Bill Barr Discussed Mueller Probe with Mike Pence

This is absolutely intolerable: Donald Trump's nominee for Attorney General, Bill Barr, said in written responses to questions posed by Senators, as they contemplate his confirmation, that "Vice President Mike Pence is among the officials with whom he has discussed the special counsel's Russia investigation."
Barr said in written responses to Senate questions made available Monday that he and Pence have had occasional conversations since the spring of 2017 on matters including policy and personnel. Some of those conversations included "general discussion of the Special Counsel's investigation in which I gave my views on such matters as Bob Mueller's high integrity and various media reports."

"In these conversations, I did not provide legal advice, nor, to the best of my recollection, did he provide confidential information," Barr told Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat.

In his role as special counsel, Mueller is investigating potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. If confirmed by the Senate, Barr would inherit oversight of Mueller's investigation. The Senate Judiciary Committee is prepared to vote on Barr's nomination to be attorney general this week or next.
So, first of all, Senators should not support Barr's confirmation, because this is entirely inappropriate. Mike Pence ought to be (if he is not already) a target of Mueller's investigation, given that many of the incidents Mueller's team is investigating happened during the presidential transition, between Election Day and Inauguration Day, which was overseen by Pence.

Secondly, Barr should be obliged to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation, were he to be confirmed — and, of course, the entire reason he's up for confirmation is because he would be replacing former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump ran out of town after being relentlessly infuriated with him for recusing himself from overseeing the investigation.

Meanwhile, CNN's Jim Acosta reported yesterday that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said: "Right now the investigation is, I think, close to being completed. And I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible." Also wholly inappropriate for the acting AG to be publicly commenting on the Special Counsel's investigation, no less publicly pressuring him to issue a report that Whitaker and/or Barr plan to bury, anyway.

This is a mirthless joke.

I am so achingly tired of watching the Trump administration strip every last vestige of integrity from the federal government and seeing not a single Republican with the power to stop them even remotely inclined to do so. They are corrupt to the absolute core.

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