Sen. Mark Warner said Tuesday he will oppose William P. Barr, President Trump’s pick for attorney general.
In a fiery speech on the Senate floor, the Virginia Democrat said he is concerned that Mr. Barr will shield the president from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
“There is a question of Mr. Barr’s fidelity to our constitution,” said Mr. Warner, who is the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I find his actions deeply disturbing and have serious doubts about this nominee’s independence and [willingness] to stand up for the rule of law.”
Citing a 19-page unsolicited memo Mr. Barr sent to top Justice Department officials last summer criticizing the Mueller probe, Mr. Warner said he worries the nominee’s loyalty lies with the president, not the Constitution.
The Barr memo was highly critical of the Mueller probe, particularly the theory that the special counsel could pursue obstruction of justice charges against the president.
“It is clear that the president’s major concern in choosing a new attorney general is to chose someone who will shield him from the special counsel investigation,” Mr. Warner said. “The unsolicited memo, to me, looked like job application to appeal to the president on those qualifications.”
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