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AG Nominee Barr Clears Committee Ahead of Final Senate Vote

AG Nominee Barr Clears Committee Ahead of Final Senate Vote

The full Senate will vote on Barr's confirmation next week, and he is expected to be approved.

Trump then made the highly controversial decision to install Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general.

"We need an attorney general who can assure the Senate and the public that he will stand up to a president who believes the Justice Department exists to do his personal bidding and to protect his personal interests", Schumer said in a tweet.

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

William Barr, nominee to be USA attorney general, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington Jan. 15. Barr has said he will be as transparent as possible under Justice Department regulations, but many Democrats are skeptical.

Barr said in his hearing last month that he is a friend of Mueller's and that "it is vitally important" that the special counsel be allowed to complete his investigation.

The GOP head of the Senate Intelligence Committee says after two years of investigation, the panel still has not found evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

The top Democrat on the Judiciary panel, California Sen. Barr says he will release as much as he can under the law.

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Past year he sent an unsolicited legal opinion to the Justice Department and White House arguing that Mueller had no grounds to investigate Trump for obstruction of justice based on the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in May 2017.

Barr would replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was pushed out by Trump previous year.

The committee, controlled by Republicans, voted 12-10 along party lines to advance Barr's nomination.

Barr, the architect behind many tough-on-crime policies that led to disproportionately high rates of incarceration in the African-American community, acknowledged the disparate impacts of those laws and committed to fully enforcing the First Step Act, a piece of landmark criminal justice reform legislation signed into law by Trump in December. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said.

But the evidence so far shows that a broad range of Trump associates had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period, and several lied about the communication.

"I don't believe Mr. Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt", Barr said.

The Republican president has repeatedly criticised the investigation as a "witch-hunt" and denies any collusion with Moscow.