Things are really starting to get ugly on Capitol Hill — and it all could end with the attorney general behind bars.
After Barr informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) that he would not be appearing before the committee and would not be turning over the unredacted Mueller report today as was requested by a subpoena, Nadler held a press conference wherein he threatened to slap Barr with contempt charges if he does not respect the subpoenas within the next day or two.
Take a look:
Thursday Testimony Trashed
The battle between Barr and the House Judiciary Committee came to a head after Barr appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Every Democrat on that Senate committee grilled him, trying to embarrass him on his assessment of the Mueller report.
Barr, however, did not give an inch.
It was quite apparent, though, that Barr had enough of Democrats and their games when he told them to stop politicizing the judicial system. (Keep in mind, Republicans still control the Senate, so Barr probably did not expect the hearing to be as brutal as it was.)
Afterward, Barr informed Rep. Nadler that he would not be testifying the next day — and oh, by the way, he can forget about getting an unredacted version of the report.
Nadler had previously issued a subpoena for the unredacted version of the Mueller report and all supporting documentation.
That subpoena expired Thursday.
But Barr is not sending over an unredacted version to the entire House. He has, however, been willing to allow Democrat leaders from both chambers to view it, if they wish.
But that offer was knocked away was Dems, which is why the subpoenas went out.
Barr also refused to testify because Nadler decided to change the rules and wanted staff members to question Barr, rather than actual members of the House.
This was an unprecedented request and Barr treated it as such.
Now, Nadler is threatening contempt with possible fines of $20,000 per day to all Trump officials not obeying subpoenas.
This cat and mouse game is not going to end anytime soon — and it may soon find itself in the courts, which would actually be great news for the administration.
Indeed, the law is simply on the side of Barr here. Grand jury testimony is protected, and while previous attorney generals have provided such material to Congress, it is not required.
Furthermore, the precedent for outside staff questioning a sitting attorney general does not exist. It’s time for Dems to drop the act.