House Democrats insisting on using staff lawyers to question Attorney General William Barr during a since-scuttled hearing appearance looked "like a bit of a stunt," according to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.
“This is Bill Barr, who was doing nothing but talking about a report which he read which he had nothing to do with,” Wallace said on "America's Newsroom." “So the idea that you would need to get counsel to drill down on the Mueller report with the attorney general who just received the report and forwarded it on to Congress, I have to say it does sound and seem and look like a bit of a stunt.”
Wallace was referring to efforts to have staffers -- and not just sitting members of Congress -- question Barr at a House hearing Thursday regarding his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Trump-Russia investigation. Barr objected to the terms and did not show up. Democrats were outraged, with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. threatening to hold him in contempt of Congress.
The "Fox News Sunday" host also touched on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accusing the AG of lying to Congress during a House Appropriations Committee hearing in April, asking “what is she going to do about it?”
Pelosi insists Barr “lied to Congress” when he said under oath that Mueller or his team would not have any objections to the summary presented by Barr of the Russia probe findings. Days after the memo was released, Mueller wrote a letter to Barr explaining that although he did not disagree with the summary conclusions, he felt the memo lacked context surrounding the findings laid out in the report.
“If anybody else did that,” Pelosi said, referring to Barr’s testimony in a press conference on Thursday, “it would be considered a crime.”
“This raises the question about what Congress is going to do because the White House and the attorney general have made it pretty clear that they are not going to turn over a lot of [information].”
On the issue of counsel questioning Barr, Vice President Pence did not agree it was required.
“Members of the Judiciary Committee and elected members of Congress ought to be able to do their job,” Pence said in an interview with Fox News.
“I served on the Judiciary Committee for 11 years. I can recall no occasion where lawyers for the majority or the minority questioned a member of a president's cabinet under either party,” Pence said.