Attorney general nominee William Barr. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Attorney general nominee William Barr said Tuesday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believes Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not purposely targeting President Trump and his administration, despite what the president has claimed.

Background: Barr, who drafted a memo last year criticizing Mueller's investigation, said he is going to make as much information from the special counsel public as possible.

On protecting the Mueller probe: "The scope of the special counsel's investigation is set by his charter and by the regulations, and I will ensure that those are maintained," Barr said.

  • Barr said he thought former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was right to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation.
  • Barr said he wouldn't recuse himself from a DOJ investigation if he disagreed with ethics officials' recommendation that he recuse.

On Trump and Mueller: "If a president attempts to intervene in a [Justice Department] matter that he has a stake in to protect himself, that should first be looked at as a breach of his constitutional duties."

  • Asked whether he would fire Mueller if Trump asked him to, Barr said: "Assuming there was no good cause ... I would not carry out that instruction."
  • "President Trump has sought no assurances, promises or commitments from me of any kind, either express or implied, and I have not given him any, other than that I would run the department with professionalism and integrity."

On the 2016 election: "I believe the Russians interfered or attempted to interfere with the election, and I think we have to get to the bottom of it."

On reporters going to jail: Asked whether DOJ would ever jail reporters for doing their job, Barr said: "I can conceive of situations where, as a last resort, where a news organization [knows] they're putting out stuff that will hurt the country...there could be a situation where someone could be held in contempt."

On immigration: Barr said he thought a wall would address concerns about drugs coming into the U.S., but conceded after being pressed that he knew most drugs come through official ports of entry.

Go deeper

Two officers shot in Louisville amid Breonna Taylor protests

Police officers stand guard during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Louisville Metro Police Department said two officers were shot downtown in the Kentucky city late Wednesday, just hours after a grand jury announced an indictment in the Breonna Taylor case.

Driving the news: Metrosafe, the city's emergency services, said it received reports of a shooting at South Brook St. and Broadway Ave., near the area where protests were taking place. A police spokesperson told a press briefing the injuries of both officers were not life-threatening. One officer was "alert and stable" and the other was undergoing surgery, he said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,778,331 — Total deaths: 974,436 — Total recoveries: 21,876,025Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,943,078 — Total deaths: 201,930 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Politics: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tests positive for coronavirus — Poll says 51% of Republicans trust Trump on coronavirus more than the CDC.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  7. Sports: Less travel is causing the NBA to see better basketball.
  8. Future: America's halfway coronavirus response

Biden: Breonna Taylor indictment "does not answer" call for justice

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday condemned the grand jury indictment of a Louisville police officer who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March in a botched drug raid that led to her death, saying in a statement the decision "does not answer" for equal justice.

The big picture: Biden called for reforms to address police use of force and no-knock warrants, while demanding a ban on chokeholds. He added that people "have a right to peacefully protest, but violence is never acceptable."

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