Durbin Meets With William Barr, President Trump's AG Nominee

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today met with President Donald Trump’s nominee to be U.S. Attorney General, William Barr.  In today’s meeting, Durbin continued to press Mr. Barr on his views regarding transparency for Special Counsel Mueller’s findings, immigration, criminal justice reform, executive power, and voting rights.

“In today’s meeting, Mr. Barr continued to hedge on the question of how much of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings he would make public.  I reiterated to him that the American people and Congress want these findings to be public, including any findings that relate to the President.  I am concerned whether, if confirmed, Mr. Barr will make it a priority to defend the civil and voting rights of all Americans; and I pressed him on promptly implementing the bipartisan criminal justice reforms Congress enacted in the First Step Act.  I remain troubled by Mr. Barr’s refusal to commit to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation in light of his unsolicited June 2018 memo and by his extreme views on executive power, including his past statements that the ‘President alone is the Executive Branch’ and that the Attorney General is ‘the President’s lawyer.’ 

“It is unfortunate that my courtesy meeting with Mr. Barr came after his confirmation hearing – a first during my time on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  I will consider what I heard in my meeting today and during last month’s confirmation hearing ahead of tomorrow’s Committee vote,” Durbin said.  

Durbin was not offered a meeting with the Attorney General nominee ahead of his confirmation hearings last month, a first in Durbin’s 20-year tenure on the Judiciary Committee.  Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Mr. Barr’s nomination.

Last month, during the first day of Mr. Barr’s confirmation hearings, Durbin questioned Mr. Barr on his views regarding immigration and criminal justice.