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

"After two years of relentless attacks on Americans' civil rights by the President and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, we need an Attorney General who will work to uphold the values that are most in danger", said Booker.

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. Barr previously served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993.

Chuck Schumer, the senior Democrat in the Senate, said he would oppose Barr's confirmation in the final vote. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who sets the floor schedule, tweeted Thursday that Barr "has the experience and is eminently qualified" and he expects he will be confirmed next week.

A practicing Catholic and a member of the Knights of Columbus, Barr said in his confirmation hearings that he did not believe his faith would hinder his ability to serve as an effective attorney general.

Barr pledged at his confirmation hearing to keep politics out of Justice Department decisions and said he would refuse an instruction from the president to fire Mueller absent good cause to do so. Democrats have also criticized Barr for not committing to publicly releasing Mueller's findings. In the memo, Barr wrote that Trump could not have obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey since it was an act the president was constitutionally entitled to take.

Unai Emery, Arsenal manager, wants 5 new players at club this summer
Hence, a chance to finish in the top four is not out of sight for the North London side. "One month ago we were in the same situation but it's not easy".

But Durbin said Barr has "telegraphed his pitch" by writing an unsolicited memo to Justice Department and Trump lawyers a year ago about parts of the special counsel probe.

But Democrats said Thursday that Barr's comments did not go far enough to reassure them.

All 12 Republicans on the panel voted for Barr, while all 10 Democrats voted against him. "And I think we have to get to the bottom of it", Barr said.

While he led major initiatives of the Trump administration to crack down on crime and illegal immigration, Sessions angered the president when he recused himself from overseeing the Mueller probe because of his own contacts with Russians.

Barr broke with Trump in saying, "I don't believe Mr. Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt", a term Trump frequently used to decry the probe.

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