Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Senate approves Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham R-S.C. listens at left as Sen. Dianne Feinstein D-Calif. the ranking member objects to advancing the nomination of Bill Barr to be attorney general on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday Feb. 7 2 Senate panel votes to advance nomination of William Barr, Trump's pick to be the next attorney general
Patty Aguilar | 09 February, 2019, 23:46

If confirmed by the full Senate, Barr will assume oversight of Mueller's investigation, which has focused on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether the president obstructed justice, among other things.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to approve William Barr's nomination to be attorney general, a vote that is likely to be mostly along party lines as Democrats have questioned how transparent Barr will be once special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation concludes.

The nomination will now be sent to the full Republican-controlled Senate, where Barr is also expected to have enough support to be confirmed in a vote that could come as early as next week. The Washington Post, CNN and NPR have coverage.

But Democrats remained opposed to him after he refused to commit to releasing Mueller's eventual report on the investigation, which could potentially incriminate Trump.

"We need a steady hand at the Department of Justice, and I believe Mr. Barr provides that steady hand", said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, the committee's chairman. Barr previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush from November 1991 until January 1993. Still, the GOP has the majority in the Senate, which means he'll likely be confirmed.

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Barr said he takes seriously the department regulations that say Mueller's report should be confidential.

Attorney General nominee Bill Barr departs after meeting with Sen.

Several other Republican lawmakers, in deciding to cast their votes for Barr, said he should release the special counsel findings to the fullest extent, while protecting national security secrets. Durbin said he would vote no. Senate Democrats expressed concern that Barr would not make the results of the investigation public.

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.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said he felt Barr was a "good person" and likened him to Jim Mattis - Trump's former defense secretary, who had a reputation for being independent and resigned from the administration amid disagreements with the president.

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