Key Senate Democrat says Trump 'should withdraw' attorney general nomination

Sen. Mark Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, told CNN's Manu Raju Thursday that Presi...

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 9:28 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2018 9:28 PM

Sen. Mark Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, told CNN's Manu Raju Thursday that President Donald Trump "should withdraw" his pick to be attorney general, William "Bill" Barr, because of a memo Barr sent to the Department of Justice this summer weighing in on the special counsel investigation.

"I think the President should withdraw this nomination," said Warner. "It appears that the number one qualification Trump is looking for in an AG is someone that will try to undermine the Mueller investigation."

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Warner said that "in effect" Barr's memo was "an attempt to solicit" the nomination, while the special counsel probes whether the President obstructed justice during the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. He called the memo "almost tacky" and "at the very least unseemly."

In June 2018, Barr sent a memo to senior Department of Justice officials, reaching a decisive and controversial conclusion that Trump's interactions with ex-FBI Director James Comey would not constitute obstruction of justice. Trump is expected to formally nominate Barr, who held the position during George H.W. Bush's presidency, next month.

Democrats have objected to the fact that Barr weighed in on such a sensitive issue that he would be poised to oversee. Barr discussed the memo with Trump and told him it would likely come up during his Senate confirmation, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Warner claimed that Barr's actions showed he "desperately" wanted the job and sent the message to the President that "you won't be indicted" and "I'll make sure that we'll keep you away from the arm of the law."

"To me, that is both inappropriate and disqualifying," Warner said.

Barr has not shied away from defending Trump's firing of Comey, but the June 8 memo -- first reported by The Wall Street Journal and provided to lawmakers late Wednesday -- offers a detailed analysis of one of the most consequential episodes of Trump's presidency, concluding that while he's "in the dark about many facts," Mueller's obstruction inquiry was "fatally misconceived." Barr adds that Trump asking Comey to let go of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and later firing Comey were within his powers as head of the executive branch.

Other Democrats have also criticized Barr's memo. On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Barr should not be nominated to be attorney general.

"Mr. Barr's memo reveals that he is fatally conflicted from being able to oversee the special counsel's investigation," Schumer said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61125

Reported Deaths: 1711
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5269106
DeSoto332627
Madison229756
Harrison215232
Rankin214628
Jackson199434
Jones177457
Forrest164053
Washington149232
Lauderdale132988
Lee123930
Neshoba119788
Lamar112112
Oktibbeha105435
Lowndes98932
Warren96427
Scott95517
Bolivar94832
Copiah91724
Panola91211
Sunflower90822
Lafayette88111
Holmes84747
Leflore84059
Pike83232
Grenada81320
Yazoo78611
Leake76825
Lincoln74540
Pontotoc7377
Wayne73321
Simpson71227
Monroe70250
Coahoma66310
Tate65023
Marion60118
Covington58811
Adams58425
Marshall5718
Winston57115
George5475
Union53113
Newton51611
Attala49824
Tallahatchie49310
Pearl River48536
Walthall45318
Chickasaw43819
Noxubee41910
Claiborne40013
Smith38013
Calhoun3788
Jasper3768
Clay37013
Alcorn3574
Prentiss3426
Hancock33614
Tishomingo3204
Lawrence3135
Tippah31212
Yalobusha31210
Itawamba30710
Clarke30025
Montgomery2933
Tunica2786
Humphreys27111
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Quitman2251
Kemper22315
Perry2227
Amite2105
Jefferson Davis2026
Webster19912
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson18712
Sharkey1801
Stone1523
Choctaw1274
Benton1250
Franklin1162
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 90890

Reported Deaths: 1611
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11859225
Mobile9086191
Montgomery6249143
Madison501425
Tuscaloosa397463
Baldwin321023
Shelby305032
Marshall296630
Unassigned273453
Lee250540
Morgan222315
Etowah193026
DeKalb170113
Elmore160237
Calhoun15609
Walker147063
Houston131912
Dallas128823
Russell12331
St. Clair121712
Franklin119620
Limestone119613
Cullman114111
Colbert109312
Lauderdale107112
Autauga102420
Escambia97915
Talladega91813
Jackson8283
Chambers82138
Tallapoosa81478
Dale78520
Butler75235
Blount7363
Chilton7106
Coffee7095
Covington70920
Pike6607
Barbour5635
Lowndes55224
Marion54224
Marengo52014
Clarke4869
Hale45926
Bullock43811
Perry4294
Winston42911
Wilcox4059
Monroe3914
Randolph38810
Bibb3743
Conecuh37310
Pickens3679
Sumter36118
Lawrence3100
Washington31011
Macon30913
Crenshaw2863
Choctaw27412
Henry2453
Cherokee2427
Greene24211
Geneva2320
Clay2175
Lamar1982
Fayette1745
Cleburne1211
Coosa922
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