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

William Barr

William Barr

Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office told Channel 2 Thursday that Murkowski intends to support Barr's confirmation when it goes to a vote of the full Senate, which could take place as soon as next Thursday, according to Roll Call.

Matthew Whitaker has served as acting attorney general since Sessions' resignation.

"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.

But Democrats said Thursday that Barr, 68, has to be scrutinized under what Sen.

Democrats also expressed concern about Barr's memo he sent to the Justice Department a year ago, 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.

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Democrats and many Republicans have said Mueller's final report should be fully released. Barr says he will release as much as he can under the law. Those regulations require only that the report explains the decisions to pursue or to decline prosecutions, which could be as simple as a bullet point list or as voluminous as a report running hundreds of pages.

The nomination now heads to the Senate floor, where Republicans have a 53-47 majority over Democrats and Democratic-caucusing independents.

Lawmakers have raised questions about a memo Barr wrote to Justice Department leaders questioning what he saw as the "fatally misconceived" theory of Trump obstructing justice that Mueller seemed to be exploring.

Attorney General nominee William Barr met with several senators on January 29.

Before the committee vote, ranking member Sen.

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"This memo is of serious concern to me and appears to be seminal in his appointment to this position", Feinstein said.

Burr spoke out about the ongoing investigation into collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and the Russian government.

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.

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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