The House Judiciary Committee opened a hearing Thursday with an empty witness chair after Attorney General William Barr did not appear because of disagreements over whether staff members could ask questions. The hearing lasted only 15 minutes.
"Chairman Nadler sabotaged his own hearing," ranking Republican Rep. Doug Collins said after Barr canceled. "Unfortunately, ludicrous demands from the chairman made it impossible for the attorney general to join us here today... That's sad. Because now Republicans and Democrats are not going to be able to question Bill Barr."
"I said before if a staff member wants to ask questions, run for Congress. Put a pin on, find a committee."
"The reason Bill Barr is not here is because Democrats decided they didn’t want him here," he said. "And what is amazing to me is to say that he is scared of answering questions. You can disagree with the attorney general all you want, but yesterday he sat for more than 6 hours in the Senate voluntarily answering questions. You can agree, did he do good or did he do bad? It doesn't matter because we're not getting that opportunity today because the stunts and the circus continue over here."
"As a result of Chairman Nadler's desperate tactics, we've lost another chance for closure," Collins said. "Chairman Nadler has stolen from all members and the Americans they represent the opportunity to exercise our oversight duties by questioning and hearing from the nation's chief law enforcement officer."
"We are not getting that opportunity today because of the stunt and circus here," he said. "The question I have here is not what Bill Barr is scared of, my question is what are the Democrats scared of? They don't want Bill Barr here today. They've read the report, they don't like what is in it. The Chairman won't even go look at what the attorney general offered him."