In an escalating standoff between Democrats and the Trump administration, the House Judiciary Committee will vote Wednesday on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.
The committee had demanded Barr provide a full, un-redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference by 9am Monday morning.
But when that deadline came and passed, the Democrats took the first step toward showing Barr there may be consequences, issuing a report Monday that cited the attorney general for contempt.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JERROLD NADLER, SAYING (Thursday): "Attorney General Barr has informed us that he will not appear today." Democratic lawmakers were already fuming when Barr last week refused to testify before a House hearing.
Many Democrats accuse Barr of misleading Congress and the public on the findings of the Mueller probe.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the A-G lied to lawmakers about his communications with Mueller.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI SAYING (Thursday): "He lied to Congress.
He lied to Congress and if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime." Republican lawmakers rallied to Barr's defense.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY, SAYING (Thursday): "Attorney General Barr has been very transparent.
If you read the Mueller report, the first volume, ninety percent of it is to the public.
Ninety-eight percent is available in the second volume.
There is no collusion and I believe it's time for our country to move forward." If he Judiciary Committee decides to hold Barr in contempt, then the matter goes to the full House of Representatives for a vote.
Barr's reluctance to comply with the subpoena for the un-redacted report comes as President Trump has promised to resist all subpoenas from Democrats who are investigating Trump on several fronts, setting up a possible showdown over Congress's constitutional power to oversee the executive branch.