Harris requests probe into if Trump pressured Barr to open investigations

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Biden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced MORE (D-Calif.) is requesting that the Justice Department's top watchdog investigate if President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE or White House staff pressured Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDemocrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question The Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations EXCLUSIVE: Trump declines to say he has confidence in FBI director MORE to open up any criminal investigations. 
 
Harris, one of multiple Democratic senators running for president, sent a letter on Friday to Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice's (DOJ) inspector general, asking for the watchdog office to dig into the issue, which she brought up with Barr during his appearance this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 
 
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"There must be no doubt that the Department of Justice and its leadership stand apart from partisan politics, and resist improper attempts to use the power of federal law enforcement to settle personal scores," Harris wrote in her letter.
 
 
"I urge the Office of Inspector General to investigate whether the Attorney General has received or acted upon requests or suggestions, whether implied or explicit, to investigate the President’s perceived enemies," Harris wrote.
 
Harris's request for an investigation comes after she signed on to a letter earlier this week, spearheaded by Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats want White House hopefuls to cool it on Biden attacks Female senators hatch plan to 'shame' Senate into voting faster Trump defense pick expected to face tense confirmation MORE (D-Hawaii), asking the DOJ inspector general and the Office of Professional Responsibility to probe Barr's handling of Mueller's report.
 
 
Harris captured national headlines when she asked Barr, during his Judiciary Committee testimony on Wednesday, if Trump or anyone at the White House had ever asked or suggested he open up an investigation into anyone. 
 
Barr, who appeared to be caught off guard, hesitated, asking Harris to repeat the question and saying that he was "trying to grapple with the word 'suggest.' "
 
“There have been discussions of, of matters out there that, uh — they have not asked me to open an investigation," he said.
 
Harris pressed him further, asking if officials had “hinted” he should investigate someone. Barr said he didn’t know.
 
Harris, in her letter to Horowitz, called Barr's remarks "an alarming response that strikes at the very heart of the rule of law and threatens to undermine" DOJ's independence.