Barr, who served as Attorney General from 1991-1993 under President George H.W. Bush, said in his confirmation hearing before the Judiciary Committee on January 15 that he sent the memo "as a former attorney general who has often weighed in on legal issues of public importance". "I hope we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible".
Special counsel Robert Mueller's review of Russian interference in the 2016 election is "close to being completed", Acting Attorney General Mathew Whitaker said Monday, suggesting that the investigation that has roiled Washington for almost two years may be nearing its conclusion.
Barr has said he might not share all of details of Mueller's inquiry with the public, citing Justice Department regulations that encourage prosecutors not to criticize people who they do not end up charging with criminal behavior.
He said there have been signs for some time that the probe is "winding down", noting that Mueller is allowing defendants to be sentenced, he's staffing down a bit, and he has transferred a number of cases to other components of the Justice Department.
Barr, who served as attorney general under Republican President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, is expected to win confirmation in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Barr also stood by his position that Justice Department standards may prevent him from releasing Mueller's final report or allowing the president to be charged with a crime while in office.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has nearly finished the two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, the acting attorney general said Monday.
Whitaker's revelation was not specific, however, as he did not give any kind of timetable for the investigation or say when he expects a report.
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The delay, which is not unusual, is not expected to affect Barr's confirmation, the Post reported.
Whitehouse also noted that Barr could determine that an assertion of executive privilege by the White House could be consistent with the law.
Barr doesn't need any support from Democrats to be confirmed.
Mueller has continued to unspool his findings, issuing another indictment last week. "I don't think he is ending on Roger Stone but might be".
Democrats have demanded that Whitaker step back from Mueller's continuing investigation because he openly criticized the probe in interviews past year before he joined the Justice Department.
Trump has slammed the Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt" and says there was no collusion.
Whitaker decided not to recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation even though a Justice Department ethics official said a formal review would likely recommend a recusal, an agency official has said.
-With assistance from Steven T. Dennis.