Published: Tue, January 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Confirmation Hearing of Attorney General Nominee William Barr

Confirmation Hearing of Attorney General Nominee William Barr

Attorney General nominee William Barr will allow special counsel Robert Mueller to complete his investigation if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, according to prepared remarks he's poised to deliver at Tuesday's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. On Tuesday, Barr will seek to assure lawmakers that the memo was narrowly focused on a single theory of obstruction that media reports suggested Mueller might be considering, according to a copy of his prepared remarks provided by the Justice Department. "And, if you confirm me, that is how it will be, and I have not given him any, other than that I would run the Department with professionalism and integrity".

Barr stopped short, however, of guaranteeing that all of Mueller's findings will be given to Congress and the public.

Barr says pressuring "chronic, violent criminals", protecting free speech rights, enforcing immigration laws and "fostering confidence" in election outcomes would be his priorities as attorney general. "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 will offer his testimony - he's already submitted his written remarks, which he tells senators it's "vitally important" that special counsel Robert Mueller be allowed to finish the Russian Federation investigation.

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker has been criticized by Democrats, both over his qualifications and what they say is demonstrated bias against special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. Though the president's legal team has gone back and forth about whether Trump would speak directly with Mueller, his most prominent lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, recently said that an interview would only happen "over my dead body".

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Barr has a history of supporting presidential power. Republicans now hold 53 of the Senate's 100 seats. His confirmation hearings are likely to be dominated by questions about Mueller and how he would handle that inquiry.

The special counsel is required to report his findings confidentially to the Justice Department. "And I am led to believe by people who have interacted with the special counsel that we should be prepared for him to release a report that is anti-climactic". He said he raised his concerns at a lunch previous year with the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and oversees his work. His careful phrasing doesn't clearly commit him to a hands-off approach. Last year, Barr wrote a memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein critical of the Mueller probe.

But he also offered comments that may appeal to Democrats.

He said he would also prioritize voting rights and efforts to ensure that foreign powers do not interfere with USA elections.

He also pledged "zero tolerance" for hate crimes, saying "we can only survive and thrive as nation if we are mutually tolerant of each other's differences - whether they be differences based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or political thinking".

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