Graham says Barr will allow Mueller to complete investigation

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Dems look for traction following Barr-Mueller findings Senate GOP eyes probes into 2016 issues 'swept under the rug' Top Senate Judiciary Dem asks Barr to hand over full Mueller report by April 1 MORE (R-S.C.) said ahead of a high-stakes confirmation hearings that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos claims he was pressured to sign plea deal Tlaib asking colleagues to support impeachment investigation resolution Trump rips 'Mainstream Media': 'They truly are the Enemy of the People' 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 RosensteinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Dems look for traction following Barr-Mueller findings Democrats face dilemma after Mueller probe ends Senate GOP eyes probes into 2016 issues 'swept under the rug' MORE — who originally appointed Mueller — will depart from his post sometime after Barr's confirmation hearings.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineWhy do so many Democrats embrace hate speech? Dem senator wants Trump to extend immigration protections to Venezuelans Pentagon sends Congress list of projects that could lose funds to Trump's emergency declaration 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 SessionsPress: Should the media apologize to Donald Trump? After Mueller, Democrats need to avoid the Javert trap Mueller probe: A timeline from beginning to end MORE, drew the president's ire for recusing himself from the investigation and was ultimately forced into resigning.