Manchin knocks Barr: He should be focused on protecting the Constitution

Manchin knocks Barr: He should be focused on protecting the Constitution
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinCritics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony Critics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments MORE (D-W.Va.), one of three Democrats who voted to confirm William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Cummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question MORE, said on Sunday that he is concerned by the attorney general's actions. 

"It really gives me pause and concern that he's the people's attorney," Manchin said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"He should be looking out to ... protect the Constitution and all of us who are protected by that Constitution," he added.  

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Manchin said he thinks special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE "was beyond reproach," adding, "I think we all felt that he was extremely capable, honorable and did a great job." 

Mueller in his first public comments last week on the Russia investigation did not say explicitly that he would have accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE of a crime had it not been for Department of Justice (DOJ) policy, but he reiterated that his investigation did not exonerate Trump.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said.

Some analysts have pointed to Barr’s earlier statements as downplaying the role of the Department of Justice guidelines in Mueller’s calculus.

Manchin on Sunday also said that with a little over 17 months to the next election, "very little" would get done if impeachment proceedings against Trump began. 

Manchin said that with no support for impeachment from Senate Republicans, "why waste your time?" 

Manchin and Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voted to confirm Barr.