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Sen. Coons voices concerns on new AG nominee

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s junior senator will play a role in this week’s Senate confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Attorney General nominee.

William Barr is Trump’s second nominee for Attorney General. If confirmed, he will replace former Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Barr was AG under President George H.W. Bush.

Sen. Chris Coons met with Barr last week. He said he asked Barr about the memo he sent the Justice Department as a private citizen last year that was critical of the special counsel’s probe into Russian election interference. Coons said he has great concerns about the motivation for sending the memo and Barr not committing to seek an ethics review if confirmed.

“I also think he has said and done things in the past that would make me concerned about his ability to fairly supervise and manage the Mueller investigation," he said.

Coons said he’s also concerned because Barr would not commit to allow the special counsel’s report to be shared with Congress and the public.

“I conveyed to him that I think it is critical that the Mueller investigation be allowed to continue unimpeded and that the final report delivered by Robert Mueller not be shielded by executive privilege,” he said.

Coons and other Democrats were able to sit down with Barr late last week after complaining their request was initially denied.

Coons adds Barr would not commit to submitting to an official ethics review. He said Barr told him he might, depending on the facts at the time, which Coons calls an unsatisfactory answer.

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