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Senate Judiciary Committee Approves William Barr’s Attorney General Nomination

09 February 2019

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

Barr criticised the investigation past year in a memo to the Justice Department, but he told the committee in confirmation hearings three weeks ago that he would allow Mueller to conclude his work and said he would make as much of his findings public as possible.

But Democrats said Thursday that Barr's comments did not go far enough to reassure them. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said. "They deserve to see everything that's in it".

Barr's nomination is being closely watched - and came under scrutiny at the committee level - in part because the Justice Department oversees the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the 2016 Russian election interference. Senate Democrats expressed concern that Barr would not make the results of the investigation public.

Barr previously served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush and is highly respected in the conservative legal world.

In confirmation hearings last month Barr said he would protect Mueller's investigation, and rejected Trump's characterisation of it as an illegal "witch hunt".

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.

Attorney General nominee Bill Barr departs after meeting with Sen. She also criticized Barr for not committing to publicly releasing Mueller's findings.

"I hope I'm wrong" about Barr, he said. But he has also noted that he takes seriously department regulations that say the report Mueller submits to the Justice Department should be treated as confidential. And he praised Barr emphatically. "We are already seeing risky threats to the rule of law".

"We need a steady hand at the Department of Justice and I believe he would provide that steady hand", said Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

"This is not the time to install an attorney general who has repeatedly espoused a view of unfettered executive power", Sen. Durbin said he would vote no.

"I'll hold him to that", Graham said. "I voted against Mr. Barr's nomination because I have little confidence in his willingness and ability to meet this challenge".

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves William Barr’s Attorney General Nomination