Pelosi Weighs Holding Barr In Contempt for Refusing House Dems' Demands

Steve Cohen's message to Attorney General William Barr was loud and clear when he placed a prop chicken in front of Barr's empty chair at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.

Senator Harris had asked AG Barr, "Has the president or anyone at White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?"

Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden said Congress will have "no alternative" but pursuing impeachment if President Donald Trump or his associates block investigations based on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation report.

"President Trump says, "I won't let him testify" - it's not for President Trump to decide whether he will let a witness testify, now a private citizen, before a house of Congress", he said.

"Last night, The Washington Post reported that three days after Barr's four-page summary, Mueller wrote Barr a letter complaining that Barr "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance" of Mueller's work", Colbert responded.

Even before Mueller's probe ended, federal prosecutors in NY had implicated President Trump in ordering his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to violate federal campaign finance laws.

Barr refused to appear in front of the House Judiciary Committee after spending five hours in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, also saying he objected to the format of the hearing.

While House Democrats have already asked Mueller to testify, Senate Democrats, as the minority in that chamber, are more limited.

"If anybody else did that", Pelosi said, referring to Barr's testimony in a press conference on Thursday, "it would be considered a crime".

"The very system of government of the United States - the system of limited power, the system of not having a president as a dictator - is very much at stake", Mr Nadler told reporters after a 15-minute committee session held in place of Mr Barr's appearance.

"We will make sure that no president becomes a monarch", he said.

The top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Representative Doug Collins, called Nadler's latest request from Barr "absurd".

Emmet Flood, a White House lawyer, said in an April 19 letter to Barr that Trump can "instruct his advisors to decline to appear before congressional committees". It also describes actions Trump took to try to impede Mueller's investigation. Barr said Wednesday his goal had been simply to release the report's bottom-line conclusions as he readied the entire document for release.

Mr Nadler had set a Wednesday deadline for Mr Barr to hand over the unredacted report and its underlying evidence.

Mueller did not conclude that President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, but did not exonerate him either.