Washington: United States Attorney General William Barr has refused to testify before the House Judiciary committee about his handling of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 Presidential elections.
The development came after Democrats demanded that the Attorney General face questions from the committee’s lawyers, a decision formalised by a vote on Wednesday. Barr had previously objected to the said proposal, reported CNN.
Speaking to reporters following Barr’s decision, Chairman of the House Judiciary committee Jerrold Nadler said, “He [Barr] is trying to blackmail the committee into not following what we think is the most effective means of eliciting the information we need.
“The [Trump] administration cannot dictate the terms of our hearing in our hearing room,” he added.
Justice Department spokeswoman blamed Nadler for Barr’s decision, saying that the chairman placed “unprecedented and unnecessary” conditions on the hearing.
“Unfortunately, even after the Attorney General volunteered to testify, Chairman Nadler placed conditions on the House Judiciary Committee hearing that are unprecedented and unnecessary,” Kupec said in a statement. “Congress and the Executive branch are co-equal branches of government, and each have a constitutional obligation to respect and accommodate one another’s legitimate interests.”
The matter pertains to Mueller earlier being discontented with Barr over his handling of the investigation report, saying that he failed to “fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of his investigations’ findings.
Following this, the Attorney General had testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday where he faced questions on the said matter.