US Attorney General Barr decides to skip Mueller hearing
Defying the U.S. Congress, Attorney General William Barr announced that he would not attend a U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing on May 2 on his handling of the Mueller report, said committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, accusing Barr of being afraid to testify.
"Barr has just informed us that he will not attend tomorrow's hearing," Nadler, a Democrat, told reporters on Capitol Hill on May 1 after a contentious Senate hearing earlier in the day where Barr defended his handling of the report.
Committee Democrats vowed to issue a subpoena in an effort to force Barr to testify.
Nadler issued the subpoena on April 19, a day after Barr released a redacted version of the report by Mueller on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct subsequent investigations.
The subpoena also sought underlying evidence from Mueller's 22-month investigation.
In his first congressional testimony since releasing a redacted version of Mueller's report on April 18, Barr dismissed Mueller's complaints that he initially disclosed the special counsel's conclusions on March 24 in an incomplete way that caused public confusion.
Illustrating tensions between the two men, Barr described as "a bit snitty" a March 27 letter from Mueller in which the special counsel urged him to release broader summaries of his findings - a step Barr rejected. Trump seized on Barr's March 24 letter to declare that he had been fully exonerated.
Several Democrats on the Senate committee called for Barr's resignation.