William Barr: 'I will not be bullied,' Trump nominee says


Barr will offer his testimony - he's already submitted his written remarks, which he tells senators it's "vitally important" that special counsel Robert Mueller be allowed to finish the Russian Federation investigation.

"He's certainly been responsive to the questions". When asked if there were a scenario where he would ignore the recommendations of DOJ ethics officials as attorney general he said, "If I disagreed with it".

Barr also pledged at his confirmation hearing to support and uphold the False Claims Act, a law that lets whistleblowers file lawsuits to help the federal government recover losses due to fraud.

Beyond working together, Barr and Mueller have remained in each other's orbit during their long stints in private law practice in Washington.

He said he followed up with a memo to Rosenstein in June that argued that Mueller should not be able to interview the president about his decision to fire James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Barr also testified that he would not carry out any order from the president to fire Mueller without good cause and that he was "not going to be bullied into doing anything I think is wrong".

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Barr says he believes that the "current system is untenable."
Although still dissatisfied, Judiciary Committee Democrats would not go so far as to outright oppose his confirmation.

How did the nominee assert independence?

Speaking again about the Mueller inquiry, Mr Barr also said he would only allow a subpoena of Mr Trump "if there was a factual basis".

If Mr Barr wins confirmation, he will be put in charge of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and any possible collusion between Moscow and Mr Trump's campaign.

Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the committee, told Barr the memo showed "a determined effort, I thought, to undermine Bob Mueller".

Three members of the committee are considering a run for the White House, including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

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In his opening statement, Barr, who was attorney general under the Republican president George HW Bush in the 1990s, promised "as much transparency as I can" on the Mueller report, but added that the degree of transparency would be "consistent with the law". But he stopped short of promising the full, unedited report would be released.

"He was interested in that, wanted to know what I thought about Mueller's integrity and so forth and so on", Barr told senators. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told The Daily Beast.

Asked if he would be voting to confirm Barr, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse told Newsweek his "concerns are still pretty serious, but we'll see". He said he and his wife had been "sort of looking forward to a bit of respite and I didn't want to stick my head into that meat grinder".

The nomination of Barr raised concerns related to how he might treat Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which he would be overseeing if confirmed for the position.

"There are different kinds of recusal", Barr explained.

"The most interesting part of it, maybe the most disturbing part of it-it's not Mr. Barr's fault-and I have been afraid of this, is whether the report will be made public is very uncertain". "At the end of the day, I would make my decision based on the law and the facts". Rosenstein didn't respond and was "sphinxlike", Barr recalled. The New York Times reported that after Mr. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the FBI opened a counter-intelligence probe to determine whether Mr. Trump, wittingly or unwittingly, worked on behalf of the Kremlin. She said she was concerned by his lack of specifics when asked if he'd recuse himself from involvement with the Mueller probe. He also noted the Justice Department does not typically disclose information about people it decides not to prosecute.

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