Update: Following the "hearing," Chairman Nadler doubled down on his belief that Barr is "afraid of cross-examination." Ranking member Doug Collins, who has sat on the committee for six years, said what he witnessed this morning was "unprecedented."
The House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr proceeded on Thursday without the witness. He was expected to answer questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation for the second day in a row, but decided against it because of arguments over who would be interrogating him. Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), for his part, insisted that Barr was afraid to answer questions.
In his rebuttal, ranking member Doug Collins (R-GA) noted that Barr sat for six hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Clearly, he's not terrified of sitting before Congress. The issue, Collins said, was that the Democrats wanted staff members to ask questions of the attorney general.
"If that staff member wants to ask questions, run for Congress," Collins suggested.
The attorney general is not here today, he added, "because the Democrats didn't want him here today."
Rep. Doug Collins said "the reason Bill Barr is not here today is because Democrats decided they did not want him here," adding the House Judiciary Committee isn't getting the chance to hear from Barr "because the stunt and the circus continues" https://t.co/3mq7FTP7vY pic.twitter.com/etzPJ73utw— POLITICO (@politico) May 2, 2019
Nadler did not directly respond to his colleague's remarks, instead concluding the hearing with his gavel. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) had begun to speak up with an objection, but Nadler ignored him and cut the Republican's mic.
.@RepJerryNadler: "We will defend the prerogatives of congress. We'll defend the rights of the American people to know what's going on"@mattgaetz: "There is not going to be a recognition of members who seek legitimate inquiry as to the procedures?!"— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 2, 2019
His mic is then cut off. pic.twitter.com/k4qqXva1iC
Only in Washington!