WASHINGTON — William P. Barr, President Trump’s nominee for attorney general, promised on Monday that he would allow the special counsel to continue his investigation, seeking to allay Democrats’ fears that he might shut down the inquiry.
“It is in the best interest of everyone — the president, Congress, and, most importantly, the American people — that this matter be resolved by allowing the special counsel to complete his work,” Mr. Barr said in written testimony that he plans to deliver on Tuesday at the start of his two-day confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The country needs a credible resolution of these issues,” he added. “If confirmed, I will not permit partisan politics, personal interests, or any other improper consideration to interfere with this or any other investigation.”
But Mr. Barr also included a subtle caveat, limiting his assurances about the Mueller investigation to the issues under his control: “I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made by me, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and will let no personal, political, or other improper interests influence my decision,” he wrote.
That qualification could be important because Mr. Barr has long advanced a philosophy of strong executive powers under which any administration decision is ultimately the president’s to make. His views also include the notion that the president is the nation’s top law-enforcement official, not the attorney general.
After Mr. Barr was nominated last month, the emergence of an unsolicited memo he sent to the president’s lawyers last year criticizing a focus of the inquiry — possible presidential obstruction of justice — prompted concerns among congressional Democrats that Mr. Barr might stop the special counsel inquiry if Mr. Trump ordered him to do so.
Mr. Barr said he would follow the rules governing Mr. Mueller’s appointment and work to allow him to finish the investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference and whether any Trump associates conspired with it.
“I will follow the special counsel regulations scrupulously and in good faith, and on my watch, Bob will be allowed to complete his work,” Mr. Barr planned to say, according to the prepared remarks.
Mr. Barr also said that he would provide as much information to the public as the law allowed about the results of the inquiry.
Noting that they worked together at the Justice Department under President George Bush, Mr. Barr planned to say that he has known and respected Mr. Mueller as a colleague and friend for 30 years and that he had confidence that Mr. Mueller would handle the special counsel inquiry properly.