Here We Go: Dems Want The Inspector General To Investigate Barr

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Posted: Apr 30, 2019 8:20 PM
Here We Go: Dems Want The Inspector General To Investigate Barr

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, file

Eleven Democrats pen a letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Department of Justice Director and Chief Counsel Corey Amundson asking for an investigation into Attorney General William Barr's handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report. 

"We write regarding the serious concerns that have been raised about the actions of Attorney General William Barr with respect to his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Attorney General Barr’s actions raise significant questions about his decision not to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel’s investigation, whether his actions with respect to the release of the report complied with Department of Justice policies and practices, and whether he has demonstrated sufficient impartiality to continue overseeing the fourteen criminal matters related to the Special Counsel’s investigation that were referred principally to other components of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)," the letter said.

"In light of these concerns, we respectfully request that the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility immediately begin investigations of these issues."

The letter comes just before Barr is scheduled to appear before Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Democrats have a number of questions for Barr, including why he didn't recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation despite "an unsolicited 19-page memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel Steve Engel criticizing Special Counsel Mueller's investigation of obstruction of justice by Donald Trump."

The Democrats are also interested in why Barr chose to hold a press conference before releasing his four-page summary on Muller's findings. 

"We further believe that Attorney General Barr’s decision to hold a press conference to assert his own views regarding the report well before releasing the redacted report and his statements at the press conference warrant serious scrutiny as to whether they were proper and consistent with Justice Department policies and practices," the letter said.

The Senators are also "troubled" by Barr's decision to allow President Trump's personal counsel to have access to Mueller's report before Congress and the public. 

"News reports indicate that the Attorney General granted Rudy Giuliani, Jay Sekulow and two other Trump lawyers access to review the full redacted report for two days before providing the redacted report to Congress and the public," the letter said.

The letter was signed by Sens. Mazie Hirono (HI), Richard Blumenthal (NY), Kamala Harris (CA), Edward Markey (MA), Tom Udall (CO), Ron Wyden (OR), Sheldnon Whitehouse (RI), Patty Murray (WA), Cory Booker (NJ), Jack Reed (RI), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Amy Klobuchar (MN).

Here's the full letter: