The incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that Attorney General nominee William Barr has confidence in special counsel Robert Mueller and will let him complete his Russia investigation.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said after meeting with Barr, who led the Justice Department under President George H.W. Bush, that Barr has a “high opinion” of Mueller. Barr was spending most of Wednesday on Capitol Hill, meeting senators on the committee before his confirmation hearing next week.
“He had absolutely no indication he was going to tell Bob Mueller what to do or how to do it,” Graham said.
President Donald Trump pushed out Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November and made Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker the acting attorney general before nominating Barr in December.
Trump’s critics have expressed concern that Barr may try to curtail Mueller’s investigation, which Trump repeatedly has called a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.” Also, Barr wrote an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department last year critiquing Mueller’s investigation into whether the president had sought to obstruct justice by firing James Comey as FBI director.
Graham said Barr told him about his longtime relationship with Mueller. Barr and Mueller worked together when Barr was Bush’s attorney general between 1991 and 1993 and Mueller oversaw the department’s criminal division. Graham said the two men were “best friends,” that their wives attended Bible study together and that Mueller had attended the weddings of Barr’s children.
“So his opinion of Mr. Mueller is very, very high in terms of ethics and character and professionalism,” Graham said. [Continue reading…]
Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has overseen the Russian election meddling probe, is preparing to leave the U.S. Department of Justice in coming weeks as President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the department is set to take over, a department official said on Wednesday. [Continue reading…]