Trump AG pick says he's discussed Mueller probe with Pence

Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington

William Barr: Concerns Over Trump's Privacy Could Shield Robert Mueller Conclusions

WASHINGTONWilliam Barr, the once and likely future attorney general, is seeking to reassure senators that he'll leave alone the special counsel investigation being run by Robert Mueller, telling them in response to written questions that he "would resign rather than follow an order to terminate the Special Counsel without good cause".

President Donald Trump has nominated William Barr to serve as the next attorney general.

"I have been fully briefed on the investigation", Whitaker, who has authority over Mueller's probe, said during a news conference. So the final report from Mueller's team could have major consequences for the outcome of the investigation.

Barr said in written responses to Senate questions made available Monday that he and Pence have had occasional conversations since the spring of 2017 on matters including policy and personnel.

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Barr laid out his view of the process for making public the contents of the Mueller report at the end of the probe, though he said he does not know "what will be included in any report prepared by the special counsel, what form such a report will take, or whether it will contain confidential or privileged material".

At his Senate confirmation hearing this month, Barr - first appointed to the post by President George H.W. Bush - called his longtime friend Mueller a "straight shooter" and said he didn't believe the special counsel was leading a "witch hunt", as Trump has called the probe.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. Russian has denied election interference.

Hassan isn't the only Democratic senator who has strong reservations about the way Barr would handle Mueller's probe if confirmed as attorney general. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) and others, that he would consult with Mueller himself for this.

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"I would not countenance changing the existing regulations for the objective of removing Special Counsel Mueller without good cause", Barr wrote to the senators. Barr said in his written responses he has discussed recusal issues related to the memo with department officials, but not the White House.

Whitaker also said: "I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to be reviewed", but it wasn't immediately clear what he meant by that.

Democrats have raised concerns about whether Barr will adequately disclose to Congress all the details of Mueller's inquiry, including any decisions not to charge certain people. Barr has signaled some details might remain under wraps.

In responses to Democratic Senator Dick Durbin's questions, Barr cited a Justice Department manual that he said "cautions prosecutors to be sensitive to the privacy and reputational interests of uncharged third parties".

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