Should William Barr recuse himself from the Mueller investigation? | The Tylt
William Barr has accepted President Trump's nomination to replace Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Barr has decades of experience, previously serving as Attorney General under George H.W. Bush. Last year, Barr sent a memo to the Justice Department, claiming Robert Mueller was acting outside the law in investigating the president for obstruction of justice. Democrats feel the memo shows clear bias and he should recuse himself. Barr says he is not biased and will not recuse himself. What do you think?
Should William Barr recuse himself from the Mueller investigation?
In his unsolicited memo, Barr claimed Mueller was acting outside the law in his investigation:
Barr wrote that Mueller’s apparent theory of obstruction “is premised on a novel and legally insupportable reading of the law. Moreover, in my view, if credited by the department, it would have grave consequences far beyond the immediate confines of this case and would do lasting damage to the presidency and to the administration of law within the executive branch.”
The Washington Post reports this has given many Democrats pause in confirming Barr, seeing this memo as an indication of bias against Mueller.
Republican lawmakers, on the other hand, felt the memo showed an appropriate amount of skepticism regarding the Mueller investigation, not clear-cut bias. Per the Washington Post:
“He’s got some concerns about turning the firing of a political appointee into an obstruction of justice case, and I share those concerns,” [Lindsey] Graham said. “But that’s his opinion as a private citizen. As attorney general, his job is to receive Mr. Mueller’s report.”
In his opening statement, Barr himself commented on the memo. Barr claims he has nothing but respect for Robert Mueller and will protect the investigation as his job demands.
I will follow the Special Counsel regulations scrupulously and in good faith, and on my watch, Bob will be allowed to complete his work. Second, I also believe it is very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the Special Counsel’s work. For that reason, my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law. I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made by me, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and will let no personal, political, or other improper interests influence my decision.
Throughout his hearing, though, Barr has refused to agree to recuse himself, even if the Ethics Committee suggests he do so. Barr's insistence on remaining in control of the hearing, even if he is deemed to have a bias against Robert Mueller, has worried some Democrats.