporters. “The administration cannot dictate the terms of our hearing in our hearing room.”
On Wednesday morning, the committee voted along party lines to allow its chief counsel to question Barr at the hearing, which is supposed to take place Thursday at 9 a.m. EDT.
Nadler said the committee will still meet at that time.
“I hope and expect that the attorney general will think overnight and will be there as well.”
Barr had warned Nadler he would not attend the hearing if the committee decided to authorize questioning by non-members.
Barr was grilled for eight hours Wednesday during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing was part of a congressional inquiry into Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The Department of Justice released a redacted version of the report on April 18. A day later, Nadler issued a subpoena for the full report.
The report said Mueller did not find any evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Mueller did not make a determination as to whether obstruction had occurred.