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Barr Vows to Let Mueller Investigation Finish, Says It's 'Very Important' Congress, Public Told of Findings
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=27978"><span class="small">Matt Zapotosky, The Washington Post</span></a>   
Monday, 14 January 2019 13:56

Zapotosky writes: "Attorney general nominee William P. Barr said in written testimony released Monday that he would let special counsel Robert S. Mueller III finish his investigation of Donald Trump's campaign without political interference and that it was 'very important' Congress and the public be informed of the results."

Attorney general nominee William P. Barr, center, arrives to meet with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) on Capitol Hill. Barr's confirmation hearing is set for Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (photo: Alex Brandon/AP)
Attorney general nominee William P. Barr, center, arrives to meet with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) on Capitol Hill. Barr's confirmation hearing is set for Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (photo: Alex Brandon/AP)


Barr Vows to Let Mueller Investigation Finish, Says It's 'Very Important' Congress, Public Told of Findings

By Matt Zapotosky, The Washington Post

14 January 19

 

ttorney general nominee William P. Barr said in written testimony released Monday that he would let special counsel Robert S. Mueller III finish his investigation of Donald Trump’s campaign without political interference and that it was “very important” Congress and the public be informed of the results.

The four-page testimony, released a day ahead of Barr’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, offered a preview of how he will address what his advisers expect to be the most challenging lines of inquiry. Barr has occasionally been critical of the special counsel investigation and wrote in a memo to Justice Department leaders last year that Mueller’s apparent theory of possible obstruction of justice by the president was “fatally misconceived.”

In his written testimony, Barr vowed to maintain the Justice Department’s independence and said that President Trump — who has been publicly critical of federal law enforcement — “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.”

Of the investigation into whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election, Barr said it was “vitally important that the Special Counsel be allowed to complete his investigation,” and that he had confidence Mueller, who he considered a friend, would handle the matter properly.

“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. “I will follow the Special Counsel regulations scrupulously and in good faith, and on my watch, Bob will be allowed to complete his work.”

Barr said it would be his goal to “provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law” about the results of the investigation, though he offered no specific commitments about what would become public or turned over to Congress.

Barr’s confirmation hearing, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, is likely to be dominated by questions about Mueller and how Barr will treat that investigation.

Though Barr, a former attorney general, deputy attorney general and head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, unquestionably has the experience to once again lead the department, Democratic lawmakers have said they are troubled by what he has said previously about the special counsel and related Justice Department matters.

In 2017, for example, Barr said that he would have liked to have seen “more balance” on Mueller’s team — which includes many lawyers who have given political contributions to Democrats — and he wrote that Trump’s decision to fire James B. Comey as FBI director was “quite understandable.”

Barr, now a lawyer in private practice, wrote a lengthy memo to the Justice Department in June 2018 questioning Mueller’s ability to investigate whether the president had sought to obstruct justice, in part by firing Comey, and proclaimed that Mueller “should not be permitted to demand that the President submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction.”

That assertion could be particularly important, because if Barr was confirmed before Mueller’s work was done, he would likely have to approve a bid by the special counsel to force the president to answer questions in the case.

So far, Trump has answered only a limited set of Mueller’s inquiries in writing.

Barr said in his written testimony that his 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.” He disputed the idea that it advanced a theory that the president could never obstruct justice.

Barr also laid out what he would consider key priorities of the Justice Department if he were confirmed. He said his department would focus on violent crime and said he was particularly concerned that “violence is also rearing its head in the political realm.”

Barr said he would continue the Justice Department’s focus on enforcing immigration laws — a top priority of previous Attorney General Jeff Sessions — and he would devote resources to “protecting the integrity of elections.”

“I will build on the work already done by Special Counsel Mueller and current Department of Justice leadership and ensure that the full might of our resources are brought to bear against foreign persons who unlawfully interfere in our elections,” Barr said. “I believe that our country must respond to any foreign interference with the strongest measures, and we must work with partners at the state level to ensure that our election infrastructure is completely protected.”

Republicans have majority control in the Senate, meaning even if Democrats unanimously oppose Barr, there is little they can do to stop his confirmation.

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+3 # futhark 2019-01-15 03:30
The Mueller investigation cannot be revealed at the "witch hunt" it is claimed to be if its progress is in any way impeded by political manipulation. If this kind of unfortunate event were to occur, the public would never really know or could ever possibly be convinced of the innocence of Mr. Trump and his operatives. Echoes of suspicion would sound and resound throughout the decades and centuries to come and no one, especially the staunch and loyal supporters of the President, would want his sterling reputation to perpetually to suffer in this manner. ;-)
 
 
+2 # hectormaria 2019-01-15 08:55
Words, words, words I'm so sick of deceptive words from those whose goal is to deceive and con the public (are you listening politicians).
 
 
+2 # jon 2019-01-15 10:04
Why would our current crop of Republicans confirm an AG that talks about running the Department with professionalism and integrity?
 
 
0 # lfeuille 2019-01-15 18:29
They know he's lying.