President Trump’s pick for new Attorney General, William Barr, was in front of Congress, defending his memo critical of Mueller but also the investigation itself. The Free Beacon reports:
William Barr, President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, said on Tuesday during his confirmation hearing that it is “vitally important” special counsel Robert Mueller be allowed to conclude his Russia probe.
“I believe it is vitally important that the special counsel be allowed to complete his investigation,” Barr said. “I have known Bob Mueller for 30 years. We worked closely together throughout my previous tenure at the Department of Justice. We have been friends since. And I have the utmost respect for Bob and his distinguished record of public service.”
If confirmed, Barr will have oversight over Mueller’s investigation, a fact that has raised concerns among some Democrats because of a memo Barr wrote about the Mueller investigation. In a 19-page memo, Barr wrote that Trump’s publicly reported interactions with former FBI Director James Comey do not constitute obstruction of justice.
“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. My memo is narrow, 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,” Barr said. “The memo did not address or in any other way question the special counsel’s core investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the election, nor did it address other potential obstruction of justice theories or argue, as some have strongly suggested, that a president can never obstruct justice.”
Barr is a respected prosecutor, and his skepticism at Mueller being grounded in the law and not partisanship should restore order and confidence in the Department of Justice.