Trump's attorney general pick: Robert Mueller is not overseeing a 'witch hunt'

Attorney general nominee William Barr visited Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office Thursday

President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general asserted independence from the White House on Tuesday, saying he believed that Russian Federation had tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, that the special counsel investigation shadowing Trump is not a witch hunt and that his predecessor was right to recuse himself from the probe. She said senior ethics officials were consulted about the memo and have advised that it presents no conflict of interest to Barr's work as attorney general.

William Barr, who will oversee the Mueller probe if confirmed to the role, vowed to allow the investigation to be completed during a grilling by U.S. senators on Tuesday.

Mueller may submit his findings to the Justice Department as early as February, according to one US official.

"The memo did not address - or in any way question - the Special Counsel's core investigation", Barr will tell the panel. Barr also discussed the contents of the memo with Trump's attorneys, Jay Sekulow and Jane and Martin Raskin, the person said. "I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made by me, I will make those judgments based exclusively on the law and will let no personal, political, or other improper interests influence my decisions".

His prospective boss may not be a fan of the Robert Mueller investigation, but Attorney General nominee William Barr promises that he won't interfere with it.

In that capacity he supported Bush's use of his pardon power on six government officials who were involved with the Iran-Contra affair, including former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who had been set to face trial for allegedly lying to Congress.

In the memo, Barr argues that it could be disastrous for the presidency and the Justice Department if Mueller concludes that actions the president is legally permitted to take - including firing an Federal Bureau of Investigation director or granting a pardon - could constitute obstruction because of a subjective determination that they were done with corrupt intent.

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Democrats - and perhaps Republicans - are sure to have questions about Barr's approach to Mueller, especially since Barr has been critical of the Mueller probe in the past.

Mueller's investigation and other inquiries have clouded Trump's two years in office.

Barr was introduced Tuesday by former Utah Sen.

Last year, Barr sent an unsolocited memo to Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein where he said that special counsel Robert Mueller "should not be permitted to demand that the president submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction, and further, that Mueller's "obstruction theory is fatally misconceived".

Barr said the memo was narrowly focused on a single theory of obstruction that media reports suggested Mueller might be considering.

Barr says multiple times in the prepared testimony that Mueller will be allowed "to complete his work" but doesn't say how long he might give him to do so. Sessions drew the president's ire for recusing himself from the Russiagate investigation; the president made no effort to hide his frustration with Sessions before firing him one day after the 2018 midterms. "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".

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, had, by all reports, a hard time as Trump's top Justice Department official.

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