One point of contention coming from President Trump and his supporters — when it comes to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — is that Mueller and former FBI director James Comey are “best friends,” per the Washington Post. This means, therefore, that Mueller has a conflict of interest — in that some part of the probe likely concerns issues related to Trump’s firing of Comey in 2017. Trump once even alleged that he “could give you a hundred pictures of him and Comey hugging and kissing each other.”
However, it turns out that Comey and Mueller, who is also a former FBI director, aren’t really all that close.
“I admire the heck out of the man, but I don’t know his phone number, I’ve never been to his house, I don’t know his children’s names,” Comey said of Mueller in his testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees in December, per the Atlantic. “I think I had a meal once alone with him in a restaurant… We’re not friends in any social sense.” He added, “I have never hugged or kissed the man.”
However, there’s another figure related to the Mueller probe who is, in fact, close with Robert Mueller: William Barr. Barr is Trump’s pick to serve as the new United States attorney general. Barr, if confirmed, will supervise Mueller’s investigation.
“William Barr and Robert Mueller have been friends for decades; Their wives attend Bible study together; Mueller has attended Barr’s daughters’ weddings,” reported Steven Dennis of Bloomberg News on Twitter, citing a conversation with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Graham and Barr met this week.
In a story published by Bloomberg on Wednesday, Dennis reported that Barr has told Graham — who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee — that he will allow the Mueller probe to be completed, and also “err on the side of transparency.”
William Barr and Robert Mueller have been friends for decades; Their wives attend Bible study together; Mueller has attended Barr’s daughters’ weddings, per Lindsey Graham after his conversation with Barr.— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) January 9, 2019
Barr also told Graham, per Bloomberg, that Barr does not consider Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.” However, Barr stands by the memo he wrote in 2018 in which he questioned the legitimacy of an investigation into obstruction of justice based on the firing of Comey.
As for Barr and Mueller, Graham told the reporter that “his opinion of Mr. Mueller is very, very high in terms of ethics and character and professionalism.”
Barr’s confirmation hearings are scheduled to begin next week, and in the hearings Barr will almost certainly face questions about his plans for the special counsel’s investigation.
William Barr served as attorney general in the early 1990s, under the administration of President George H.W. Bush.