Attorney General William Barr is gearing up to announce the end of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as soon as next week,CNN reported. Barr is also said to be planning to submit a summary of Mueller’s findings in the investigation soon after.
Barr wasconfirmedas attorney general last week.
Before he was confirmed, according toCNN, Barr already began planning how to take control of the Mueller probe. He was reportedly focused on two decisions in particular: how much information to report to Congress about Mueller’s findings, and who the deputy attorney general will be (Rod Rosenstein, the current deputy attorney general who is overseeing Mueller, plans to step down after the Russia probe is completed).
Barr had his sights set on deputy transportation secretary Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein, and the White House announced Tuesday night that Rosen would take over.
In the weeks leading up to his highly anticipated testimony, Barr drew sharp scrutiny over a memo he wrote last year where he argued that Mueller’s obstruction-of-justice investigation into Trump is “legally unsupportable” and should not be sanctioned by the Justice Department.
At his confirmation hearing, Barr said he wrote the memo — which he sent to the White House, the Justice Department, and lawyers representing other defendants in the Russia probe — because he was concerned Mueller’s obstruction investigation was based on an overly broad interpretation of the law and could have far-reaching ramifications down the road.
When lawmakers asked Barr whether he would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia probe in light of the memo he sent last year, Barr said he would seek the advice of Justice Department ethics officials but did not commit to following their advice.
After being pressed on how he would oversee Mueller’s investigation, Barr said he would ensure that the special counsel regulations were maintained and that he would also make sure Mueller had the resources, funding, and time needed to complete the Russia investigation.
Barr added that he is friends with Mueller and doesn’t believe the special counsel would embark on a “witch hunt,” as Trump and his allies claim. The attorney general also pledged that if he denied Mueller any resources or other requests, he would notify Congress of the matter.
Asked whether he would commit to making any report Mueller produces available to Congress and the public, Barr said Mueller’s report would not be made public. Instead, he told lawmakers, the public would see his own summary of the special counsel’s findings.