Trump's attorney general nominee Barr passes first hurdle

Senate panel votes to advance nomination of William Barr, Trump's pick to be the next attorney general

So, the nomination of William Barr for U.S. Attorney General fell through the cracks. That vote could come as soon as next week.

Barr, who served as attorney general between 1991 and 1993 under President George H.W. Bush, is expected to be confirmed in a vote that could come as early as next week.

He is expected to win confirmation in the Republican-controlled chamber.

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"They paid for it", said Sen. Barr says he will release as much as he can under the law.

"We need an attorney general who can assure the Senate and the public that he will stand up to a president who believes the Justice Department exists to do his personal bidding and to protect his personal interests", Schumer said in a tweet.

Barr said in his hearing last month that he is a friend of Mueller's and that "it is vitally important" that the special counsel be allowed to complete his investigation.

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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. But he said he could not understand the memo and would vote against Barr's nomination. "And he will stand up for this Constitution, even if it's against the wishes of this president". On Thursday, Sen. John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, said that he would vote for it even though he said the "only question" is whether the Mueller report is going to leak "in toto" or in part. Senate Democrats expressed concern that Barr would not make the results of the investigation public.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee's ranking member, opposed Barr's confirmation, citing a memo he wrote the Justice Department past year before he was nominated criticising the wide-ranging Russian Federation inquiry led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

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. The picks were renominated after their nominations expired at the end of last Congress and must restart the confirmation process.

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By the way, as Ed noted earlier, all three of the stooges at the top of Virginia's government look likely to survive now. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring have admitted wearing blackface as young men in the 1980s.


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