Barr Vows He'd Let Mueller ‘Complete His Work’ on Russia Probe

Jan 16, 2019, 02:00
Barr Vows He'd Let Mueller ‘Complete His Work’ on Russia Probe

Barr's comments on the so-called "Mueller report" were somewhat complicated because, as he correctly pointed out, Mueller is not directed to release a report under the special counsel's guidelines.

Is Barr willing to submit to a Justice Department ethics review to determine whether he can oversee the Mueller investigation, given the 19 page unsolicited memo he wrote opposing it?

William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, had, by all reports, a hard time as Trump's top Justice Department official.

"My goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law", according to the prepared remarks.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference to announce a criminal law enforcement action involving China, at the Department of Justice in Washington, Nov. 1, 2018. Barr said he would not let Trump modify the report and would make public as many of Mueller's findings as possible. He said he would not fire Mueller even if Trump asked him to do it and called it "unimaginable" that Mueller would do anything to require his termination.

At the confirmation hearing, Barr argued his memo was "narrow in scope" and did not address the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and other "potential obstruction-of-justice theories".

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Barr said that he felt that he was in a position in life where he could do the right thing and not really care about the consequences.

"I will not be bullied into doing anything that I think is wrong by anybody, whether it be editorial boards or Congress or the president", Barr told the hearing.

Barr's confirmation hearing is set to begin to Tuesday morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

When pressed on when the last time he visited a port of entry was, the nominee admitted that it was when he was attorney general during the first Bush administration at the beginning of the 1990's.

But he nonetheless faced skeptical questions from Democrats over whether he could oversee without bias or interference the remainder of Mueller's probe.

Those stances raised alarms that Barr could stifle the investigation as it reaches its final stages or make decisions that protect the president. The nominee said he has known Mueller "personally and professionally for 30 years", having worked together at the Justice Department.

"I don't believe Mr Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt", he said when asked by the Republican chairman of the committee, Senator Lindsey Graham of SC. Lindsey Graham of SC.

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He also previously said the president's firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey was appropriate and that the Mueller team, criticized by Trump for including prosecutors who have contributed to Democrats, should have had more "balance".

"We're relying on you to clean this place up", Graham said of the Justice Department. "I am going to do what I think is right", Mr Barr told senators.

On Saturday, Trump was asked by a Fox News host whether he had ever worked for Russian Federation and said: "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked", but did not give a yes or no answer.

Barr says multiple times in the prepared testimony that Mueller will be allowed "to complete his work" but doesn't say how long he might give him to do so.

Barr, who met with lawmakers last week to ensure them he would uphold the investigation, will tell the senators that the president "sought no assurances, promises, or commitments from me of any kind, either express or implied".

He defended his "entirely proper" decision to criticise Mr Mueller's investigation into whether the president had sought to obstruct justice.

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