Nadler Opens Barr-Free Judiciary Hearing By Listing AG’s ‘Failures’

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May 2, 2019 9:26 a.m.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) opened Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing — which Attorney General William Barr skipped — by slamming Barr’s “lack of candor” before other committees.

Nadler quickly moved on to list of Barr’s “failures,” including not checking “the President’s worst instincts” and attacking special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“He even failed to show up here today,” Nadler concluded.

In a dramatic flourish, Nadler delivered this diatribe to an empty chair marked with Barr’s name card.

Nadler added that he would move quickly to hold Barr in contempt if he refused to negotiate in “good faith.”

The whole proceedings had a whiff of the absurd, as Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) sat in the background, munching on a 9 a.m. jumbo bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. “He’s here,” Cohen quipped of Barr, pointing to his bucket.

The odd breakfast choice became clear during a presser after the hearing, as Cohen held aloft a toy bird and declared that “chicken Barr” should have shown up to the hearing.

The audience in the hearing room was barren, with a phalanx of photojournalists squished into the mostly empty room to snap photos of Barr’s empty seat.

Barr skipped the hearing due to his objection to being questioned by staff attorneys in addition to congressional members. Tensions have been running high between Nadler and Barr for days, friction only heightened by Barr’s contentious performance at Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary hearing.

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