House Dems Head Towards Showdown With Barr Over Hearing Format

on January 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Attorney General William Barr arrives on Capitol Hill for a meeting on January 29, 2019. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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April 29, 2019 2:45 p.m.

House Judiciary Democrats took one step closer to a showdown with Attorney General Bill Barr Monday.

The Justice Department has objected to the committee’s plan to have a lawyer for the committee question Barr during Thursday’s much-anticipated hearing on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

But on Monday, the committee scheduled a vote for Wednesday on the plan for the additional hour or questioning, which would be divided equally between the majority and the minority. The additional questioning could be done by “either Members or Committee staff,” according to the notice for the vote.

The move signals that House Judiciary Democrats are not yet backing off the plan, even after the Justice Department threatened that Barr would not show up on Thursday because of it.

“The attorney general agreed to appear before Congress. Therefore, Members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning,” DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupic said in a statement, according to CNN. “He remains happy to engage with Members on their questions regarding the Mueller report.”

Regardless of how the House Judiciary standoff is resolved, Barr will first appear in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

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