(Reuters) – U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler gave Attorney General William Barr until Monday morning to give lawmakers access to the full, unredacted version of U.S. Special Counsel Robert’ Mueller report on his Russia probe.
Nadler informed Barr of the 9 a.m. (1300 GMT) Monday deadline in a letter on Friday after the attorney general failed to show up at a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Thursday.
“In refusing to comply with congressional oversight requests, the department has repeatedly asserted that Congress’s requests do not serve ‘legitimate’ purposes,” Nadler said in the letter.
“This is not the department’s judgment to make,” he added. “Congress’s constitutional, oversight and legislative interest in investigating misconduct by the president and his associates cannot be disputed.”
Barr’s refusal to appear before House Judiciary Committee on Thursday drew an angry rebuke from Democratic lawmakers, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accusing the attorney general of lying to Congress and adding, “That’s a crime.”
The House panel met anyway on Thursday and weighed its next steps in a growing constitutional confrontation between lawmakers and the executive branch.
Nadler said he may move to hold Barr in contempt of Congress over his refusal to comply with the subpoena for the full report, which describes Russia’s interference in Trump’s favor in the 2016 U.S. election and Trump’s subsequent attempts to impede Mueller’s probe.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by David Alexander and Jonathan Oatis)