Democrat mocks Barr with bucket of fried chicken at hearing

Barr opted against testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Image: Steve Cohen
Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, eats chicken during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, on May 2, 2019.Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images

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By Alex Moe and Allan Smith

A Democratic congressman brought a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and — presumably, in case his point was lost — a ceramic chicken to a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday to show his displeasure with Attorney General William Barr for opting against testifying before the committee.

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., brought (and, in one case, ate) the props as a way to mock Barr for being, as he called it, afraid to face the committee.

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Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., did not miss out, grabbing a piece of KFC and eating it on the dais.

"The message is Bill Barr is a chicken," Cohen said in an interview with MSNBC.

Outside the hearing room, Cohen told reporters, "Chicken Barr should have shown up today and answered questions."

"This man was picked to be Roy Cohn and to be Donald Trump’s fixer," Cohen added, naming the former prosecutor and Sen. Joseph McCarthy chief counsel, who was Trump’s attorney and fixer in the 1970s and '80s. "The Black Sox look clean compared to this team. It is a sad day in America."

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The committee moved forward Thursday morning with the hearing on special counsel Robert Mueller's report even though Barr skipped out on testifying. Barr and the committee's Democratic leadership were at odds over the format of the hearing — specifically whether Barr could be questioned by staff, in addition to lawmakers. The attorney general had made clear he only wanted to be questioned by House members.

The decision not to appear before the committee could lead House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to subpoena the attorney general, although he has not yet done so.