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The Impeachment Tests Barr-Trump Relations | The hill

William Barr William Pelham BarrThe Hill & # 39; s Morning Report – Bloomberg news shakes the 2020 career of the Washington Post to resign & # 39; repugnant & # 39; & # 39; s Trump dismissed the report that he wanted Barr in Ukraine at a news conference: & # 39; Absolutely & # 39; RIGHT became one of Washington's most polarized figures, and the ongoing scandal in Ukraine further pushed the attorney general and his relationship with President Trump [1

9659004] Donald John TrumpKey impeachment witnesses to know as the public begins hearings on Centrist Democrats who rallied in state elections to rail against Warren Nunes's agenda Schiff asked to testify behind closed doors in questioning the impeachment of Trump MORE under investigation. Barr has emerged as one of Trump's most trusted Cabinet officials. He often faces official events at the White House and elsewhere, and the regular president credits him for the work he does as the country's top law enforcement officer.

Barr is also at the center of many serious political charges. in the Trump presidency, in part as a result of his closeness to the president. He is a popular target of Democrats, who have been accused of politics by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and acting as the president's personal lawyer. In fact, some legal experts say Barr has taken steps that undermine his commitment to keep the DOJ in politics.

Today, his relationship with Trump and his promised commitment to independence are being put to the test amid a presidential overthrow of the president of Ukraine, during which Trump suggested his counterpart in Kiev to contact Barr and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani Rudy GiulianiKey witnesses of impeachment to know as public hearings begin Chris Hayes and his listeners troll Trump: & # 39; Yes, Read Transcript! I'm sorry. The NSC official testified that there was no & # 39; s doubt & # 39; Trump pushes the quid pro quo MORE into investigations into the 2016 election and the Biden family.

Trump firmly denied reports this week that he wanted Barr to hold a press conference alleging he broke no laws during his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and that of the lawyer general refused to do so. On Friday, Trump told reporters he didn't request the request but believes Barr is obliged if he does.

"If I asked Bill Barr to have an interview, I don't think he would do it. But I didn't ask him to have a press conference. Why should I? You know why I wouldn't do it. ? Because the phone call was perfect, "Trump told the White House. The DOJ did not return a request for comment.

The telephone call was at the heart of the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

The attorney general has been in a collision course with Democrats ever since he ruled in the release of special counsel Robert Mueller Robert (Bob) Swan MuellerGowdy: 100 percent & # 39; I still believe in public hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'has failed in its mission because of insufficient transparency' Fox News legal analyst says Trump's call with Ukraine's leader may be more "more serious" than dragging Mueller & # 39; MORE & # 39; report, writing a four-page memo describing Mueller's key findings that set the narrative in a way that was favorable to his boss before the entire 448-page report was made public.

Barr's memo led Mueller to register his own objections in writing.

Barr also allowed an inquiry focused on the US intelligence collection on links to the 2016 Trump campaign in Russia, an investigation that looked hopeless because of Trump's intention to "investigate investigators" and discredit those within the intelligence community for allegedly working against him.

"He has proven me dead wrong," said Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor and Trump critic who said he lost confidence in Barr after his "wrongdoing" in the Mueller report.

"When someone in a position to be independent does something like that, everyone gets color in that lens," said Mimi Rocah, a fellow at Pace law school University and former assistant U.S. attorney, Barr's handling of the Mueller report said.

"Even if he should get the benefit of the doubt sometimes and not do something for political reasons as it seems, why would we give him the benefit of the doubt?"

Barr rejected the notion that he was acting as Trump's personal attorney, telling Fox News in a recent interview: "This is completely wrong and there is no basis for it, and I acted on behalf of the United States."

And those familiar with Barr say that they do not believe that he acted on political motivations, saying that some of the criticism did not occur.

"Many people are upset about all this publicity that the attorney general is politically motivated," said a former Justice Department official working. under the Trump administration. "I do not believe that is true."

