Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Attorney general nominee says he won't fire special counsel: Graham

Attorney general nominee says he won't fire special counsel: Graham

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave his position soon after William Barr is confirmed as attorney general.

If Mr Barr is confirmed, he is likely to take over the role of overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

Rosenstein took charge of overseeing Mueller's Russian Federation probe after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.

Rosenstein will stay on to ensure a smooth transition with Barr, an official told Reuters news agency, adding that he saw his job as deputy as a two-year stint and is not being forced out.

In September, Rosenstein went to the White House expecting to be fired after news reports surfaced that he had discussed secretly recording Trump and invoking a constitutional amendment to remove Trump as unfit for office. Lindsey Graham he would allow special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to continue unabated, Graham said Wednesday.

Trump's critics have expressed concern that Barr may try to curtail Mueller's investigation, which Trump repeatedly has called a "hoax" and a 'witch hunt.' Also, Barr wrote an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department a year ago critiquing Mueller's investigation into whether the president had sought to obstruct justice by firing James Comey as FBI director.

"I haven't spoken to the deputy attorney general myself, so I'll leave any announcements for him or the president to make when they want to do that, but certainly I don't think there's any willingness by the President or the White House to push him out", she noted.

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Mueller is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Trump campaign.

The White House cast Rosenstein's departure as his choice.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters that Barr talked to him about his relationship with Mueller, including the fact that their wives are in a Bible study group together and Mueller has attended two of Barr's daughters' weddings.

President Donald Trump pushed out Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November and made Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker the acting attorney general before nominating Barr in December.

Trump has frequently railed against the deputy attorney general on Twitter, with the president recently retweeting an image depicting Rosenstein and others behind bars.

However, Graham said after meeting with Barr Wednesday that he was not concerned that Barr would interfere with the Mueller investigation.

Graham said Barr said that if he were attorney general, he would "err on the side of transparency" when he eventually received Mueller's report.

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