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William Barr appears for his confirmation hearing. Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi / NLJ

Amid concerns about the future of the Russia investigation, William Barr declined Tuesday to commit to recusing himself from overseeing the probe if confirmed as attorney general, telling senators he would consult with the Justice Department’s career ethics staff but that the decision would ultimately be his to make.

Barr, a Kirkland & Ellis counsel who previously led the Justice Department under the George H.W. Bush administration, said he would make the decision to oversee special counsel Robert Mueller III’s probe in “good faith.” His comments came in response to questioning from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, who inquired about an unsolicited June 2018 memo Barr sent to Justice Department officials, deriding a possible obstruction of justice inquiry as “fatally misconceived.”

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Ellis Kim

C. Ryan Barber

C. Ryan Barber, based in Washington, covers government affairs and regulatory compliance. Contact him at [email protected]. On Twitter: @cryanbarber

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