In statement, Senator Murray urges Senate colleagues who plan to vote in favor of Barr’s confirmation to make clear they will demand public disclosure of Mueller investigation findings
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced she will vote no on President Trump’s nominee to be the next United States Attorney General, William Barr. In addition to his long-held hostility toward criminal justice reform and extreme views on expansive presidential power, Senator Murray pointed to William Barr’s insufficient explanation about why he sent an unsolicited, baseless memo to President Trump in the months before his nomination that was critical of the Mueller investigation, as well as Mr. Barr’s refusal to commit to making the information uncovered by the Special Counsel’s investigation available to the public. The U.S. Attorney General will have the final say on what, if any, of the Special Counsel’s work is made public.
“I will vote no on William Barr’s nomination to be the next United States Attorney General because I strongly believe the American people deserve someone with sound legal judgment who is absolutely committed to seeking truth and administering justice on their behalf—not someone who is simply loyal to the current occupant of the Oval Office. As I was the day President Trump publicly announced Mr. Barr was his choice to be our nation’s top law enforcement official, I’m extremely troubled by Mr. Barr’s decision to not only write an unsolicited memo that criticized the Mueller probe, but then make sure it got to the president’s desk in the months preceding his nomination. The arguments made by Mr. Barr were meritless and a clear demonstration of his unacceptable views of executive power. I’m even more troubled that when given the opportunity during his Senate confirmation hearing to explain why he sent the memo, Mr. Barr failed to answer directly and without equivocation. As a result, Mr. Barr cannot be the impartial Attorney General that our country needs in order to both protect the Mueller investigation and provide the American public an explanation about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, which is disqualifying.
“I hope my Senate colleagues recognize and respect that people across the country sent us, their elected leaders, to Washington, D.C., not to shield the president, but to help restore integrity and independence to the federal government. So to any of my colleagues who plan to support his nomination, I have a message: This position is far too consequential for you to be a rubber stamp. Instead, take this opportunity to make it very clear to Mr. Barr and the Trump administration that you believe the American people deserve to know for sure that the findings on Russia’s 2016 election meddling will be made public in order to get them the answers they deserve, and that any attempt to cover up, hinder, or otherwise muddy the waters around the Mueller investigation would be a serious disservice to the people we represent, and will only lead to the further erosion of trust in our institutions and your ability to work on their behalf.”