The man acknowledged that Barr had invited some criticism by stating that there was "no opposition" between the Trump campaign and Russia at an April meeting in the Mueller report – repeating a key point in the conversation president.

But the former official who won the investigation into Barr's memo was unfair and that the people were not credited enough with the lawyer for releasing the Mueller report with minimal reductions, including defamatory comments. details about Trump's potentially objectionable behavior. [19659006] "You need to consider both sides if you are going to address him in his statements," the former official said.

Barr entered the administration as a Trump outsider. He is widely recognized for having a wealth of legal experience and executive branch, having served as a lawyer general under former President George H.W. Bush.

Barr is also known for having a broad view of executive power, as laid out in a memo he wrote to the Trump administration in June 2018 that prompted Democrats to be cautious in his nomination.

His tenure marked a strong relationship with the president, in contrast to his predecessor, Jeff Sessions Jefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTide, Tigers and Trump: The President expects the advantage to farmhouse in Alabama Eleven GOP senator signs Sessions 'backing of Sessions' resignation of The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says Dems should not be held public Trump's fierce ally found himself joking from the president's good grace in Sessions' refusal from the Russia investigation as a result of his campaign involvement.

Trump ousted Sessions a year ago, a day after the November midterm elections. He is now running to secure his seat in the Alabama Senate, though Trump has now avoided making any career candidates.

"I think this is just the case," said Ian Prior, who worked under Sessions at the Justice Department. "The sessions are clearly part of the campaign and in that way."

"I believe Barr is his own attorney general. I believe he will make decisions that he thinks are right," Bago said.

Barr's relationship with Trump could be exacerbated by the controversy surrounding the July 25 presidential phone call with Zelensky. Trump has asked Kiev to investigate a suspected conspiracy theory about the 2016 Democratic National Committee Committee hack and look at the Biden family.

The episode describes the way in which Trump confined the duties of his personal attorney and the attorney general. and reportedly angry with Barr that he was associated with Giuliani.

The Justice Department seeks to separate Barr from the controversy, first stating that he never spoke to Trump or Giuliani about an investigation into Biden and, eventually, the DOJ's refusal from acting Chief of Staff White House Mick Mulvaney John (Mick) Michael MulvaneyKey witnesses of impeachment to know as public hearings begin at Overnight Defense: New transcriptions tie Mulvaney to quid pro quo effort Mulvaney criticizes House subpoena | Trump's railway against public impeachment hearings aims for Democrats to impeach Trump by Christmas MORE admitting that aid to Ukraine was held in part because Trump asked for help of the Russian department.

At the same time, the criminal division of the DOJ. refused to investigate a referral of campaign law violations regarding the plea.

While some expected Barr to be identified in connection with the inquiry, House Democrats have strangely made an announcement. A House Intelligence Committee declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Trump and his supporters are eager for Russia's inquiry to deliver a blow to agents who they accuse of bias inciting investigation into the president's campaign.

"I can't tell you what's going on. I'll tell you this: I think you'll see a lot of bad things," Trump told reporters last month, a day after The New York Times reported that the inquiry became criminal.

Barr taps Connecticut The United States Attorney John Durham John DurhamDemocrats protests strongly against the Durham investigation of Schiff: Barr is & # 39; armed ' of the DOJ 'to comply after Democrats' enemies should ask for possible political monitoring MORE to lead the investigation; Durham is well-regarded, which is a measure that has insulated the Justice Department from criticizing.

However, Barr endured investigations for reported travel to foreign countries seeking assistance in the investigation; Trump also contacted foreign countries at Barr's request for help.

"Maybe if something goes wrong, Durham will stand up," said Randall Eliason, a law professor at George Washington University.

Eliason, a former assistant United States attorney, also said reports that the investigation should not criminalize criminal charges.

"I think we should be in a kind of wait-and-see mode, because on the one hand it can be a kind of abuse of power that people fear," Eliason said.

"But on the other hand, the bar is so low that it is set to be a criminal inquiry that it will not take too much and is a big shout out from actually accusing someone."

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