WASHINGTON — Attorney general nominee William Barr says he would seek the advice of career Justice Department ethics officials about whether he should recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Barr said during his confirmation hearing Tuesday that under department guidelines he would have to make the decision about whether to recuse himself. He says he would “make a decision on good faith based on the laws and the facts.”
Barr was nominated by President Donald Trump.
If confirmed, Barr would replace acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who declined to recuse himself from the investigation. Whitaker chose not to recuse himself despite the advice of a Justice Department ethics official.
Democrats called for Whitaker’s recusal given his past critical comments on the probe.
Trump complained his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was insufficiently loyal because he recused himself.