Senate Judiciary Committee Approves William Barr’s Attorney General Nomination

Attorney General nominee Bill Barr right meets with Sen. Josh Hawley R-Miss. a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington. The Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to approve Barr’s nomination

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

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.

"I appreciate what Mr. Whitaker has done, but I think it's time for new leadership at the department", Sen.

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

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee's top Democrat, said she was concerned that Barr won't commit to releasing Mueller's report to Congress. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and committee chairman, said at the outset of Thursday's meeting.

Multiple legal and constitutional scholars have argued that Whitaker's appointment to acting attorney general was unconstitutional because he was not confirmed to the position by the US Senate. It now heads to the Senate floor, where Barr is expected to be confirmed.

Barr came under scrutiny for sending an unsolicited 20-page memo to the Department of Justice criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller probe's line of investigation into possible obstruction of justice.

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Opposition Democrats fear Donald Trump's pick to be attorney general, Bill Barr, will protect the president from the special counsel's investigation and a possible impeachment effort arising from. Dianne Feinstein, said last week that she is anxious that Barr won't be a check on the president who appointed him. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said.

But Durbin said Barr has "telegraphed his pitch" by writing an unsolicited memo to Justice Department and Trump lawyers past year about parts of the special counsel probe. When nominated the first time in 1991, the Senate approved Barr by unanimous voice vote.

"I'm speaking to what I hope is the 60 percent in the middle that are saying, 'Give me the facts that I need to make a determination in this one particular instance - what happened.' And that's what our focus is", he said. "I don't know what Bob Mueller is writing", Barr said at his hearing last month.

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Democrats on the U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee on Thursday prepared a subpoena to compel Whitaker to testify on Friday, prompting him to say he will not appear unless the subpoena threat is lifted.

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