Sen. Chris Coons recently issued a statement after President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will nominate former Attorney General William Barr to lead the Department of Justice.
“A nomination for attorney general is long-overdue, given that Matthew Whitaker has been serving as the acting attorney general for a month without Senate confirmation, and the number three position at the Justice Department has been occupied by an acting official since February,” said Coons.
“Having served as attorney general in the Bush administration and in other leadership roles at the Justice Department, Mr. Barr has the background and experience you would expect of a nominee for this post. However, I am concerned that he holds, and has long advanced, a very expansive view of presidential power,” said Coons.
“Mr. Barr has cast doubt on the ability of an independent counsel to investigate the president and hold members of the executive branch accountable. He has also openly criticized the current special counsel investigation into Russian interference, which the president continues to attack and undermine. Mr. Barr must demonstrate that he would be an independent attorney general committed to the Constitution and the rule of law, not the president who nominated him. It will be critical that Mr. Barr assures the Senate and the American people that the special counsel investigation would continue without any interference,” said Coons.
“As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the confirmation process is a responsibility I take seriously. I will closely examine Mr. Barr’s record, experience and his views on issues including executive power, civil and voting rights, protections for those with pre-existing conditions, the environment and more, to determine whether he will protect the rule of law and the rights of every American, or instead use this position as a partisan tool, manifesting the President’s worst tendencies and policies,” said Coons.