Congress might issue an arrest warrant for Attorney General Barr
Attorney General William Barr has just informed the House Judiciary Committee that he is skipping out on his testimony on Thursday, just one day after appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
NBC News reporter Alex Moe: "Per a House Judiciary Committee aide: We were told AG Barr is not coming to testify tomorrow and are expecting a letter from DOJ shortly officially stating as much. The House Judiciary Committee will still hold a hearing tomorrow at 9am without Barr."
He says that he is unwilling to testify before counsel, aka armed lawyers, instead of the Committee members themselves. Because of this, Congress is now saying that not only will they subpoena him, but they are looking at holding him in contempt.
Nadler: The next step is seeking a contempt citation against AG William Barr— Sarah Brooks (@Sarah_K_Brooks) May 1, 2019
And, get this: One reason Barr doesn't want to go is because he was told that Congress may hold him in contempt even if he shows.
Contempt of Congress is a nice way for saying he will get arrested after a contempt citation is issued. The Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate would be brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate. Barr wants to avoid any scenario for this happening, especially on live television.
Here's Congressman Ted Lieu, who is on that committee:
"If he doesn't show up, the American people should ask two questions: what is he afraid of and what is he trying to hide?" He then said: "If he doesn't show up we will enforce a subpoena and we're going to hold him in contempt."
Even though he appeared before the Senate today, Barr has been far from cooperative. When he was being questioned by Senator Blumenthal, he took shots at Robert Mueller's career and said he wouldn't release his notes of their call together.
"I don't consider Bob, at this stage, a career prosecutor," Barr said. "He's had a career as a prosecutor. He was the head of the FBI for 12 years."
"But he was also a political appointee and he was a political appointee with me at the Department of Justice," Barr continued, adding that, "The letter is a bit snitty and I think it was probably written by one of his staff people."