The Washington Post says William Barr just ‘lit his reputation on fire.’ Democrats are calling Barr ‘chicken.’

“Attorney General William P. Barr entered office with more credibility than many Trump appointees,” The Washington Post said in an editorial Wednesday night. “Mr. Barr avowed loyalty to the Justice Department’s mission and, nearing the end of his career, seemed to have little incentive to serve as another Trump sycophant. Yet Mr. Barr has lit his reputation on fire, and he just added more fuel during his Wednesday testimony before a Senate panel.”

Barr’s explanations for his “highly misleading representation” and “manipulation” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings don’t add up, the Post writes, and “it is long past time the public stopped hearing Mr. Barr’s views on how Mr. Mueller feels, and heard from the special counsel himself.”

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday evening his committee is still negotiating with the Justice Department to schedule Mueller’s testimony, but Barr is apparently so “terrified of facing a skilled attorney” and “afraid of facing more effective examination,” he isn’t showing up for Thursday’s scheduled testimony.

Other House Judiciary Committee Democrats joined in the needling. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said on Twitter he’s “not surprised #Barr is scared” of testifying “after his terrible performance” Wednesday in the Senate. “I’m thinking that after we subpoena chicken Barr and force him to testify,” he added, “I’m going to invite Sen. Kamala Harris to the hearing and then I’m going to yield my time to her.” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) started the “chicken” thing Monday:


We might have the first chicken Attorney General. Barr is threatening to skip Thursday’s hearing simply because counsel from @HouseJudiciary will be asking additional questions. If he doesn’t come, we have a #subpoena ready. #RuleOfLaw

— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) April 30, 2019


Barr is officially balking because Nadler wants staff lawyers to ask questions. That’s an unusual arrangement but not unprecedented. You can read W. Neil Eggleston’s account of being on both sides of those questions at Slate.

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