Senate Judiciary advances William Barr's nomination to be attorney general

Senate Judiciary advances William Barr's nomination to be attorney general

Blumenthal said not releasing Mueller's report would be akin to a "coverup." Sen.

"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.

Making a clear commitment to releasing the special counsel's findings, said Vermont Sen.

During the hearing, Democrats on the Committee expressed concern about a memo that Barr wrote a year ago that called the Mueller investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election "fatally misconceived". Dan Sullivan, R-AK, said he met with Barr Thursday to discuss issues related to Alaska.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is now filling the position and said last week that he believed Mueller's investigation was almost complete.

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.

Graham said that if Barr were to prevent release of a report by Mueller, he would support legislation being pushed by Senators Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, to require full transparency from the Special Counsel.

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Updated 5:18 p.m. | William P. Barr is on track to be confirmed as the next attorney general next week.

Barr would succeed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was pushed out by Trump past year over the president's anger that Sessions had stepped aside from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

The Judiciary Committee late last week postponed its vote on advancing Barr's nomination amid concerns from Democrats - which is customary for high-profile nominations.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to limit debate and cut off any filibuster threats against the Barr nomination Thursday, setting up votes as soon as the Senate finishes work on a bipartisan package of public lands bills. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said.

The Republican president has repeatedly criticized the investigation as a "witch hunt" and denies any collusion with Moscow.

Whitaker said late last month the Mueller-led investigation is "close to being completed", although there has been no confirmation of this from the special counsel's office.

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