Graham says Barr will allow Mueller to complete investigation

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (R-S.C.) said ahead of a high-stakes confirmation hearings that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE's nominee for attorney general will let special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE finish his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“I can assure you he has a very high opinion of Mr. Mueller and he is committed to letting Mr. Mueller finish his job,” Graham said on Wednesday after a meeting with William Barr, according to Reuters.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Graham chairs, is scheduled to hold hearings next week for Barr.

The nominee has drawn criticism from Democrats for writing an unsolicited memo last year to the White House criticizing Mueller's investigation, saying that the probe into possible obstruction of justice on Trump's part was based on a "fatally misconceived" theory.

Some Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), have argued that the memo disqualifies Barr from heading the Department of Justice (DOJ) and thus overseeing the Mueller probe.

Schumer on Wednesday called on Trump to withdraw Barr's nomination.

"After the revelations about Mr. Barr’s unsolicited memo, President Trump ought to withdraw this nomination,” Schumer said from the Senate floor, according to Politico.

Barr's meetings with senators on Wednesday follow reports that emerged earlier in the day that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay Rosenstein5 myths about William Barr William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress MORE — who originally appointed Mueller — will depart from his post sometime after Barr's confirmation hearings.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government MORE (D-Va.) told CNN's "New Day" that Rosenstein's looming departure would "raise the stakes" of Barr's confirmation hearings.

"William Barr was sending freelance memos to the Trump administration making a case to undercut the Mueller investigation," Kaine said on Wednesday morning. "So the deep concern will be if he comes in and Rosenstein is gone, is this just a, you know, preface to either undercutting the investigation or trying to keep the results of it hidden from the American public."

Trump has long lashed out at the DOJ over the Russia investigation, calling it a "witch hunt" and claiming that the probe is politically motivated. 

Trump's previous attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE, drew the president's ire for recusing himself from the investigation and was ultimately forced into resigning.