Trump’s AG pick says he might keep Mueller's report from being fully released
On Monday, Trump’s pick for attorney general, William Barr, submitted his written answers to Senate questions, and they do little to quell the fear that he will work to protect Trump instead of serving the people.
First, Barr admitted that he has previously discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation with Mike Pence. Pence long ago hired a criminal lawyer to represent him in his dealings with the special counsel. Pence has also pressured Mueller to end his investigation, saying “[I]n the interest of the country, I think it’s time to wrap it up.”
The fact that Pence has discussed this investigation with Barr would, in any other administration, likely be grounds for disqualification from the position. Combine this with Trump trying to hire Barr to represent him personally in the Russia probe, and it is absurd that this nomination proceeds.
Barr is also engaging in some complicated wordsmithing about Mueller and the final report from the Russia investigation. He has said that he would resign rather than terminate Mueller for anything other than good cause. That’s great, but he also refuses to say he would release the entirety of the Mueller report. Instead, he said his “goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law.”
Barr appears to base part of that refusal on his belief “that it is Department policy and practice not to criticize individuals for conduct that does not warrant prosecution.” Tell that to Hillary Clinton. When James Comey was director of the FBI, he ignored that edict and gave an unprecedented press conference during the 2016 election slamming Clinton for her use of a personal email server even though the investigation found no wrongdoing.
Given Trump’s displeasure with Jeff Sessions’ recusal from overseeing the Russia probe, it’s difficult to believe that Trump would nominate someone who isn’t going to protect him from the consequences of that investigation. It’s looking an awful lot like Barr is willing to do just that.
Published with permission of The American Independent. Attribution: Lisa Needham.