Lindsey Graham: William Barr Will Not Interfere with Mueller Probe

(INSET: Robert Mueller) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: Attorney General nominee William Barr (L) poses for photographs before a meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in his office in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 09, 2019 in Washington, DC. Barr's confirmation hearing …
Chip Somodevilla, Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said at a press conference Wednesday that Attorney General nominee William Barr will not hinder Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.

Sen. Graham, the incoming chair of the  Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Barr would interfere with Mueller’s investigation.

The South Carolina senator also asked Barr if he believes Mueller has pursued a “witch hunt” against President Donald Trump. Barr said, “no.”

“I asked Mr. Barr directly, do you think, Bob, Mr. Mueller’s on a witch hunt? He said no,” Graham revealed. “And do you see any reason for Mr. Mueller’s investigation to be stopped? He said no.”

Barr told the South Carolina senator that he would follow Department of Justice (DOJ) procedure while “erring on the side of transparency” about sharing Mueller’s final report with Congress and the public.

Graham also said that Mueller will be “fair” to President Donald Trump and believes that Barr has no reason to stop Mueller’s investigation. The Mueller investigation into alleged Russian interference in the November 2016 election has been going on for almost two years.

“I can assure you based upon what I heard; he has a high opinion of Mr. Mueller… He has no reason for Mr. Mueller to stop doing his job and is committed to letting Mr. Mueller finish his work,” Graham said.

Graham also said that Barr explained to him that he wrote his memo criticizing the Mueller investigation because he was concerned about the precedent of obstruction of justice as well as the firing of political appointees.

Outgoing Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Graham announced last week that they will convene hearings on January 15 and 16 to consider the nomination of William Barr to serve as Attorney General. Matthew Whitaker currently serves as the Acting Attorney General after Jeff Sessions left the post last year.

In December, Sen. Graham said President Trump made an outstanding choice with the nomination of Barr.

“Mr. Barr is highly capable, highly respected, and will provide new and much-needed leadership for the Department of Justice,” Graham said.

“I will do everything in my power to push him through the Senate Judiciary Committee and onto the floor of the Senate for eventual confirmation as soon as possible,” he added.


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