Harris requests probe into if Trump pressured Barr to open investigations

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisKamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech Biden's safe-space CNN town hall attracts small audience, as poll numbers plummet I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 MORE (D-Calif.) is requesting that the Justice Department's top watchdog investigate if President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE or White House staff pressured Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMeadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ 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 look for plan B on filibuster Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Democrats at odds with Manchin over child tax credit provision 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.