Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a harsh rebuke Thursday of President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr after the attorney general decided not to testify before the committee because he objected to the way he would be questioned.

“The president of the United States wants desperately to prevent Congress, a co-equal branch of congress from providing any check whatsoever to even his most reckless decisions. He is trying to render Congress inert as a separate and equal branch of government,” Nadler said.

Nadler said Barr failed “to check the president’s worst instincts.”

He added if Congress did not act, it would risk losing the power to check the president in the future. “The very system of government of the United States, the system of limited power, the system of not having a president as a dictator is very much at stake,” Nadler said.

The House Judiciary Committee will move forward with a scheduled hearing about the Mueller report Thursday without their only witness: Attorney General William Barr. The attorney general said he would not testify if House Democrats allowed committee lawyers to ask questions during a hearing on special counsel Robert Mueller's report. After the House Judiciary Committee voted to do so Wednesday, the Department of Justice said lawmakers were setting “unprecedented and unnecessary” conditions for the hearing. Barr answered questions about his handling of Mueller's report Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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