Graham says Barr will allow Mueller to complete investigation

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-S.C.) said ahead of a high-stakes confirmation hearings that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE's nominee for attorney general will let special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' 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 RosensteinWhy Mueller may be fighting a public hearing on Capitol Hill Jake Tapper fact-checks poster Trump admin created describing Mueller investigation Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general MORE — who originally appointed Mueller — will depart from his post sometime after Barr's confirmation hearings.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Details on Senate's 0B defense bill | Bill rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps | Backfills money for border wall | Defense chief says more troops could head to Mideast Dem senator plans amendment to restrict military action against Iran Overnight Defense: Iran worries dominate foreign policy talk | Pentagon reportedly to send WH plans for 10K troops in Mideast | Democrats warn Trump may push through Saudi arms sale | Lawmakers blast new Pentagon policy on sharing info 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's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds Five takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Amash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' MORE, drew the president's ire for recusing himself from the investigation and was ultimately forced into resigning.