Dem demands 'ironclad assurances' from Barr on Mueller investigation ahead of confirmation hearings

Dem demands 'ironclad assurances' from Barr on Mueller investigation ahead of confirmation hearings
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Sunday demanded that William Barr, President TrumpDonald John TrumpPentagon update to missile defense doctrine will explore space-base technologies, lasers to counter threats Giuliani: 'I never said there was no collusion' between the Trump campaign and Russia Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles MORE's nominee for attorney general, give "ironclad assurances" during his confirmation hearings this week that he will not impede special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's Russia investigation.

Durbin said during an interview on ABC's "This Week" that he's "worried" about whether Barr can properly oversee Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice on the part of Trump.

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“I’m worried about it. Clearly, he’s a good lawyer. There’s no question. But when it comes to this delicate political situation — the power of the presidency, whether this investigation is warranted — Bill Barr had better give us some ironclad assurances in terms of his independence and his willingness to step back and let Mueller finish his job," Durbin said.

Senate Democrats have voiced concerns for weeks over how Barr will handle the Mueller probe. Their concern stems from an unsolicited memo Barr sent last year to the White House in which he criticized the special counsel investigation, saying that the probe into possible obstruction of justice was based on a "fatally misconceived" theory.

Trump nominated Barr for attorney general following the resignation of former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBudowsky: Senate must protect Mueller from Barr, President Trump Feinstein grappling with vote on AG nominee Barr Central American women fleeing domestic violence deserve refugee status MORE, who drew the ire of Trump for recusing himself from the Russia investigation. Trump has long attacked the probe, calling it a politically motivated "witch hunt."

Barr's confirmation hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee are scheduled to be held Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCentrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter Overnight Defense: Four Americans killed in Syria suicide attack | State of the Union becomes latest shutdown flashpoint | Missile defense review on track for Thursday release White House condemns 'terror attack' that killed US troops in Syria MORE (R-S.C.), the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said last week that Barr plans to allow Mueller to finish his investigation.

“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 following a meeting with Barr.