After the public release of the Mueller report on April 18, House Democrats have remained unsatisfied with the conclusion of the 22-month long investigation, which cleared President Trump of both collision and obstruction allegations. Since gaining a majority in the House of Representatives after the midterm elections, Democrats have been debating internally on how and when to consider impeachment proceedings against the President, in anticipation of the release of the Mueller report which they had hoped would recommend criminal charges against Trump.
As Congress returned to session on Monday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warned that Attorney General Bill Barr will be “obstructing Congress” if he decides not to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, adding that “the attorney general of the United States is not the president’s personal lawyer, and he should act as the attorney general of the United States and honor his responsibilities.”
Attorney General Barr is scheduled to testify on the Mueller report before the Senate on Wednesday, May 1, and the House on May 2. This weekend, Barr considered canceling an appearance in the House after Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) abruptly changed the format of the hearing, adding additional rounds of questioning by both parties’ committee counsels. Nadler has vowed to “use whatever means we can to enforce the subpoena” for Barr’s appearance later this week, Washington Examiner reported.
The Justice Department’s spokeswoman Kerri Kupec made a statement on April 28 that “the Attorney General agreed to appear before Congress. Therefore, Members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning. He remains happy to engage with Members on their questions regarding the Mueller report,” The Hill reported.
Democrat disappointments and frustrations with the Mueller report’s findings on Trump have been clear, but they have vowed to continue investigating the President. The House Ways and Means Committee is pursuing Trump’s tax returns, the Intelligence Committee is looking into Trump’s businesses and the Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Justice Department officials for the full report and its underlying intelligence sources.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.