Trump’s pick of barr for AG stirs controversy
Dems cannot block nomination unless GOP breaks rank
Barr would succeed former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump forced out after constant heckling.
President Donald Trump on Friday picked former Attorney General William Barr to serve as America’s top law enforcement official. But Democrats raised alarms about his comments on the Russia investigation.
Barr called for a probe into a uranium deal approved while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, a pet issue of Trump supporters.
It’s not clear whether Barr, if confirmed, would take office in time to shape the Mueller investigation, which has shown signs of being in its final stage.
Barr, 68, would succeed former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump forced out after constant heckling because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, was elevated to acting attorney general. Questions were raised about Whitaker’s credentials, critical comments he had made about the Mueller investigation before joining the Justice Department and his involvement with a company that was accused of misleading consumers and is under investigation by the FBI.”
Confirmation hearings are unlikely before January, when Republicans will have a 53-47 majority, leaving Democrats powerless to block the nomination unless four Republicans break ranks.
The next chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Barr’s pick an “outstanding decision” and pledged to “do everything in my power” to quickly push the nomination through the committee and onto the Senate floor.
Senate top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, said Barr must promise that Mueller’s investigation can proceed unimpeded and Mueller’s final report will be made available to Congress and the public immediately after it is completed.