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AG pick Barr to tell Senate he'd allow Mueller to finish Russia probe

By Daniel Uria
AG pick Barr to tell Senate he'd allow Mueller to finish Russia probe
Attorney general nominee William Barr plans to testify that he will ensure special counsel Robert Mueller is able to complete his Russia probe and the results are released to Congress and the public. Photo by Michael Reynolds/EPA

Jan. 14 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, plans to vow before senators that he will allow special counsel Robert Mueller to complete his Russia investigation.

Barr, who previously served as attorney general under President George W. Bush, said it is "vitally important" that Mueller be allowed to complete the probe into alleged Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with Trump and his campaign, in prepared testimony forf his confirmation hearing Tuesday.

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"At the same time, the president has been steadfast that he was not involved in any collusion with Russian interference in the election. I believe it is in the best interest of everyone -- the president, Congress, and most importantly, the American people -- that this matter be resolved by allowing the special counsel to complete his work."

Barr also plans to testify that it is "very important" that the public and Congress be made aware of the findings of Mueller's investigation.

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"For that reason, my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law," he wrote. "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."

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Additionally, Barr plans to address a memo he wrote last summer questioning the legal basis of the investigation.

Barr wrote that the memo was "narrow in scope" and was distributed broadly so that "so that other lawyers would have the benefit of my views" as a former attorney general.

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"The memo did not address -- or in any way question -- the special counsel's core investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election," Barr wrote. "Nor did it address other potential obstruction-of-justice theories or argue, as some have erroneously suggested, that a president can never obstruct justice," he wrote.

Barr added he wrote the memo himself, on his own initiative without assistance and that it was "based solely on public information."

The hearing comes after Trump blasted a New York Times report that the FBI opened an investigation into whether he acted on behalf of Russia after firing former FBI Director James Comey as "insulting."

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