SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory - High Wind Warning View Alerts

Key Senate Democrat says Trump 'should withdraw' attorney general nomination

Sen. Mark Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, told CNN's Manu Raju Thursday that Presi...

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 7:28 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2018 7:28 PM

Sen. Mark Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, told CNN's Manu Raju Thursday that President Donald Trump "should withdraw" his pick to be attorney general, William "Bill" Barr, because of a memo Barr sent to the Department of Justice this summer weighing in on the special counsel investigation.

"I think the President should withdraw this nomination," said Warner. "It appears that the number one qualification Trump is looking for in an AG is someone that will try to undermine the Mueller investigation."

Bill Barr

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Investigations

James Comey

Law and legal system

Mark Warner

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

US Congress

US Democratic Party

US political parties

US Senate

Warner said that "in effect" Barr's memo was "an attempt to solicit" the nomination, while the special counsel probes whether the President obstructed justice during the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. He called the memo "almost tacky" and "at the very least unseemly."

In June 2018, Barr sent a memo to senior Department of Justice officials, reaching a decisive and controversial conclusion that Trump's interactions with ex-FBI Director James Comey would not constitute obstruction of justice. Trump is expected to formally nominate Barr, who held the position during George H.W. Bush's presidency, next month.

Democrats have objected to the fact that Barr weighed in on such a sensitive issue that he would be poised to oversee. Barr discussed the memo with Trump and told him it would likely come up during his Senate confirmation, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Warner claimed that Barr's actions showed he "desperately" wanted the job and sent the message to the President that "you won't be indicted" and "I'll make sure that we'll keep you away from the arm of the law."

"To me, that is both inappropriate and disqualifying," Warner said.

Barr has not shied away from defending Trump's firing of Comey, but the June 8 memo -- first reported by The Wall Street Journal and provided to lawmakers late Wednesday -- offers a detailed analysis of one of the most consequential episodes of Trump's presidency, concluding that while he's "in the dark about many facts," Mueller's obstruction inquiry was "fatally misconceived." Barr adds that Trump asking Comey to let go of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and later firing Comey were within his powers as head of the executive branch.

Other Democrats have also criticized Barr's memo. On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Barr should not be nominated to be attorney general.

"Mr. Barr's memo reveals that he is fatally conflicted from being able to oversee the special counsel's investigation," Schumer said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 138587

Reported Deaths: 1882
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29216464
Washington19330179
Marion16787248
Clackamas12085141
Lane8803113
Jackson718996
Umatilla701173
Deschutes521240
Yamhill330849
Linn321950
Malheur320155
Polk258740
Klamath255046
Josephine185436
Benton182314
Douglas178545
Jefferson173825
Union115417
Wasco112523
Columbia107618
Lincoln103817
Coos102015
Hood River98621
Morrow96710
Clatsop7075
Crook66213
Baker5835
Tillamook3712
Curry3255
Lake2575
Grant2171
Harney1826
Wallowa993
Gilliam531
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00
Eugene
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 28°
Corvallis
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 33°
Roseburg
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Roseburg
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 32°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events