Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy said Democrats' recent criticism of Attorney General William Barr has gone beyond Washington, D.C.'s usual "theater of the absurd."

Barr boycotted a scheduled House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday morning after Democrats on the committee said they would have legal staffers ask him questions about the Mueller report. 

Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) vowed there would be a "reckoning" and threatened to hold Barr in contempt of Congress. 

"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," he said. 

Later on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi alleged that Barr lied to Congress in testimony last month, drawing a fiery rebuke from the Department of Justice.

McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, said on "Outnumbered" that much of what is happening is "sheer theater," even more so than usual. 

He dismissed the idea that Barr would be held in contempt of Congress for no-showing the hearing, explaining that Barr offered to testify voluntarily, rather than being forced to appear via subpoena. 

McCarthy said he doubts Barr would refuse to appear if he's subpoenaed..

"They want to create the impression that a cover-up is going on," McCarthy said.

He added that the "real news" from the Senate hearing was Barr talking about investigating the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe, including the Steele dossier.

Watch the full discussion above.

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