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

Trump Attorney General Nominee William Barr Says He Won't Interfere With Robert Mueller Investigation

Trump Attorney General Nominee William Barr Says He Won't Interfere With Robert Mueller Investigation

Special Counsel Robert Mueller wanted to have a sit-down interview with President Donald Trump to ask follow-up questions to his written responses on a series of topics related to the Russian Federation investigation that he completed in November, but the president's team refused the request in recent weeks, according a new report from CNN.

Trump has repeatedly castigated Mueller's investigation, calling it a "witch hunt, " and lambasted and ultimately pushed out his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for removing himself from the matter because of his work with the 2016 Trump campaign. The Office of Legal Counsel, within the Justice Department, is likely to offer the president a legal opinion on taking such an action.

Mueller is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, including "any links and/or co-ordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump".

Barr as a private citizen penned a June memo that went after the Mueller probe. "So I certainly would consultant with them, and at the end of the day, I would make a decision in good faith based on the laws and the facts that are evident at that time".

Barr would replace acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who declined to recuse himself from the investigation.

Barr acknowledged a president can commit obstruction of justice by destroying evidence or tampering with witnesses.

Barr said in his prepared testimony released on Monday that his assumptions about Mueller's use of the law were based on "media reports", and not on any detailed awareness about what was taking place within the Justice Department.

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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 a year ago that called the investigation "fatally misconceived" only outlined his concerns that Mueller might be misinterpreting one aspect of the law.

Noting that his personal and professional relationship with special counsel Robert Mueller extends back 30 years, William Barr said he and Mueller have "been friends" since they worked together at the US Justice Department in the early 1990s. He said there were other instances in which he had given advice to the Justice Department, such as cautioning against a prosecution of Democratic Sen.

Barr's own statements about the inquiry have suggested that he is far more sympathetic to Trump's criticisms of Mueller than Sessions or Rosenstein. "During this week's confirmation, senators must secure from Barr his commitment to permit the Mueller investigation to continue to its natural conclusion".

According to Barr, Congress and the public should be "be informed of the results of the special counsel's work".

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

Barr said in his prepared testimony he meant to "keep up the pressure" on chronic violent criminals; focus on the danger of political violence in what he called a highly divided nation; and execute the administration's priorities on border and immigration enforcement.

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