- Jim Watson/Getty Images
- Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen poked fun at Attorney General William Barr with a bucket of KFC chicken and a statue of a chicken.
- Cohen appeared to be suggesting Barr is a “chicken” for not showing up to a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller report.
- The Justice Department on Wednesday informed the committee Barr would not be coming to the hearing after roughly a week of terse exchanges with Democrats over the terms of his testimony.
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Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen on Thursday brought a bucket of KFC chicken and a small statue of a chicken to a House Judiciary Committee hearing in an attempt to mock Attorney General William Barr for refusing to show up and testify on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Cohen was suggesting that Barr was too “chicken” to come and face questions about his handling of the Mueller report’s release.
“Chicken Barr should’ve shown up today and answered questions. He was afraid … An attorney general who’s picked for his legal acumen and his abilities would not be fearful,” Cohen said in comments to reporters after the hearing.
Cohen went on to suggest Barr was only picked by President Donald Trump to be the president’s “fixer.”
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice notified the House Judiciary Committee that Barr would not be coming to testify the next day over a disagreement about Democrats’ plan to bring staff attorneys to question him. The two sides has been debating the format of the hearing for more than a week.
“Congress and the Executive branch are co-equal branches of government, and each have a constitutional obligation to respect and accommodate one another’s legitimate interests,” Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement released Wednesday evening.
The Justice Department also informed the House Judiciary Committee that Barr would not comply with a subpoena to issue a full, unredacted version of Mueller’s report.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler signaled he could move to hold Barr in contempt of Congress if he does not deliver the unredacted report in the next few days.
The back-and-forth with the House came after Barr on Wednesday appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify on Mueller’s report on the Russia probe, and faced a grilling from Democratic senators about the release of the probe’s finding.
The attorney general released a redacted version of the Mueller report two weeks ago and has faced sharp criticism from Democrats on how he handled the rollout. The pushback from Democrats intensified after the release on Tuesday of a letter from Mueller to Barr objecting to the Attorney General’s description of the special counsel’s findings prior to the release of the full report.
Rep. Steve Cohen brought a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken to today's hearing, apparently to suggest that Barr is afraid to testify.
Via CSPAN pic.twitter.com/g3XOIedYqR
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 2, 2019
KFC declined to comment to INSIDER on Cohen’s use of their chicken.
Kate Taylor contributed reporting.