Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Fill the Eastern District of Virginia GOP tries to take filibuster pressure off Manchin, Sinema MORE (D-Va.) said Thursday that William Barr, President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE's nominee for attorney general, gave a memo criticizing the special counsel investigation to the White House "almost as an attempt to solicit" the position.
Warner added during an interview on CNN that "it appears the No. 1 qualification" President Trump is looking for in an attorney general is someone who will work to undermine Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's probe.
"I’m thinking it’s more than a little bizarre that a private attorney, Mr. Barr, would write this kind of memo and then in effect give it, my understanding, to officials in the White House almost as an attempt to solicit this position," Warner said. "To say, ‘Hey, Mr. Trump, don’t worry. I’ll have your back on the Mueller investigation.’"
Mark Warner, top Dem on Senate Intel, tells me that Trump should withdraw William Barr's nomination as attorney general after memo surfaced showing his concerns about Mueller probe. Warner also criticizes Whitaker move not recuse. And he discusses Senate Intel work w/Mueller team pic.twitter.com/5FAsgU13lX— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 20, 2018
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Barr in June sent the Department of Justice a spontaneous memo criticizing the probe into Russian election meddling and any possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
Barr also gave the memo to an attorney representing the White House in the investigation, the Journal reported. Barr reportedly wrote in the memo that the investigation is built on a "fatally misconceived" theory.
Warner on Thursday said the memo disqualifies Barr from leading the Justice Department, where he would oversee Mueller's investigation.
“I will listen to any explanation, but when he starts out with a belief that the president is in effect above the law, I think that is not the appropriate legal precedent. I think it is not the appropriate approach," Warner said.
“The almost tacky way that he has used this memo to almost solicit this position is at the very least unseemly," he added.