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Barr Vows He'd Let Mueller ‘Complete His Work’ on Russia Probe
16 January 2019, 01:14 | Tara Lloyd
Erin Schaff The New York Times Attorney general nominee William Barr visited Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office Thursday
Barr has been nominated to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who infuriated the president by recusing himself from oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into charges that the Trump campaign conspired with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election. "But people who are closest to what Mueller is doing, who have interacted with the special counsel, cautioned me that this report is certain to be anti-climatic".
He repeatedly said special counsel Robert Mueller must be allowed to complete his inquiry into whether the Trump campaign colluded with an alleged Russian plot to influence the 2016 USA presidential election.
Those comments by William Barr at his Senate confirmation hearing pointedly departed from Trump's own views and underscored Barr's efforts to reassure Democrats that he will not be a loyalist to a president who has appeared to demand it from law enforcement.
"My goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law", he said.
'If confirmed, I will not permit partisan politics, personal interests, or any other improper consideration to interfere with this or any other investigation, ' Barr said in his written remarks.
He called Mueller's posture 'grossly irresponsible" and said it had "potentially disastrous implications'.
"William Barr, who has wrongfully suggested that LGBTQ people - not Trump and his destructive policies - have harmed the United States, is the latest in a long line of replacements who President Trump has appointed to his Cabinet who are just as anti-LGBTQ as their predecessors", said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD in a statement to Towleroad. He also repeatedly sought to assuage concerns that he might disturb or upend special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as it reaches its final stages.
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".
Sen. Dick Durbin, of IL, on ABC's "This Week" said he wants "ironclad assurances" of Barr's independence and willingess to let Mueller finish his probe.
"I think it was entirely proper", he said of the memo, saying it was not unusual for former Justice Department officials to share their views of legal matters. Last year, Barr wrote a memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein critical of the Mueller probe.
Attorney-General nominee William Barr departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., on January 9, 2019. He said presidents can not be criminally investigated for actions they are permitted to take under the Constitution, such as firing officials who work for them, just because of a subjective determination that they may have had a corrupt state of mind. Barr said that he believed the brief meeting took place before a White House staff meeting and that the president asked Barr about how well he knew Mueller.
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