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

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Confirmed Cases: 16322

Reported Deaths: 782
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds106626
Lauderdale76068
Madison75727
Neshoba72244
Jones68632
Scott66212
Forrest59239
DeSoto5598
Leake45412
Rankin4538
Holmes44130
Copiah3254
Jackson30914
Attala30718
Yazoo2914
Newton2834
Lincoln27829
Leflore27336
Oktibbeha26714
Monroe26725
Harrison2657
Lamar2485
Lowndes2419
Wayne2353
Pearl River21231
Pike20511
Adams20216
Washington1947
Noxubee1936
Warren19110
Lee1857
Covington1772
Jasper1664
Bolivar16611
Clarke15519
Smith15311
Lafayette1504
Kemper14911
Chickasaw14014
Coahoma1284
Winston1221
Clay1184
Carroll11611
Marion1169
Claiborne1145
Lawrence1081
Simpson1040
Grenada1003
Yalobusha976
Sunflower933
Itawamba907
Hancock9012
Tate881
Union867
Montgomery861
Panola853
Marshall853
Wilkinson859
Jefferson Davis813
Tippah7611
Webster673
Calhoun674
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Walthall630
Humphreys607
Tunica563
Prentiss533
Perry513
Choctaw482
Pontotoc453
Jefferson421
Tishomingo350
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman310
Tallahatchie301
Franklin292
George281
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18554

Reported Deaths: 651
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2284118
Jefferson1884103
Montgomery182343
Tuscaloosa82216
Marshall7059
Franklin5788
Lee55834
Shelby52220
Tallapoosa43266
Butler41918
Walker3812
Elmore3729
Chambers35926
Madison3464
Morgan2981
Unassigned2972
Baldwin2929
Dallas2873
Etowah26212
Lowndes25912
DeKalb2573
Autauga2395
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Sumter2287
Houston2265
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Colbert1872
Hale1799
Russell1770
Barbour1771
Marengo1746
Lauderdale1692
Calhoun1653
Wilcox1547
Choctaw15310
Cullman1501
Clarke1492
St. Clair1311
Randolph1287
Marion12411
Dale1230
Pickens1215
Talladega1175
Limestone1080
Chilton1051
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Winston910
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Jackson833
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