The House Judiciary Committee chairman says Attorney General William Barr is declining to appear before the panel Thursday because he's "terrified."

Barr was scheduled to appear before the committee on Thursday but will not show up.

The attorney general was asked to testify before the committee about special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation.

New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler said Wednesday the "next step" would be to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to provide a fully unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.

Read more: Barr, Mueller Trade Barbs As Russia Probe Rift Goes Public

Barr has objected to the committee's plan to have attorneys from both sides, Democrats and Republicans, do the questioning, alongside lawmakers on the committee.

Nadler says Barr is "stonewalling" Congress over the Russia probe and "trying to blackmail the committee" by setting the terms of the hearing. The chairman says he hopes Barr reconsiders his decision not to show.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Nadler's insistence that congressional staffers be allowed to question Barr is "inappropriate."

Kupec says the attorney general "remains happy to engage directly" with members of the committee to answer their questions.

His refusal to attend the hearing is likely to cause a further rift with congressional Democrats who have accused him of trying to spin Mueller's report to favor the president.

Barr appeared Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.