Attorney General William Barr said that he is not preventing Special Counsel Robert Mueller from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, according to The New York Post.
“It’s Bob’s call whether he wants to testify,” Barr told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. The attorney general was on his way to El Salvador, where he is expected to work on increasing international cooperation against the violent street gang MS-13.
“I’m trying to break away from Washington and do the real work of the attorney general,” he added just days after President Trump said he was leaving the decision to “our very great attorney general” about whether Mueller could testify.
“No, I didn’t ask him to do that,” Trump told reporters outside the White House shortly prior to his departure for Louisiana early Tuesday.. “I didn’t know it, but I think it’s a great thing that he did it.”
“It was the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the people of this country,” Trump said in reference to the Russia investigation. “And you know what, I am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it. I think it’s great. I did not know about it, no.”
Barr is not investigating the probe himself, however, but has appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham to look into the origins of the probe, according to reports on Monday.
“Durham will examine whether the FBI’s methods of collecting intelligence on Trump’s 2016 campaign, which ultimately led to the investigation, were legal,” the DailyMail reported.
The special investigator has some experience in his field, having served as a special prosecutor investigating improper behavior by intelligence officials.