Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii questioned the “morality” of attorney general nominee Bill Barr on “All In with Chris Hayes” Tuesday after he showed support for President Donald Trump.
“I think he was clearly testifying for an audience of one, that person being Donald Trump,” Hirono said. “Knowing full well that Donald Trump does not contemplate any other attorney general who will recuse himself. So there are a lot of questions trying to pin him down, and would he recuse himself if the ethics people at the Justice Department say so and he kept saying, ‘No, no, no.’ So I think it was pretty clear he was very careful.”
“Also, for a person that wrote extensively about the morality, the declining morality in our country when he was attorney general — and when I asked him, ‘do you have any concerns about being part of an administration, for which he auditioned, of a president who lies every day, who calls the Mueller investigation a witch hunt — who goes against the FBI, all of that.’ And he just said no. I said, ‘So you’re standing up for this administration? That’s disconcerting for somebody who cares about morality,'” she continued.
Hirono also said Barr was blatantly auditioning for the job of Trump’s attorney general and expressed concerns about his impartiality. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Need The Title’: Trump’s AG Nominee Says He Won’t Give Up Powers Of The Office To Be Confirmed)
“I think anybody who will audition for this job with a 19-page memo that he talked about with other members of the Department of Justice as well as the White House, I’d say that’s somebody who is really interested in being part of this administration, and my concern was that when you do something like that, I want to make sure you can reassure me that you will be independent, because that is what the attorney general’s office is supposed to be.”
Hirono got into an exchange with Barr during his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday and accused him of failing to follow proper ethical guidelines. Barr responded by saying he wouldn’t surrender the powers of the attorney general’s office to secure his confirmation.
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