Cohen (D): Lock Barr Up Unless He Agrees to Testify

• May 3, 2019 11:20 pm


Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.) wants the House Judiciary Committee to use the sergeant at arms to force Attorney General William Barr to testify before the committee.

When pressed, Cohen said Barr should be locked up "unless he agrees to participate."

"So Chairman [Jerry] Nadler has talked about moving to contempt proceedings if the attorney general doesn't comply. What would that actually look like?" CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Cohen on Friday.

"Well I hope it would be inherent contempt because in inherent contempt we go out and take him and bring him in and have him personally brought to the House. If it is a —" Cohen began.

"You want to send out the sergeant at arms and force the attorney general to come?" Cooper asked.

"Yes, because otherwise it is up to the Justice Department. The Justice Department is not going to do anything to take a contempt citation from us and enforce it against their boss. So you have an impossible situation and it leaves us no other alternative except to use our sergeant at arms and to bring him in," Cohen said.

Barr declined to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday due to disagreements about the hearing's format. Cohen brought a bucket of KFC chicken and a ceramic chicken to the hearing to mock Barr as a "chicken."

Cohen said Barr's actions prove contempt of Congress.

"He is being utterly contemptuous of Congress. He has lied to the Congress. [Florida Rep.] Charlie Crist asked him about the attitudes or the feelings of the Mueller people and he claimed he had no idea. He lied. Speaker Pelosi said that yesterday. She's correct."

"When you say bring him in, do you actually support the idea of putting him in—are you talking about just having him sit for a hearing or locking him up somehow?" Cooper pressed.

"You have to have him sit for a hearing and I think you have to have him locked up unless he agree to participate and come to the hearing," Cohen responded, making an ambiguous reference to someone called "Mike Gates."

Published under: Jerrold Nadler, William Barr