U.S. attorney general won't recuse himself from overseeing Mueller probe

05 Mars, 2019, 21:05 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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Attorney General William Barr will not recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the Justice Department announced Monday evening.

CBS News' Paula Reid reports that there was no expectation Barr would recuse himself, but the official DOJ statement and unprompted reminder that Rosenstein is the liaison to Mueller further suggests the final report is expected before he leaves in mid-March.

Barr was not asked for his opinion, but sent the memo, unsolicited, in a manner critics say was an audition for the job of Attorney General, something Trump is known to like.

"Providing detailed information about a completed investigation of intense public interest has always been a part of Justice Department practice", Comey writes, citing the Justice Department's investigation into the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and its 2015 probe into allegations the Internal Revenue Service illegally targeted Tea Party groups due to their political beliefs. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news.

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Barr also stated without hesitation that it was in the public interest for Mueller to finish his investigation and that he wanted to release as much information as he can about Mueller's investigation to Congress and the public. Barr has said that he will be as transparent as possible under Justice Department regulations, noting that regulations call for the report to be confidential, requiring only that the report explains the decisions to pursue or to decline prosecutions. With Mueller believed to be close to completing his work, Democrats in Congress are vowing to force the release of his report and the evidence underlying it. He has said he intends to share some information with the public, though it's unclear whether Mueller's actual report will ever be made public.

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Barr "is an experienced lawyer and manager, and he has served in the position of attorney general, so he has great respect for that office", said Mark Tuohey, a lawyer with the firm Baker & Hostetler who once served as deputy to former independent counsel Ken Starr on the Whitewater investigation involving Democratic President Bill Clinton's business dealings.

The question of whether Barr, who was confirmed as attorney general last month, should oversee Mueller has become a political flashpoint. Trump removed Sessions in November and named Matthew Whitaker acting attorney general.


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