William Barr, Attorney General Nominee, Gets Nod From Key Senate Committee

Feb 11, 2019, 00:57
William Barr, Attorney General Nominee, Gets Nod From Key Senate Committee

Chuck Schumer, the senior Democrat in the Senate, said he would oppose Barr's confirmation in the final vote.

In part, they say Barr left open possible loopholes in his commitment to airing Mueller's findings and a broad view of presidential power that might allow Trump to interfere in Mueller and other investigations into his campaign, family or associates. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said before the vote.

Mr. Barr is one of the most well qualified individuals in the country to serve as Attorney General as he has held the job in the past.

In his written testimony to the committee, Barr did write that he believed Mueller was handling the investigation "properly", adding, "My goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law".

Senators debated Barr's candidacy for several hours, focusing on his potential role in supervising special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russian Federation investigation.

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"This is particularly concerning, as nothing in existing law or regulations prevents the attorney general from sharing the report", Feinstein said Thursday.

"Mr. Barr and I had a detailed discussion on his priorities for the Department of Justice, and on many issues important to Alaska".

Trump then made the highly controversial decision to install Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, introduced legislation requiring a special counsel to submit a report to Congress.

The committee, controlled by Republicans, voted 12-10 along party lines to advance Barr's nomination.

Lawmakers have raised questions about a memo Barr wrote to Justice Department leaders questioning what he saw as the "fatally misconceived" theory of Trump obstructing justice that Mueller seemed to be exploring.

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"If I can finish tomorrow, I would finish tomorrow", said Sen.

The Judiciary Committee late last week postponed its vote on advancing Barr's nomination amid concerns from Democrats - which is customary for high-profile nominations.

"At a time when our shared principles of equal protection and civil rights for all are under assault, we need an Attorney General who will rise to the challenge of defending them".

Whitaker said late last month the Mueller-led investigation is "close to being completed", although there has been no confirmation of this from the special counsel's office.

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