Democrats request probe into Barr's handling of Mueller report

 
A dozen Senate Democrats sent a letter to the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility saying they have “serious concerns" about Barr, who they have accused of being misleading about Mueller's findings.
 
“Attorney General Barr’s actions raise significant questions about his decision not to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel’s investigation, whether his actions with respect to the release of the report complied with Department of Justice policies and practices, and whether he has demonstrated sufficient impartiality to continue overseeing the fourteen criminal matters related to the Special Counsel’s investigation,” they wrote.
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The Democrats added that “in light of these concerns, we respectfully request that the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility immediately begin investigations of these issues.”
 
The letter, spearheaded by Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoIf only woke protesters knew how close they were to meaningful police reform Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Senate Democrats call on Facebook to crack down on white supremacists MORE (D-Hawaii), comes as Barr is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, where he's likely to face blistering questions about his decisions since Mueller handed over his report on Russian election interference and the Trump campaign.
 
Democrats are flagging several areas they want the Justice Department inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate, including Barr's decision not to recuse himself from oversight of the Mueller probe.
 
Democrats have seized on a memo Barr authorized before he was nominated by President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE that raised concerns about Mueller's investigation. They added in Tuesday's letter that "given the Attorney General’s subsequent troubling actions in handling the Special Counsel’s report, further investigation of the process leading to his non-recusal decision is warranted."
 
The lawmakers also want to know if Barr's press conference, which took place hours before a redacted version of the Mueller report was released publicly, and his decision to let Trump's attorneys review the report before it was released was misleading or consistent with Justice Department practices.
 
"We further believe that Attorney General Barr’s decision to hold a press conference to assert his own views regarding the report well before releasing the redacted report and his statements at the press conference warrant serious scrutiny as to whether they were proper and consistent with Justice Department policies and practices," the Democrats wrote.
 
Democrats are also asking the Justice Department watchdog to determine if Barr "has demonstrated sufficient impartiality" to oversee criminal referrals spawning out of Mueller's probe or if he's taken any steps on the referrals that "were contrary to the advice of career prosecutors at the Justice Department or the Department’s policies."