William Barr, President Trump’s nominee for attorney general, will be facing the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time on Tuesday for his confirmation process.
As ABC News reports, Barr announced that he would not interfere with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference and potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian entities.
Barr also answered an initial round of questions which included what actions the president could take regarding the Mueller investigation:
As William Barr, President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, begins his confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he’s sure to face tough questions from Democrats over his views on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and a memo that Barr wrote in June 2018 opposing an obstruction of justice case against the president.
Analyzing the president’s firing of then-FBI director James Comey in May 2017, Barr argued in the memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that any obstruction of justice inquiry into Trump based on the firing would be “fatally misconceived.”
Barr knows the Justice Department from his time as attorney general under President George H. W. Bush. And while Democrats acknowledge his previous experience, many insist the current situation is unprecedented, and have been in lockstep demanding assurances from Barr that the Mueller report be made public and that he not interfere or limit the special counsel.
According to the report, Barr immediately addressed the memo in his opening statement.
“I wrote the memo as a former Attorney General who has often weighed in on legal issues of public importance, and I distributed it broadly so that other lawyers would have the benefit of my views,” Barr said to new Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein.
“As I explained in a recent letter to Ranking Member Feinstein, my memo was narrow in scope, explaining my thinking on a specific obstruction-of-justice theory under a single statute that I thought, based on media reports, the Special Counsel might be considering. The memo did not address — or in any way question — the Special Counsel’s core investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election,” Barr continued. “Nor did it address other potential obstruction-of-justice theories or argue, as some have erroneously suggested, that a President can never obstruct justice. I wrote it myself, on my own initiative, without assistance, and based solely on public information.”
Barr continued: “I believe it is in the best interest of everyone — the President, Congress, and, most importantly, the American people — that this matter be resolved by allowing the Special Counsel to complete his work. The country needs a credible resolution of these issues. If confirmed, I will not permit partisan politics, personal interests, or any other improper consideration to interfere with this or any other investigation.”
And, via ABC News:
“Second, I also believe it is very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the Special Counsel’s work. For that reason, my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law. I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made by me, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and will let no personal, political, or other improper interests influence my decision.”
“President Trump has sought no assurances, promises, or commitments from me of any kind, either express or implied, and I have not given him any, other than that I would run the Department with professionalism and integrity,” Barr said. “As Attorney General, my allegiance will be to the rule of law, the Constitution, and the American people. That is how it should be. That is how it must be. And, if you confirm me, that is how it will be.”
— Advertisement —