Senate panel approves William Barr, Trump’s attorney general nominee

William Barr testifies at the US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-10 Thursday to advance US Attorney General nominee William Barr to a final vote on the Senate floor.

Democrats said they were particularly concerned that Barr would not specifically commit to letting the public see whatever report results from the special-counsel investigation into President Trump's campaign.

The vote now heads to the full Senate, where Barr is expected to be confirmed in a vote as soon as next week.

Barr is unquestionably experienced - having served previously in a variety of high-level Justice Department positions, including as attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration - and was viewed as one of the more mainstream options among those Trump was said to be considering. Lindsey Graham (R-NC) acknowledged that President Donald Trump "can be a handful". In 1991, he was confirmed to it without opposition.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed any collusion between his campaign and Moscow, while slamming the Mueller probe as a "hoax" or "witch hunt".

Full Senate to vote on Trump attorney general...

"I hope if he's the next attorney general, and he's likely to be, that what I saw in his family, what I saw in his resume, what I've seen in his commitment to the issue of justice, will come through clearly", Sen.

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Barr promised he would "not allow" Trump's legal counsel's Rudy Giuliani's expressed desire to "edit" the Mueller report before being released.

But Barr has refused to promise that he will release the report in its entirety, citing Justice Department regulations that encourage prosecutors not to criticize people who they do not end up charging with criminal behavior.

Among respondents to the poll, 48 percent say they believe Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election, including 87 percent of Democrats.

"I appreciate what Mr. Whitaker has done, but I think it's time for new leadership at the department", Sen. "And I think we have to get to the bottom of it", Barr said.

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.

"At a time when our shared principles of equal protection and civil rights for all are under assault, we need an Attorney General who will rise to the challenge of defending them".

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