Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Bill Barr penned memo critical of Mueller probe, acting AG won't recuse

U.S. attorney general speaks during a meeting with local law enforcement officers in the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Iowa in Des Moines Iowa Nov. 14 2018 Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images
Patty Aguilar | 21 December, 2018, 07:56

The probe has already ensnared Trump's former campaign manager, former personal lawyer and his former national security adviser.

Barr's memo argues there'd be disastrous consequences for the Justice Department and the presidency if Mueller were to conclude that acts a president is legally permitted to take could constitute obstruction just because someone concluded there was corrupt intent.

"Apart from whether Mueller [has] a strong enough factual basis for doing so, Mueller's obstruction theory is fatally misconceived", Barr wrote.

The 20-page, memo, sent in June while Barr was in private practice and months before he was selected by Trump for the AG gig, could factor into his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee and may prompt questions about his ability to remain impartial.

The full repercussions of the President's behavior toward Comey are yet to be resolved, as the matter is still under investigation by Mueller.

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All three come from Marrakesh, and one of them had "a court record linked to terrorist acts", police spokesman Boubker Sabik said. Lars Loekke Rasmussen said Thursday that "there are still dark forces that want to fight our values" and "we must not give in".

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Barr, who was attorney general in 1991-93 under president George H.W. Bush, sent the memo to the Justice Department as a "former official" offering his views. The official said Barr had "no non-public information about the Special Counsel's investigation when preparing the memorandum (and still has none)", which he wrote as a "former official" when he was a law firm partner and private citizen.

"I think the President should withdraw this nomination", said Warner. "Many people offer unsolicited advice, directly or through the news media, about legal issues they believe are pending before the Department of Justice".

Whitaker's past criticism of the Russian Federation investigation has raised questions about whether he can oversee it fairly. "His memo has had no impact on the investigation".

The Wall Street Journal was first to report on the memo.

Trump has already picked former Attorney-General William Barr to become the department's new permanent chief, but the nomination needs to be approved by the Senate. He told The Hill past year that "leaks" from the special counsel's team "raise questions as to whether there is an agenda".

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