Trump’s attorney-general nominee pledges to shield Mueller’s Russian Federation probe
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Jan 16, 2019,
Jan 16, 2019, 1:57
He will also address concerns that the results of Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation might never be disclosed, saying it is "very important" that Congress and the public be informed of the prosecution team's findings. "Trump is circling the wagons and, obviously, considers the US Attorney General to be his get-out-of-jail-free card", explains Fredrickson. Barr has already met with a number of senators on the committee individually.
Until a new attorney general is confirmed, the department is led by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. "If confirmed, I will not permit partisan politics, personal interests, or any other improper consideration to interfere with this or any other investigation". "I can nearly guarantee he'll cross the line at some point", Vermont Sen.
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 I think is wrong by anybody, whether it be editorial boards or Congress or the president".
Barr, an attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush, also a Republican, will address his prior criticism of Mueller's probe, telling members of the committee that a memo he sent previous year that called the investigation "fatally misconceived" only outlined his concerns that Mueller might be misinterpreting one aspect of the law. Writing as a "former official deeply concerned with the institutions of the Presidency and Department of Justice", Barr argued, "Mueller should not be permitted to demand that the President submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction".
In his memo, sent in June to Rosenstein and to the head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, Barr criticized as "fatally misconceived" the theory of obstruction that Mueller appeared to be pursuing. The document sparked widespread concern among minority Democrats in the Senate, who have long feared Trump intends to shut down the probe.
"Notable that AG Barr is indicating his support for the Special Counsel's investigation, but serious questions remain", Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a Democratic member of the Judiciary panel, said in a tweet on Monday.
Though Barr said an attorney general should work in concert with an administration's policy goals, he broke from some Trump talking points, including the president's mantra that the Russian Federation probe is a witch hunt.
Netanyahu confirms Israeli strikes targeting 'Iranian warehouses' in Syria
It was 55 metres deep and ran 800 metres inside Lebanese territory and also "dozens" of metres into Israel, he said. Israel, coordinating with United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon, said it sought no escalation.
Two years ago, Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing lasted throughout the day, until around 8 p.m., and it's likely Barr's questioning will also go on for several hours.
The nominee also said he favours strong enforcement of USA antitrust laws and would examine statistics showing that scrutiny of mergers is at historic lows.
"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.
As top U.S. law officer, Mr Barr would lead the Department of Justice, which is meant to be politically independent.
When asked whether he would allow Mueller to subpoena the president if he so chooses, Barr would not give a firm answer.
The nominee criticized so-called "sanctuary cities" that do not notify federal officials about undocumented immigrants who are taken into custody.
Rosenstein, considered by some to be the protector of the Mueller probe, plans to leave his post upon Barr's confirmation, U.S. media reported last week.