The Mueller investigation, presidential powers, and the role of the Department of Justice took center stage as day one of William Barr’s confirmation hearings kicked off on Tuesday.
Barr, a corporate attorney for 25 years and former attorney general during the years 1991-1993, began his opening statement by committing to fair and impartial enforcement of the rule of law without allowing partisanship to play any role.
Bar continued by saying he intends to continue fighting violent crime, securing the southern border, and maintaining the integrity of American elections.
While Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Lindsey Graham, questioned Barr, he made it evident he would explore the infamous anti-Trump text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and his lover Lisa Page.
The presidential nominee also made it clear he would allow special counsel, Robert Mueller, to complete the Russia probe, and would share the results with the public consistent with the law.
While Barr was questioned by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Barr clarified although the president has the right to communicate with the Department of Justice regarding potential concerns, it can only open an investigation consistent with the law.
Senator Chuck Grassley first grilled Barr about the False Claims Act, which he reaffirmed is not an abomination and plans to enforce it.
Grassley continued by ensuring Barr would handle congressional inquiries appropriately and respond in a timely manner.
Barr clarified he will be independent while making the right decisions, without being confined by the scope of partisanship.
In regard to former FBI director James Comey’s decision to not indict Hillary Clinton, he conveyed his shock to Senator John Cornyn, saying the sequence of events was bizarre.
Throughout the hearing, Barr also praised the First Step Act in its role fighting violent crime and reforming criminal justice.
Barr reiterated throughout the hearing he would insulate the rule of law from partisan politics, enhance transparency, and always give his allegiance to the American people and the Constitution.
Day two of Barr’s confirmation hearings are set to begin Wednesday.