Trump's attorney general pick called part of Mueller's probe 'fatally misconceived'

William Barr.
(Image credit: Time Warner via AP)

In June, President Trump's pick for attorney general, William Barr, sent Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein a memo declaring that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's reported investigation into potential obstruction of justice by Trump is based on a "fatally misconceived" theory, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Journal reviewed the 20-page document, which Barr sent, unsolicited, while working as a lawyer in private practice. In the memo, Barr said he's "in the dark about many facts" surrounding the Mueller investigation, but "as I understand it, his theory is premised on a novel and legally insupportable reading of the law. Moreover, in my view, if credited by the Justice Department, it would have grave consequences far beyond the immediate confines of this case and would do lasting damage to the presidency and to the administration of law within the executive branch."

Mueller, he continued, is taking a "grossly irresponsible" approach, and "should not be permitted to demand that the president submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction." Barr, who served as attorney general during the George H.W. Bush administration, is expected to be formally nominated in January, and Democrats will likely bring the memo up during confirmation hearings. If confirmed, it's possible Barr would oversee the Mueller inquiry, taking over for Rosenstein. Read more excerpts from the memo at The Wall Street Journal.

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