Attorney General William Barr’s refusal to appear before the House Judiciary Committee Thursday is giving critics plenty of ammunition, but few are taking advantage of the opportunity like Rep. Steve Cohen.
The Tennessee Democrat held a press conference this morning before the Committee met, calling the attorney general “Chicken Barr” while holding a ceramic hen. After he took his seat, though, things got especially surreal.
Cohen, once he placed his ceramic chicken in full view on his podium, pulled out a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and began to chow down on it. It was not yet 9 a.m.
As political stunts go, it was plenty noteworthy, but this one likely involved some planning as well. KFC restaurants aren’t generally open for breakfast, meaning this was likely day-old cold chicken Cohen chose for breakfast.
Cohen had plenty of other rhetoric in his criticism of Barr’s decision, saying “the Black Sox look clean compared to this team” and comparing him to Roy Cohn, a well known political fixer during the McCartney hearings and a one-time mentor to Trump.
But really, it’s hard to top sitting on Capitol Hill gnawing on a chicken breast in terms of making a scene.
Barr’s decision not to attend the hearing heightened tensions with the Democratic-controlled committee, which has already authorized a subpoena to the Justice Department to obtain an unredacted version of Special Council Robert Mueller’s report as well as the underlying evidence. Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York has said subpoenaing Barr is a possibility.