Graham says Barr will allow Mueller to complete investigation

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Memo: Trump can't let go of McCain grudge The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's intraparty feuds divide Republicans Trump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP MORE (R-S.C.) said ahead of a high-stakes confirmation hearings that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated 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 RosensteinTrump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game Jeff Sessions returns to Justice Department to retrieve Cabinet chair MORE — who originally appointed Mueller — will depart from his post sometime after Barr's confirmation hearings.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDem senator wants Trump to extend immigration protections to Venezuelans Pentagon sends Congress list of projects that could lose funds to Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 Dems grapple with race, gender and privilege 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 SessionsTrump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report Jeff Sessions returns to Justice Department to retrieve Cabinet chair Rosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March MORE, drew the president's ire for recusing himself from the investigation and was ultimately forced into resigning.