President Trump’s attorney-general nominee, William Barr, will vow during his upcoming confirmation hearing to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to be completed without interfering in it as many Democrats have publicly feared.
“On my watch, Bob will be allowed to complete his work,” Barr plans to tell the Senate in his opening statement on Tuesday, according to a transcript released on Monday. “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.”
In a likely attempt to preempt the accusation that, if confirmed, he would seek to conceal Mueller’s findings, Barr also plans to concede that both the public and Congress should “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,” he will say.
Prominent Democrats have called on Barr to either withdraw his nomination or recuse himself from overseeing Mueller’s probe, due to a memo he sent to Department of Justice officials in June criticizing the direction of the investigation.
In the 20-page memo, obtained by the Wall Street Journal in December, Barr makes the case that Mueller’s understanding of obstruction of justice as it relates to Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey is “fatally misconceived” and encroaches on executive authority.
Barr, who previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, wrote that he was sending the unsolicited memo as a “former official” who hoped that his “views may be useful.” But prominent Democrats have accused him of sending the memo in an attempt to gain favor with President Trump.