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Thursday’s fine display of congressional decorum came in the form of Rep. Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, eating a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Cohen’s stunt was a jab at Attorney General Bill Barr, who chickened out and failed to show up to testify before the House a day after he was grilled by a Senate committee. Cohen brought another, not-edible chicken prop as well. While holding a ceramic chicken, he lambasted “Chicken Barr” for ghosting the committee.
“Chicken Barr should have shown up today and answered questions,” Cohen said.
Cohen said that Barr was acting not as the attorney general — who is supposed to independently run the Justice Department — but instead was functioning as President Trump’s personal attorney.
“The Black Sox look clean compared to this team,” Cohen said, clutching and touting his ceramic chicken. “It’s a sad day in America.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Barr all day Wednesday, with some terse exchanges such as when Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat, told Barr to his face that he should resign. Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat who's running for president, also got Barr grimacing when she asked if Trump had ever instructed him to investigate anyone. He dodged the question.
On Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Barr had committed a crime during his testimony.
“Well, yesterday was quite a day. I really lost sleep last night watching over and over again the testimony of the attorney general of the United States,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday. “How sad it is for us to see the top law enforcement officer in our country misrepresenting, withholding the truth from the Congress of the United States.”
Cover: Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, provided symbolic props as the panel waited for Attorney General William Barr, who refused to testify at the hearing on the Mueller report, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)