Onward: Trump’s AG Crosses First Hurdle To Confirmation on Party-Line Vote

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

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

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved William Barr's nomination for attorney general along party lines Thursday, with Republicans praising his credentials and Democrats questioning how transparent he'll be once special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation concludes.

However, with Republicans holding 53 seats, Barr is widely expected to be approved by the upper chamber.

Barr is unquestionably experienced - having served previously in a variety of high-level Justice Department positions, including as attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration - and was viewed as one of the more mainstream options among those Trump was said to be considering.

Dianne Feinstein, said last week that she is anxious that Barr won't be a check on the president who appointed him.

Still, the senator said some questions raised over the probe could occupy the committee "for the next decade", and that portions of the final report could be so highly classified that they are never revealed to the public. His confirmation is expected to draw a bitter partisan fight, especially given how Barr would oversee the special counsel investigation.

"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.

Democrats have been critical of Barr, claiming they have concerns over his potential handling of the special counsel investigation. That committee voted on Wednesday to send more than 50 interview transcripts from its Russia probe interviews to Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegations of collusion or obstruction of justice by the commander-in-chief.

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If it does, as seems likely, a ruling on the constitutionality of the Louisiana law would likely come next year. Yet, in 2000, he was the author of a 7-2 decision that reaffirmed the Miranda case.

He said Barr did not make such a commitment.

"I'll hold him to that", Graham said.

"I hope I'm wrong" about Barr, he said.

"The American people are entitled to see the facts and judge for themselves", said Louisiana GOP Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said.

"This is particularly concerning, as nothing in existing law or regulations prevents the attorney general from sharing the report", Feinstein said Thursday.

Democrats also expressed concern about Barr's memo he sent to the Justice Department previous year, unsolicited, that detailed presidential power and said Mueller had a "fatally misconceived" theory that Trump committed a crime when he fired a political appointee, FBI Director James B. Comey, because that was in his powers as president. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said Thursday.

All 12 Republicans on the panel voted for Barr, while all 10 Democrats voted against him. The picks were renominated after their nominations expired at the end of last Congress and must restart the confirmation process.

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