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Senate Judiciary Advances Barr Attorney General Nomination

Senate Judiciary Advances Barr Attorney General Nomination”

The US Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved President Donald Trump's attorney general nominee, William Barr, and sent his nomination on to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote.

President Trump's pick to be the next attorney general is one step closer to be confirmed.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said that Barr, as attorney general, would have the authority to change policies that now might prohibit him from revealing information about Mueller's work and that his nomination must be considered in the context of the historic moment in which the Justice Department finds itself.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), the committee's chair, said that Barr had to be talked into returning to the Justice Department and that he trusted him to be "fair to the public and true to the law". At the Judiciary Committee's hearing Thursday, all 10 panel Democrats voted against moving the nomination forward, while all 12 Republicans voted to advance it. Barr has said he will be as transparent as possible under Justice Department regulations, but many Democrats are skeptical.

But Barr has refused to promise that he will release the report in its entirety, citing Justice Department regulations that encourage prosecutors not to criticize people who they do not end up charging with criminal behavior. "I do not think that any fair-minded person could call Bill Barr a political hack".

Democrats have also criticized a memo Barr wrote to the Justice Department before his nomination in which he criticized Mueller's investigation for the way it was presumably looking into whether Trump had obstructed justice.

Barr argued that Trump asking former FBI director James Comey to let go of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and later firing Comey were within his powers as head of the executive branch. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said Thursday.

Democrats are not alone in wanting Mueller's findings to be made public. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, called a memo in which Barr was critical of Mueller's probe "disqualifying", saying she's anxious that he has not committed to releasing Mueller's report to Congress.

"This memo is of serious concern to me and appears to be seminal in his appointment to this position", Feinstein said.

If he wins the job, Barr's independence could be put to the test when Mueller wraps up his investigation into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

"I don't believe Mr. Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt", Barr said.



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