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 TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE's nominee for attorney general, give "ironclad assurances" during his confirmation hearings this week that he will not impede special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' 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 SessionsFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Amash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' 'Persuadable' voters are key to the 2020 election — and the non-screaming news industry 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 GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes 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.