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William Barr: I would resign rather than fire Mueller without cause

January 28, 2019

Attorney General nominee William Barr said he would resign before he fired special counsel Robert Mueller without cause and he has not spoken “of substance” to President Trump about the Russia investigation, according to written replies to questions from Senators released Monday.

“I would resign rather than follow an order to terminate the special counsel without good cause,” Mr. Barr wrote in response to a question from Sen. Cory Booker, New Jersey Democrat.

Mr. Barr’s answers mirrored a lot of what he told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing on Jan. 15. The committee is scheduled to vote on his nomination Tuesday with a full vote possibly as early as next week.

The nominee also said there had been “no discussion of substance” between him and Mr. Trump about the special counsel’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and if members of the Trump campaign were involved.

“The President has not asked me my views about any aspect of the investigation and he has not asked me about what I would do about anything in the investigation,” Mr. Barr wrote, responding to a question from Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly called the Russia investigation “a hoax” and a “witch hunt.”

In response to a question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, Mr. Barr said the presidential power to pardon is “broad” and “subject to abuse.”

“A president who abuses his or her pardon power can be held accountable in a number of different ways by Congress and the electorate,” Mr. Barr said. “If confirmed, I will consult with the Office of Legal Counsel and other relevant Department personnel regarding any legal questions relating to the President’s pardon authority.”

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