Barr has been publicly critical of the Mueller investigation. In 2017, he faulted Mueller for hiring prosecutors who have contributed to Democratic politicians, saying his team should have had more “balance,” and characterized the obstruction of justice investigation as “asinine” and that it was “taking on the look of an entirely political operation to overthrow the president.” In June 2018, Barr sent an unsolicited 20-page memo to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein arguing that the Special Counsel’s approach to potential obstruction of justice by Trump was “fatally misconceived” and that, based on his knowledge, Trump’s actions were within his presidential authority. The day after the existence of the memo became known, Rosenstein said “our decisions are informed by our knowledge of the actual facts of the case, which Mr. Barr didn’t have.” In a letter to Senator Lindsey Graham on January 14, 2019, Barr disclosed he had sent the memo to, and discussed it with, several White House and Trump attorneys.
On January 14, 2019, a day before Barr’s hearings for Attorney General, Barr sent written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the eventual final Mueller report, saying “[i]t is very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the special counsel’s work … For that reason, my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law.”
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