WASHINGTON ― William Barr, President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, raised doubts on Tuesday that he would release to the public the complete final report by the special counsel team led by Robert Mueller.
President Donald Trump's nominee for U.S. attorney general, William Barr, told politicians on Tuesday that he would protect a federal probe into Russian election meddling from political pressure, stressing he would bring independence to the job and not shy away from breaking ranks with the administration.
Some Democrats are concerned about that very possibility, citing a memo Barr wrote to the Justice Department before his nomination in which he criticised an aspect of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. Watch the proceedings live, starting at 8:30 a.m. CST.
President Trump had "asked for no assurances, promises or commitments and I gave him none" over his appointment as the government's chief lawyer, Mr... "I have been anxious about this", Kennedy told CNN's John Berman.
Barr stressed he would be independent and not interfere in the Mueller probe.
"I believe it is important that the next attorney general be able to strongly resist pressure, whether from the administration or Congress", California Democrat Dianne Feinstein said.
"I don't believe [special counsel Robert] Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt", Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing to become America's top law enforcement officer, adding that he intends to let the probe run its course and that the results should be made known to the public and Congress. "We worked closely together throughout my previous tenure at the Department of Justice under President Bush".
He said he had no reason to rein in or defund Mueller's probe, both of which Trump has called for as part of his campaign against what he labels "rigged" and "illegal".
"I was speculating, I said at the beginning, I was writing in the dark, and we're all in the dark", said Barr.
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It is a common tradition for every college and professional team to visit the White House upon winning a championship. And I would think that's their favorite food", Trump said.
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?
Some Democrats are concerned about that very possibility, citing a memo Barr wrote to the Justice Department before his nomination in which he criticized Mueller's investigation for the way it was presumably looking into whether Trump had obstructed justice.
Apart from the Mueller investigation, Barr sketched out an expansive view of executive power that fits within current Republican thinking while also giving Trump leeway to pursue his goals. Rosenstein didn't respond and was "sphinxlike", Barr recalled.
During a break in the hearing, Blumenthal told reporters he had not made up his mind on whether he'd vote for Barr's confirmation. Barr sent the document to White House lawyers and discussed it with Trump's personal attorneys and a lawyer representing Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, among others.
Barr told senators on Tuesday that he met with Trump in the summer of 2017 at Friedman's urging but ultimately declined the assignment. It is not clear how much of the investigation will be left by then.
He repeatedly refused to commit to recusing himself from an investigation, even if recommended by ethics officials. 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.
Finally, Barr should be asked whether he would endorse Trump granting pardons to associates, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
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".