Senate panel approves Trump's AG nominee William Barr

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham R-S.C. listens at left as Sen. Dianne Feinstein D-Calif. the ranking member objects to advancing the nomination of Bill Barr to be attorney general on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday Feb. 7 2

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

Today, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) voted against advancing the nomination of William Barr to serve as Attorney General. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to recommend his nomination to the full Senate.

The previous Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, was sacked by Trump in November.

"I appreciate what Mr. Whitaker has done, but I think the time has come for new leadership at the department", Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and committee chairman, said at the outset of Thursday's meeting.

William Barr, nominee to be USA attorney general, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington Jan. 15.

"I believe it is in the best interest of everyone the President, Congress, and, most importantly, the American people - that this matter be resolved by allowing the Special Counsel to complete his work", Barr said. American intelligence agencies and Mueller have said Russian Federation was the source of hacked material released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks during the campaign that was damaging to Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential effort.

Other recent candidates before the Senate Judiciary Committee have faced questions about their religious beliefs, concepts of sin and membership in charitable and fraternal organizations.

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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.

William Barr's nomination was approved along party lines Thursday.

During the hearing, Democrats on the Committee expressed concern about a memo that Barr wrote past year that called the Mueller investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election "fatally misconceived".

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

Barr was selected after former attorney general Jeff Sessions was pushed out in November 2018. 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. Trump calls the probe a "witch hunt".

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