KEY TAKEAWAYS: Barr Refuses To Commit To Recusing Himself
January 15, 2019
At today’s confirmation hearing, Trump’s attorney general nominee, William Barr, refused to commit to recusing himself from an investigation, would not give straight answers to important questions about Mueller’s investigation, and raised even more questions about how he would use his powers as attorney general. Here are the key takeaways:
Barr repeatedly refused to commit to recuse himself from an investigation, even if recommended by ethics officials.
Barr: “At the end of the day I would make a decision.”
Barr: “I am not going to surrender the responsibilities of the attorney general.”
Barr would not commit to making the Mueller report public.
Washington Post: “William P. Barr threw cold water on the notion that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report might be made public.”
Washington Post: “‘Consistent with the law’ is not, of course, a straightforward ‘yes.’ And it is a notable caveat as the White House gears up to potentially assert executive privilege to block parts of the Mueller report, parts of which that Barr has previously suggested could be ‘fatally misconceived.’”
Barr said he discussed the Mueller probe with the White House.
Feinstein: “Have you discussed the Mueller investigation with the president or anyone else in the White House?”
Barr: “I discussed the Mueller investigation….”
Barr could not say whether anyone gave him nonpublic information regarding the Mueller probe.
Daily Beast: “Asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) if he received any nonpublic information about the Mueller probe, Barr hedged: ‘I don’t recall getting any confidential information about the investigation.’”
Barr claimed he would not allow politics to interfere in his job, but pledged to investigate debunked right-wing conspiracies.
Vox: “Put together, it’s clear that Graham used one of the most important moments of the hearing — the chair’s initial questions — to hear the attorney general’s views on right-wing talking points. What’s more, when it comes to Strzok, Page, and the Ohrs, it seems Barr shares some of Graham’s worries.”