As U.S. Attorney General William Barr faced Senate Democrats on Wednesday, defending his rollout of Special Counsel Robert Mueller III’s report on the Russia investigation, a separate storm brewed in a House hearing room half a mile away.

In preparation for a Thursday hearing with Barr, the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to allow Republican and Democratic staff to question the attorney general. It was just the move the Justice Department warned would deter Barr from appearing. Hours after his Senate testimony, Barr announced he wouldn’t be showing up Thursday.

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