Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general William Barr has a very strong opinion that the president has wide-ranging powers. It is his opinion that the president controls all of the law-making officials, that Trump is the top legal official. The Associate Press (AP) states that he will most likely tell the senators at his confirmation hearing that the Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation is “vitally important,” but does he mean it?
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was practically rabid in the Judge Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearing. Now that Senator Charles Grasse (R-IA) has stepped down, Graham will lead the Senate Justiciary Committee. Everyone hopes that the old Graham will return with his sense of humor and sense of fairness. There are no bets on how likely that will be.
The AP obtained Barr’s prepared remarks. From them, we know that Barr will tell the committee:
‘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.’
Barr also plans to explain how he will deal with Mueller’s final report from the investigation into Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential election and the conspiracy between Trump and Moscow. Therefore, Barr will say it is “very important” to make public the Mueller’s results:
‘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 decisions.’
The nominee knows that the Mueller investigation will stand front and center in his hearing, so he wants to “reassure Democratic senators.” The senators have every right to be concerned about Barr’s recent very lengthly memo to Trump basically applying for the AG job. The nominee stood right beside the president in his opinions.
Barr also wants to deal with Trump letting former FBI director James Comey go. The president’s nominee rightfully raised alarms among the Democrats in the Senate Judiciary Committee, because he specially sided with POTUS on this, too.
Barr will insist that Trump:
‘…sought no assurances, promises, or commitments from me of any kind, either express or implied. As Attorney General, my allegiance will be to the rule of law, the Constitution, and the American people. That is how it should be. That is how it must be. And, if you confirm me, that is how it will be.’
If he is confirmed, the new AG will be in charge of the Mueller investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that he would be retiring after the special counsel’s probe is over. Rosenstein will have more information about how much longer the Mueller investigation continues.
Barr would take acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s place. The acting AG refused to recuse himself from Mueller’s investigation, even though he had made negative comments about it on television. Barr, too, made negative comments in his memo to Trump. Will he recuse himself as former attorney general Jeff Sessions did? That is the legally correct path to take.
Barr intends to tell the committee that his memo to Trump dealt narrowly on obstruction. His remarks included:
‘The memo did not address – or in any way question – the Special Counsel’s core investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.