sunny.png
Tuesday November 12th, 2019 5:08PM

Trump's AG pick to face questions on his Russia probe views

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's attorney general nominee will have to navigate his confirmation hearing skillfully, emphasizing his support for Trump's policies while assuring Democrats he will act independently and won't interfere with the special counsel's Russia investigation.

Barr will face questions Tuesday from the Senate Judiciary Committee about his relationship with Trump and his views on executive powers.

Barr plans to tell legislators that Trump never sought any promises, assurances or commitments — and that he didn't offer Trump any — before he was nominated for the post.

Trump has repeatedly complained that his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was insufficiently loyal because he recused himself from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Trump ultimately forced Sessions from office.

Barr, 68, is expected to be confirmed, unless there is a major surprise during the hearing. It would be his second stint as attorney general, a position he held from 1991 to 1993 during the George H.W. Bush administration.

The hearing will be the first time a high-profile nominee will come before the committee since it considered the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct. The panel has a new chairman, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

On Monday, the Justice Department moved to pre-empt the most significant questions that Barr is likely to face by releasing his prepared remarks . Barr plans to tell the senators that it is "vitally important" that Mueller be allowed to complete his investigation and that he believes Congress and the public should learn the results.

"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 says.

Barr describes Mueller, a former Justice Department colleague, as a friend he has known personally and professionally for 30 years. Mueller headed the department's criminal division when Barr served as attorney general.

The special counsel is required to confidentially report his findings to the Justice Department. In his prepared remarks, Barr stops short of directly pledging to release Mueller's report, but he expresses general support for disclosing the findings, whatever they may be.

Democrats had raised concerns about Barr's prior comments about the Russia investigation, including an unsolicited memo he sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last year criticizing the inquiry into whether the president had obstructed justice.

Barr also sent the memo to White House lawyers and discussed it with Trump's personal attorneys and a lawyer who represents Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, he said in a letter to Graham. Copies also were sent by Barr to White House lawyer Emmet Flood, Solicitor General Noel Francisco and Pat Cipollone, who is now White House counsel. Barr said he discussed the contents of the memo with Trump's attorneys, Jay Sekulow and Jane and Martin Raskin.

The development is likely to raise even more questions at the hearing about Barr's contact with those close to Trump ahead of his nomination. He has insisted that the memo was not to influence public opinion about Mueller's investigation.

Barr has previously said the president's firing of FBI Director James Comey was appropriate and that the Mueller prosecution team, criticized by Trump for including prosecutors who have contributed to Democrats, should have had more "balance."

Barr's role leading the Russia investigation may be especially important since Rosenstein, who has overseen the day-to-day work of Mueller's team, expects to leave the Justice Department soon after Barr is confirmed. It is not clear how much of the investigation will be left by then.

Barr would replace acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who declined to recuse himself from the investigation — despite the advice of a Justice Department ethics official and calls from Democrats who cited Whitaker's past critical comments on the probe.

___

Read Barr's prepared testimony: http://apne.ws/x87UoUn

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump's AG pick to face questions on his Russia probe views
President Donald Trump's attorney general nominee expected to face questions about Russia probe, executive powers at confirmation hearing
8:24AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Shiffrin dominates giant slalom for 10th victory of season
Mikaela Shiffrin takes advantage of a massive first-run lead to win a World Cup giant slalom on Tuesday and earn her 10th victory of the season
8:23AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Huawei founder says company would not share user secrets
Huawei founder says company would reject Chinese government demand to disclose user secrets
8:05AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
China criticizes Trudeau comments on death penalty case
China is expressing "strong dissatisfaction" with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his criticism of a death sentence given to an alleged Canadian drug smuggler following a chilling of relations over the arrest of a Chinese technology executive
7:41AM ( 55 minutes ago )
UK lawmakers prepare to deliver verdict on EU divorce deal
Lawmakers in Britain are preparing to deliver their verdict on Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal with the European Union after two years of political upheaval and talks with the bloc
7:31AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump's AG pick to steer through Dem, GOP queries at hearing
President Donald Trump's attorney general nominee expected to face questions about Russia probe, executive powers at confirmation hearing
7:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
EPA criminal action against polluters hits 30-year low
Government figures show the EPA has hit a 30-year low in the number of pollution cases referred for criminal prosecution
12:33AM ( 8 hours ago )
The shutdown today: Trump says he'll 'never, ever back down'
The shutdown today: Trump says he'll 'never, ever back down'
12:04AM ( 8 hours ago )
Iowa's King off House committees after remarks about race
House GOP denies Iowa's Steve King a place on committees after remarks about race
12:03AM ( 8 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
At Trump's side, Border Patrol union leader in spotlight
Trump's focus on border also casts spotlight on Border Patrol and its union president
7:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Germany plays down Brexit deal renegotiation
Germany's foreign minister is playing down the possibility that British Prime Minister Theresa May will get a better Brexit deal if the agreement she's negotiated with Brussels is rejected by Parliament later Tuesday.
6:58AM ( 1 hour ago )
Family's fight for liquor license leads to Supreme Court
Supreme Court set to hear dispute over Tennessee's residency requirements for liquor store owners
12:34AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
GOP Rep. King loses committee posts over racial remarks
Veteran Republican Rep. Steve King will be blocked from committee assignments for the next two years after remarks lamenting that white supremacy and white nationalism have become offensive terms
8:30PM ( 12 hours ago )
Senate GOP leader rips Rep. King over white supremacy remark
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denounces Republican Rep. Steve King over his latest remarks on white supremacy
7:51PM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: May says Brexit won't see workers' rights cut
British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to win support for her European Union divorce deal by promising that her government won't try to water down environmental standards and workers' rights after Brexit
7:50PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
AG pick to reassure senators he backs sentencing overhaul
AG nominee faces questions about his push for harsher sentences and more prisons in 1990s
12:43PM ( 3 days ago )
Backstage drama accompanies Romania's debut in EU presidency
Romania's government is carrying backstage drama as it makes a debut in a new role at the European Union
5:23PM ( 4 days ago )
Rosenstein, a frequent Trump target, will leave Justice Dept
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave his position soon after William Barr is confirmed as attorney general
6:46PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
Shiffrin dominates giant slalom for 10th victory of season
Mikaela Shiffrin takes advantage of a massive first-run lead to win a World Cup giant slalom on Tuesday and earn her 10th victory of the season
8:23AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Huawei founder says company would not share user secrets
Huawei founder says company would reject Chinese government demand to disclose user secrets
8:05AM ( 31 minutes ago )
VW, Ford team up on pickups, explore electric cooperation
Volkswagen and Ford say they're forming a global alliance in which they will work together to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups while exploring broader cooperation on battery-powered and autonomous vehicles
8:04AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Broadway legend Carol Channing has died at age 97
Actress Carol Channing, whose career spanned decades on Broadway and on television, has died at age 97. Publicist B. Harlan Boll says Channing died of natural causes.
8:03AM ( 34 minutes ago )
UnitedHealth shares move higher on earnings beat
UnitedHealth profit slips, but it beats expectations all around in the fourth quarter
7:49AM ( 47 minutes ago )