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William Barr U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before the House Appropriations Committee during a U.S. Department of Justice FY 2020 budget hearing April 9. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ

On Thursday, an empty chair and a name card stood as the latest symbols of the Trump administration’s defiance of House Democrats.

In the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing room, lawmakers convened as scheduled for a hearing with Attorney General William Barr knowing full well he would not take that seat behind the card emblazoned with his name. In the same room the day before, the committee voted along party lines to allow staff to conduct some of the questioning of Barr, an approach the Justice Department cited Wednesday as the reason the attorney general would refuse to appear.

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C. Ryan Barber

C. Ryan Barber, based in Washington, covers government affairs and regulatory compliance. Contact him at [email protected]. On Twitter: @cryanbarber

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